When we moved into my Grandfather’s house we inherited his (somewhat bedraggled) bird table along with a lovely bird bath and I have to admit that I really enjoy watching the local wildlife arrive in the garden and enjoy a snack and/or a drink and a quick dip. There’s something really satisfying from knowing that by putting out some seeds and keeping the bath topped up with water I’m helping to keep the local fauna happy.
We have lots of the common species in our garden, mainly sparrows, blackbirds, collared doves, blue tits, great tits and the odd goldfinch however one day I was amazed to see a rather splendid Greater Spotted Woodpecker snacking on the bird table! We also have some adorable voles and mice who can be seen cleaning up the food dropped by the birds around the bottom of the bird table, not forgetting charismatic squirrels.
I was very happy when Ivel Valley got in touch offering me the chance to give an honest review three of their range of wild bird foods: a seed mix, suet pellets and suet balls from their 5 a day selection which includes 5 key ingredients for bird nutrition.
A seed mix is a standard option for bird feeders, Ivel Valley’s 5 a day option includes their super insect and suet pellet which they make on the farm along with a combination of sunflower hearts, kibbled peanuts, naked oat, insect and mealworm suet pellets, white millet seeds, red millet seeds and red dari seeds which produces a high energy, low waste bird seed with no wheat which took five years to develop.
The 5 a day seed is designed to attract more beautiful birds to your garden such as Great Tits, Blue Tits, Coal Tits, House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Siskin, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Robin, and Long Tailed Tit. The birds in my garden have certainly enjoyed this seed mix, in fact it has been the most popular option! As an added bonus the seed mix came in a fabulous storage container which makes it very easy to keep the seed dry and stops the risk of spillages in the house.
I had never considered using flavoured suet pellets before having usually bought the regular suet balls, so I was intrigued about the 5 a day apple suet pellets. Ivel Valley have designed the pellets to be used in a range of feeding methods: on the ground, on a bird table or in mesh feeders. I have a mesh feeder which usually holds peanuts so I emptied this out and filled it up to the brim with suet pellets!
The suet pellets are high in energy and are made with suet, wheat flour, peanut flour, oat flour, millet flour, dried apple and colour. This is designed to attract a host of different bird species including Great Tits, Blue Tits, Coal Tits, and Long Tailed Tit, Robins, Starlings, Wrens, Blackbirds and Thrushes. Although not as popular as the seed mix the suet pellets certainly has been enjoyed by my garden visitors.
I have a love hate relationship with suet blocks and balls having had a number of them crumble to bits and shower me with various insects which the birds might find delicious but I’d rather not end up wearing so I was interested to see just how the Ivel Valley ones held up. The 5 a day suet balls are designed to go into a fat ball feeder – unfortunately I had to improvise with a mesh feeder – and is high in energy.
Ingredients include suet, wheat flour, peanut flour, oat flour, ground maize, sunflower seeds, millet seeds, linseed, insects and mealworms, oyster shell, colour. I was very happy that the suet balls did not fall apart when I took them out of the packet and made it safely into their container with minimal fuss! They are the perfect treat for Great Tits, Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Robins, and Long Tailed Tit, Robin, Starlings and Wrens.
I have really enjoyed watching the birds in my garden enjoying these new tasty treats and am happy to award Ivel Valley 5 out of 5 stars for their varied and nutritious range.