Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Blackstart and Suet recipe

The only thing worth reporting is the refinding of the male Black Redstart at the undercliff, in the murk of an early morning. Lovely bird though - beautiful plumage.
As we prepare for the end of the week's cold blast, it may be timely to report a recipe for bird food, immorally stolen from the site of Julie Zickefoose. UK readers will need to substitute some of the ingredients, but if I can manage in my ham-fisted way, so can you.

Zick's Suet Dough

Melt 1 cup peanut butter
with 1 cup lard

(the microwave works great).
Wal-Mart sells lard in big green and white tubs, and yellow cornmeal in big 5 lb. bags, as well as cheap quick oats and flour. Mix dry ingredients separately:

2 cups yellow cornmeal
2 cups quick oats
1 cup flour.

Stir melted lard/peanut butter mixture into dry ingredients.

Allow to cool, and serve crumbled in an open dish. Store in jars at room temperature. Nice measuring tip: A 40 oz. jar of peanut butter holds five cups. Empty out a jar, then pack it with lard to measure five cups of that. Easier than measuring individual cups, the most onerous part of making it in bulk. Don't be tempted to guesstimate amounts, or you'll get a greasy mess.

Also of interest, there's a bird food mail-order firm that works from Sittingbourne Kent called Bird-Food Express - I haven't used them yet but they seem to have an interesting range of products.

I generally prefer to get my nuts etc from a charity shop like RSPB, but since I inadvertently spilt many of the peanuts I'd just bought on the SBBO floor, I may not be welcome there now.


A Portland Backyard said...

What a beautiful bird! Great photos!

Making your own suet is the only way to go.

Rambling Woods said...

Haven't done this yet..I really should try making my own suet..

New Rambling Woods Site

NW Nature Nut said...

Yes, this suet is a winner!! Julie Z. knows how to spoil those birds! Have you made it in the past? Last year the warblers really gobbled it up here.

I also like to buy plain suet, mix it with peanut butter and add sunflower hearts. It seems to be very popular as well.

abbey meadows said...

Thats a cracking Black redstart. Its a year or two since I have seen a one like that.

Mary said...

Nice Redstart photos! I'm always seeing raves about this suet mix, so I guess I'll have to try it this year.

Graham H said...

Beautiful plumage...reminiscent of the Norwegian Blue... are you sure you hadn't superglued his feet to the rock?