Garden Jobs For August
You may see fewer native birds such as dunnocks and wrens during August as they hide in cool, shady places while shedding their old feathers and replacing them with new warmer feathers to see them through winter. Moulting requires a lot of energy so it is important you keep feeding birds during this process.
Provide food and water early in the morning when it is cooler and they are more likely to be tempted out of their hiding places.
Avoid putting out peanuts and other large chunks of food that baby birds could choke on. The heat can also cause food to go off more quickly so feed less but more often and regularly check your bird table and feeders for rotten or mouldy food.
Bird baths are particularly important during August when natural water sources could be in short supply so make sure yours is topped up and clean. Move your bird bath to a shady spot so the water doesn’t evaporate and keeps cool.
In hot dry weather many birds like “dust bathing” as well as splashing in a bird bath. If possible leave a patch of earth uncultivated and unwatered for this purpose or fill an upturned dustbin lid or bird bath with fine soil.
Leave a section of lawn long which will provide much needed shelter as well as attracting insects and wild flowers for food and allow seedheads on plants such as sunflowers to develop. If you have a rose bush that produces hips leave these when dead-heading.
Be careful not to disturb nesting birds in shrubs and hedges; try not to trim them during August and although it is now legal to clean out nest boxes you should leave it for a couple of months until the late breeding season is over.