Barn Owl
Blackbird
Blackcap
Black-headed Gull
Black Redstart
Blue Tit
Brambling
Bullfinch
Buzzard
Carrion Crow
Chaffinch
Chiffchaff
Coal Tit
Collared Dove
Common Gull
Coot
Crested Tit
Crossbill
Cuckoo
Dunnock
Feral Pigeon
Fieldfare
Garden Warbler
Goldcrest
Goldfinch
Goshawk
Great Black-backed Gull
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Great Tit
Greenfinch
Green Woodpecker
Grey Heron
Grey Partridge
Grey Wagtail
Hawfinch
Herring Gull
Hoopoe
House Martin
House Sparrow
Jackdaw
Jay
Kestrel
Kingfisher
Lapwing
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Lesser Whitethroat
Linnet
Little Owl
Long-eared Owl
Long-tailed Tit
Magpie
Mallard
Marsh Tit
Meadow Pipit
Mistle Thrush
Moorhen
Nightingale
Nuthatch
Peregrine
Pheasant
Pied Flycatcher
Pied Wagtail
Quail
Raven
Red Kite
Red-legged Partridge
Redpoll
Redstart
Redwing
Reed Bunting
Ring-necked Parakeet
Robin
Rook
Sand Martin
Serin
Short-eared Owl
Siskin
Skylark
Song Thrush
Sparrowhawk
Spotted Flycatcher
Starling
Stock Dove
Stonechat
Swallow
Swift
Tawny Owl
Treecreeper
Tree Sparrow
Turtle Dove
Waxwing
Whinchat
Whitethroat
Willow Tit
Willow Warbler
Wood Pigeon
Wren
Yellow Wagtail
Yellowhammer

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Cat Deterrents

Cats have always been a problem in our garden - harassing and killing birds, killing fish and fouling the garden - but then in the 1990s, when nearly twenty different cats were intruding we decided something had to be done.

We tried various deterrents that others had recommended, these included:

One suggestion we did not try, for obvious reasons, was having our own cat to defend the garden from other cats.

As well as deterring the cats, you can protect the birds by ensuring they have cover such as a tree or bush close to where they are feeding, but not so close as to provide a hiding place for cats and other predators.

Ultrasonic Scaring Devices

CATWatch electronic cat deterrentAlthough sceptical about the likely success of the electronic cat scaring devices we purchased several CATWatch units from Concept Research some years ago and placed them around the garden. These small devices (shown on the right) emit bursts of ultrasound when the integral movement sensor detects something moving.

With the earlier Mk2 design, the exterior of the lens had a tendency to mist up with frost or dew and stop working until it cleared and the lenses also became brittle with age, but replacements were available from the supplier. Today, Concept Research claim that the latest Mk3 design reduces greatly these problems.

Most cats are stopped in their tracks before making a rapid departure, while other more welcome wildlife such as foxes, bats and hedgehogs seem not to be affected. There are just two or three cats that visit the garden and seem not to be bothered by the cat scaring devices - it is possible they are older cats or of certain breeds that are hard of hearing.

CATWatch is approved by the RSPB and is manufactured in the UK. Concept Research also manufacture a budget version called catfree, which is perfect for the smaller garden with the occasional visiting cat, as well as other electronic pest deterrents.

There are other similar systems available; Primrose London stock a good selection.


Last revision: 27 Jan 2018
Copyright © David Gains 1999-2018.
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