This review is for Gardman Premium Feeding Station a black metal pole with hooks to hang feeders on. Making it a versatile item to place in your garden whilst not taking up to much space. Requiring minimal assembly and access to an earthy place to push it firmly in the ground.
I am not a connoisseur when it comes to feeding the birds or their wild bird items. However we do have a little site that is building into a fine restaurant for the birdies.
The main focal piece is the black pole or feeding station which needs to be pushed down into the ground via a spike at the end of the main pole. The placement of the pole is key, we have it near some Budlea bushes and along a bamboo fence border.
*This feeding station suits us fine.
It is a medium height so if you are thinking over 5ft you would be disappointed. The bits that come with it have certain uses. The one bowl attachment is of fine mesh and this allows water drainage (a seed tray) the second bowl is the water bowl this is a round shallow attachment. These trays are easily detached for cleaning.
When I look out at the garden the pigeon sits in the mesh or water tray and eats the food from the bird hangers. He / she finds this a comfortable spot. This provides him support (for his plump body) and lets him merrily choose his meal of the day. This is not the design of the trays but as always nature has a way of adapting. The water bowl is generally green and icky with leaves not a practical item in my view and the mesh bowl is nice but not good for our British wet weather. But they are both excellent pigeon holders! Of course the pigeons eat too much and they always bring a friend.
The pole has hooks which are nicely placed and we get three feeders comfortably on. We could have more but we are not ardent bird food suppliers yet.
The feeding station looks smart and has seen one winter already. The dog is not bothered by it and has yet to dig it up. She does like to sniff up at the trays though. We have caught a cat spying on the birds at the station. I can see why; she is thinking of a pigeon dinner.
It came in a largish box which contained:
25.5mm metal pole
Three hooks - Two large and one Small feeder hook
Large bird bath
Micromesh feed tray
It was relatively easy to put together however it would be hard if you had joint problems and I would recommend asking for someone to help you.
Would I recommend this item. Yes I believe I would. It is better than I thought. I feel it serves its purpose. I find bird feeders are a bit hit and miss. This one is a nice design and we are enjoying it.
A great addition to any garden and those birds will appreciate it in the winter months.
I enjoy sitting in the kitchen having breakfast in the morning with my family and watching the birds feeding around the garden. And then I thought it would be really good idea if I could get the birds to feed closer to the kitchen window so that we could see and watch them better. With no trees near the window from which to hang any feeders, I did some research and came across this Gardman Premium Feeding Station Kit for Wild Birds on Amazon for just under £20.
The station comes as a sort of flat pack kit which you have to assemble. Of note, even though it is called a 'Feeding Station' it doesn't actually come with any hanging bird feeders. You will need to buy those separately. The Feeder Station itself is an all metal construction, where the components feel quite robust and solid, and they have all been coated in a black paint finish to provide some corrosion resistance.
The centre pole itself actually comes in 3 pieces, where perhaps the most important bit is the bottom pole that you need to knock into the ground. It is quite important that you get this pole straight and vertical, because if you knock it in at an angle, that angle will be amplified when you connect up the other 2 parts of the pole. The best way I found was to use a spirit level, holding it against the sides of the pole in order to determine if it was straight or not as I knocked it in to the ground. A further point of note is that it is not a good idea to just hit the end of the pole with an ordinary metal hammer, because you will just burr the edges of the pole over and then find that you cannot fit the other pole on to it. The best way is to hold a thick piece of wood over the end of the pole and then hit the wood with a hammer, thereby knocking the pole into the ground, and also protecting the end of the pole from damage.
Once you put it together, the other components of the station are each attached to a small section of tube/collar that fits over the central pole. This small tube can be slid up and down the central pole to the required position, and then locked in position by tightening a winged bolt, threaded through the collar onto the central pole. At the top of the pole, you have the 2 feeder hooks which are fixed to be 180 degrees from each other with a 23 inch spread, and from which you can attached your hanging bird feeders. The top of this component is also nicely finished off with a decorative 'fleur-de-lys' arrow head which will sit on the very top of the central pole when everything is fitted. Then below that you have 3 different components that are each height adjustable up and down the centre pole, and can be set at any horizontal angle around the pole by using and locking with that winged bolt affair detailed earlier. The first component is a third hook from which you can hang another feeder. The second is a shallow plastic water dish set in a black metal ring, with the third being a circular mesh feeding tray/dish. The height overall is 7.5 feet, but it really depends on how far you knock the bottom pole into the ground as to what your assembled final height will be, but you're looking at a good 6.5 feet in height out of the ground at least.
Positioning of the feeding station is also fairly vital. As I mentioned at the start, I enjoy watching the birds feeding in the garden as we have breakfast. So in order to bring them closer in, we decided to position the feeder about 3 feet away from the kitchen window. At first this was a great idea because we could watch the birds really close up. But then the squirrels found the feeders, and squirrels and bird feeders don't go together because of the damage the squirrels can cause to your feeders. Hence, I invested in a Gardman Universal Squirrel Baffle (see my separate review) which you fit around the centre pole in order to stop the squirrels climbing up to the feeders. That worked great for a while - until the little critters worked out that they could then climb up our shrubbery onto the kitchen window sill and then do a 'kamakazi' dive across to the feeders, thereby bypassing the 'squirrel stopping' baffle. We then had to gradually move the feeder back away from the window, and each day we would watch the squirrels do their death defying leap onto the feeders, until we eventually found a suitable distance of about 5 feet away from the kitchen window which was just that little too far for them to jump from the window sill - all except one of them who seemed to be the squirrel equivalent of Superman, who quite happily continued to clear the gap. Eventually, we moved the feeder out to 6 feet and then watched the squirrel do his leap - only to crash into the squirrel baffle and fall off. He quickly ran up to try again, with the same result. We were just lining up a camera to record his third attempt, but he decided to give up and skulked off. So far, the squirrels haven't found the ladder chained up in the garage, and the hacksaw is firmly locked away in the shed, so I think the feeders are safe - for now.
But balancing the review up, we also need to consider any negative points, and there are only a few. The first is to do with the circular mesh feeding tray/dish. Normally you would put scraps of food or seeds into the tray for birds to pick at and eat. The problem comes in that the tray is also open to the elements, and over time, the food gets wet and starts to get stuck into the mesh, turns to mush and go mouldy. Normally, you would remove the mesh dish and then scrub in clean or put it in the dishwasher. But with this feeding station you can't do that without dismantling the whole station in order to remove the dish, because it is fixed to a frame which is then fixed to a central sleeve that fits over the central pole. The best way we've found to clean it was to hose it down and try and work the bristles of a floor brush into the mesh to push the food out. A bit laborious, but it gets the job done.
The second issue is more to do with how the birds use the feeder. Over time, you'll find that they will throw away the scraps of seed and food that they don't want, and these will end up all over the ground around your feeder, which can be unsightly. In addition, the rye seed elements may/will start to grow and you could end up with a variety of different grasses under your feeder. The manufacturers normally recommend that you should move your feeder around the garden to avoid this build up, but then you lose the joy of being able to closely watch them outside of your kitchen or lounge window. For me, I just put up with the build up of scraps on the ground and every so often, just rake them away to give the grass a chance to grow again, but it is a matter of personal choice as to what you want to do.
Durability wise, we've had our feeder out in all weather elements over the 2 years that we have owned it thus far, and so far it is showing no signs of corrosion. The paint still looks good, if a little aged, and it still stands firmly in place in the garden outside of the window, and none of the bits or poles are wobbling around through loose connections.
In summary, once assembled, this feeding station is an attractive addition to your garden. It is not too large, and the spread is quite compact, making it ideal for any small garden, whilst that black finish also ensures that it is quite discreet in your garden and protected from the elements. There are some negative points, but to me these are only very minor and should not detract from what is otherwise an excellent opportunity for you to observe nature right outside of your kitchen window. Just beware of the squirrels!!
Review also on Ciao under Randal1.
I bought this feeding station on the recommendation of cmh4135 - thank you cmh! My reason for buying was that I am a keen photographer, so wanted to attract birds to my garden for photographing them. My reason for buying this particular type was that we have a very small garden, so I didn't want the traditional table that takes up quite a lot of room.
**What is it?**
The central pole is tubular metal and, as you can see from the picture above, it has a range of arms and holders which slot on to the pole. These come with various amounts of fittings, but mine is exactly as in the picture, with two long arms, one shorter one, and holders for a water trough and mesh feeding table, which are both supplied.
**Setting it up**
This was fairly simple, although my husband had to help as the rubber sleeves that protect the joints are a tight fit (they have to be), and I have arthritis in my hand. The whole thing slots together, sliding on the various fittings as you go, and securing most parts with wing nuts. The central pole is hammered into the ground. The feeding tray slots into a bracket; the water dish sits in a metal ring, so both are easily removeable for cleaning.
As mentioned in a previous review, the station does not come with any holders for nuts, seeds, etc, so you have to buy these separately. However, I bought a mesh nut feeder and clear plastic seed holder, and I think they were around £2 each, so there's not a lot of extra expense. The upside of having to buy separate containers is that you are free to choose the type most useful to you, depending on which types of birds you want to attract.
**Where from and how much?**
I bought mine from Amazon. It cost £12.99, plus £5 postage. It was from a third party seller, and arrived the next day, so I was very impressed!
I've only had this a couple of weeks, but have been able to see the good and bad points about it.
On the plus side, it looks very elegant in the garden, and has a small spread, so will fit into even a very small garden. As well as feeding at the table or from the hanging containers, the birds seem to like just perching on the top arms. It's pretty easy to set up and the local birds approve wholeheartedly! Also, the water dish is big (about 6" diameter), so the birds can use it to drink from or as a bird bath.
On the minus side, if you have a stony garden or one with clay-based soil (as we have), it can be quite difficult to knock it far enough into the ground to be really stable, so it tends to rock a bit in the wind (although to the birds, it's probably not much different from a small tree, so it's not a disadvantage from that point of view). Also, the suppliers suggest you move it around from time to time so that the ground underneath it doesn't get messy with food spillage. However, since you have to knock it quite a distance into the ground, I can't see it being very easy to uproot when you want to move it.
UPDATE ON ABOVE COMMENT: We've just had to move it as we're having some work done in our garden, and it was a lot easier to uproot than I had thought it would be!
My overall impression is that there are slight failings, but for the price, it's very good and I'm really pleased that I bought this one.
Attracting birds into the garden seems to be a favourite British pastime. I recall, as a child, throwing bread and cake crumbs for the birds and hanging bacon rind from branches. These days, though, bread and cake crumbs and certainly bacon rind, seem scarce in supply and a whole industry has been born around feeding the garden birds.
After losing three trees to disease in our garden we noticed an appreciable drop in bird visitors to the garden. With a young child I decided that the time was ripe to get something to encourage the birds back into the garden. I looked at traditional bird tables but these seemed unnecessarily large and took up a lot of ground space. It was then that we spotted the Guardman Premium Birdfeeding Station.
The idea is simplicity itself - a spike to go into the ground and several hooks and attachments on which to hang or place food and water for our feathered friends. The product is boxed in several parts all of which slot easily together without the need for tools to make the complete station. Of course you will need soft ground to site this (lawn or flower bed) as there is no fixed stand to allow this to be sited on paving.
The station does not come with any food containers save for the mesh basket and water bowl. Anything you wish to hang from the hooks must be bought separately. This allows you to decide what type of container is appropriate for the food you wish to serve but does mean that you add to the cost of the whole set up. It is, of course, possible to find feeding products that don't require additional containers (e.g. fat balls and seed cakes) meaning that you don't need extra holders.
The hangers are fixed but both the water bowl and mesh basket can be adjusted for height and position using a wing nut. This is important when setting up the feeder as we found that if incorrectly positioned larger birds could use the bowl and basket as a stand to allow them to reach food for smaller birds. This is an issue for us as we have many pigeons and doves in the area who scare off the smaller birds. Of course, you may use the positioning to your advantage to allow this kind of activity. It's worth noting, however, that as the station weathers it will become harder to adjust the attachments as the thread on the screws will rust.
As the station is coloured in a matt black colour it weathers quite well. After about 2 years our station has weathered but doesn't look old. I think it would be safe to say that were we to try to dismantle it we'd have extreme difficulty as the joints show some signs of rust and fusion. As previously mentioned the attachments that moved previously have now become fixed.
One of the advantages of a station over a table is that it takes up far less ground space but allows you to put a variety of foods out to attract particular birds. As the pole is quite thin it is also far less vulnerable to squirrel or other rodent attacks. It's easy to re-site the stand and it's not as heavy or cumbersome as a traditional table.
There are downsides too though. As there is no table you may find, as we did, that more seeds fall to the floor, which being a spiked station is most likely the grass. As a result the grass around the base of our station is a mixture of grasses including rye grass. This can be particularly invasive and so, if you are one of those people who has and wants to maintain a perfect lawn then this might not be the feeder for you. Of course, you could make sure that you don't use any feeds that have seeds that might germinate but I suspect that this is quite hard to do.
The water tray that is provided is quite hard to keep clean - we managed for about a year with monthly washing but the winter in particular takes its toll and we now have a rather dull, stained tray. For us this is not a problem but it will make the station look less pristine!
Standing around 7 ½ feet tall this is an elegant yet unimposing bird feeding station. It's ideal for any sized garden but offers bird feeding opportunities for those with smaller gardens. Retailing at under £15 this station is also much cheaper than many traditional tables.
Having had one in situ for 2 years I would thoroughly recommend this product. There are some downsides but they come with age and although the product loses some of its flexibility over time that flexibility is probably not required.
Attract a wide variety of wild birds to your garden with this high quality premium feeding station from Gardman. Overall height 226cm, height above ground 185cm, width 58cm.