I have finally defeated them!
As I have said before I keep things in case they will be useful in the future. I had kept some cheap plastic gutter guard that had never really worked. So what I did was stretch this along the garden edge and peg it down with some small tent pegs ( but wire looped over would also work).
I lightly covered the mesh with some mulch so that you could not see it but not enough to make the blackbird interested.
Days later the path is still clear!
And for pot plants I found that I had kept some small offcuts of the fine wire used for repairing screen doors. So I just cut that to the size of the pot and put it over the mulching in the pot and I am a winner here too!
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