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Old 12th December 2012, 08:31 PM   #1
Wildlife
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Default So...Hows your winter garden feeding?

To try get more people posting and get this forum going again..

How's your garden this winter? What birds are everyone getting? And what foods do you have on offer..?
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Old 12th December 2012, 08:42 PM   #2
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Very quiet here, a few nibbles at the sunflower hearts, robins and blackbirds on the starling feeder. The first excitement has been a flock of long tailed tits through the garden this afternoon.
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Old 14th December 2012, 04:04 PM   #3
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We've had a thrush though it seems a bit silly to get excited about something that used to be so common! Then the day before yesterday we had a visit from a lone long tailed tit, he mooched around the fat ball ring for a while then flew off. I was thrilled when yesterday he came back and brought his family, they spent some time fluttering around and feeding off the fat balls before flying off. The weather is appalling today and I haven't seen them
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Old 17th December 2012, 10:57 AM   #4
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I have also had half a dozen long tailed tits on the fat balls recently, but they seem very nervous and retire into the bushes on the appearance of a starling.

I get pied wagtails in colder weather, and they have been more apparent over the last week.

But the highlight of last week was a goldcrest on the fatballs one morning. It seemed very brave and stayed even when house sparrows appeared. I have never really had a chance to see a goldcrest relatively close up, but they are a lovely little bird, and this one had a very bright yellow stripe on the top of its head.

It made the blue tits look big. I hope to see it again soon.
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Old 17th December 2012, 11:09 AM   #5
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I've only ever seen pictures of goldcrests they look lovely little birds. We get wagtails too but not often in the garden they are usually out on the road picking something up.
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Old 17th December 2012, 11:54 AM   #6
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Hello Margaret.

Yes, our wagtails are usually to be found on the road, but I have noticed how when there is a sharp frost, or snow, one or two appear in the garden.

I never really understand what they find to eat on the road, but they seem to eat anything they can find under the hanging feeders.

As soon as the temperatures go above freezing, they vanish again. But I am glad to see them here for a day or two.

I usually see redwings on the holly at this time of year, but this autumn the bush has virtually no berries, so maybe I will miss out.

I did see a blackcap about a week ago, they are regular visitors between Nov and Mar, but they seem rarer this year.

John
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Old 17th December 2012, 03:30 PM   #7
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We used to get goldcrests every winter. They loved thje old Christmas tree that the previous owners had planted in the middle of the garden. When that got too big and had to be cut down they stopped coming.
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Old 18th December 2012, 09:42 AM   #8
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That is interesting chilternbirder, because we have a yew tree in our garden, and the goldcrest appeared out of that and flew onto the fat balls.

There is much similarity between the branches and needles of yew and the spruce or fir that make up the majority of christmas trees.

I imagine that it is those densely foliated trees that give them the cover they require at this time of year, and provide them with hibernating spiders and insects that they eat.
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Old 18th December 2012, 09:49 AM   #9
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On the other hand my neigbour's leylandii is of no interest to them at all although it does provide good cover for nesting blackbirds.
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Old 18th December 2012, 11:37 PM   #10
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Plenty of the usual goldfinches and starlings, on the sunflower hearts and fat balls respectively, and also quite a few sparrows, also a couple of blackbirds recently, which is nowadays fairly unusual. The variety square peanut cakes are enormously popular, and virtually get finished the same day, so a pack of 10 or 12 lasts no time. I have recently been using Hi-Energy seed instead of the usual feeder seed, in feeders, and on the birdtable and ground feeder.
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