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Old 16th May 2010, 04:56 PM   #11
Hevva
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The garden is full of new life now. Three or four little spotty robins rushing around and to-day three very young goldfinches pecking at some dandelions on the lawn. The tit box is inhabited by great tits, although until to-day I thought it was empty. It is very badly situated, right above the feeders, but the chorus was loud and clear when I re-filled the nyger, and I saw both mum and dad go in.
The pair of mallards still come in a couple of times each day, but I'm really not sure their reason. They land, waddle up the lawn and then promptly lay down and have a snooze. Perhaps they think it's an up market hotel!
There is an unusually large number of greenfinches at the moment, some of the males looking almost like canaries with their bright green feathers.
The blackbird numbers are still around 6 - 8 although no babies. I think they are nesting next door and just come to me for food - the male comes to the back door and takes as many raisins as he can cram in his beak from the window feeder.
Sparrow numbers are down, probably only a few each day. Dunnocks are still busying around picking up anything dropped. (one of the bird seed catalogues described a dunnock as 'a dull little bird'). How wrong can they be - a close up shows them to have a wonderful mix of colours and markings.
Still no sign of any thrushes, much to my great disappointment.
No sign either of green woodie or the great spotted.
The pheasants still appear each day but rush off down the garden when I appear, except for one female who rushes up and stands at my feet whilst I spread the seed on the ground. Quite a strange feeling as she just stands and looks at me - obviously wants the first pickings.
Several chaffinches and goldfinches each day, along with wood pigeons and collared doves.
No signs of the grass snake from last year (thank goodness) but the rabbit population is growing!
Several magpies and a very large crow, together with a couple of jackdaws. The crow was drinking at the pond when he suddenly flew under the feeders and took off with a small bird. This is the first time I have seen this and would have thought there was sufficient road kill but perhaps it was just easy pickings.
The male sparrowhawk sat on the gate a couple of evenings ago just eyeing up a meal but left disappointed.
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Old 30th May 2010, 09:41 AM   #12
Nature__Lover
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kingfisher :O :O :O
i have never seen one and am so envious of you!!!!
i've seen a sparrow hawk in the garden once, i've never seen a woodpecker or a nuthatch (but they are two of many species i would LOVE to see)
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Old 21st August 2010, 07:30 AM   #13
Hevva
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The garden is still extremely busy, although I decided to take my large feeders down during July and August. The peanut feeder was never very popular so I refilled it and left it hanging, together with a small seed feeder that the sparrows loved on the trellis on the patio, where they had plenty of climbing foliage to hide in. Well, the peanut feeder has to be re-filled every other day – there are the usual starlings, lots of young blue tits and great tits (obviously mine from the nest box), a regular small flock of long tailed tits and the great spotted woodie. Even the sparrows and finches are on it and I feel a bit guilty. The collared doves sit under it as if their last meal depended on it. The flock of around 20 – 25 sparrows meanwhile empty their seed feeder every day. Two of the young robins never left the garden and appear each day for their bath. The waterfall brings in lots of the youngsters and there were several greenfinch and goldfinches having a splash. I have seen very few chaffinch this year, as opposed to several families in the previous years. The number of starlings was down considerably too this year – probably only around 20 at most at any one time.
There are several blackbirds and my resident dominant female even asked for currants the other day – she makes so much noise and jumps up and down on the shed roof until I get her some. She has been around now for about 3 years.
No signs of any thrushes in the garden and, in fact, very few in the fields when I go to work.
No pheasants or wood pigeons either for a couple of months – plenty of food in the fields now.
The swallow numbers have been very high and I watched about half a dozen very young ones on the wires outside the house yesterday sitting with Mum and then practicing their flying. How scary that these babes will soon be off on their long journey. The sound of them all summer has been wonderful.
I had a call from the lady next door who asked whether I would remove a dead Canada Goose from her garden which had flown into the wires. It was a beautiful bird, very large and heavy with just a cut across its chest. There is a very large flock which moves into the field opposite each evening. I thought no more of it until the next evening whilst out in the garden when I heard and saw a lone Canada Goose flying in circles making a pitiful call. It obviously knew where its mate had gone and was just hopefully looking. Very sad and I just hope it went back to the flock and settled.
The young fox is still around most evenings as are the two rabbits who make us laugh with their play-chase antics. Not sure how they survive really, perhaps the fox is more successful elsewhere.
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Old 23rd August 2010, 04:59 PM   #14
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sounds like you have a spectacular haven for wildlife, all shapes and sizes, hevva!
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Old 21st February 2011, 09:16 AM   #15
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Bird life here during the winter has sadly not been good. I have been inundated with rats. One rat I can manage, two even perhaps, but not the numbers I had under the shed, under the tree and in the greenhouse. They all appeared when there was any food put down, or even dropped from a feeder, and rushed off to their respective families. I hate poisoning but, with that many it had to be done, but it took several boxes and about three months to eventually see the last of them.
For the last three weeks the birds have been back. The several pairs of blackbirds never went away and they did always get a quick handful of sultanas on top of the shed which disappeared within minutes. The flock of around 30 sparrows still sit in the privet hedge and make their lovely song. I had a two fleeting visits from a song thrush, after two years of waiting, but he has gone again.
Both the green woodpecker, a regular on the lawn, and the great spotted have been visitors and, quite strangely, there have been three robins all feeding quite happily together. I wonder whether they are last years’ babies – they all get along well and sing happily from the tree. I wonder what will happen when spring arrives.
The wood pigeons have returned, only three or four, and the usual 10-12 collared doves, together with half a dozen starlings.
Just the two female pheasants this year who wandered around the garden for a couple of weeks and then went elsewhere in the search for food.
The dunnocks are back and when the nyger seed went back up, so the goldfinches arrived – usually 6 – 8 at a time, the remainder taking some of the sunflower seeds from the large feeder.
Both blue and great tits are flitting around the whole day with a couple of sightings of a couple of long tailed tits who don’t stay around long.
A couple of greenfinches have come back, along with the usual magpies and a couple of crows.
I was hoping to get some bramblings but have looked carefully at some beautifully marked chaffinches but without luck.
The male sparrowhawk sat on the greenhouse for a few minutes in full sight of everything in the garden but then went. The pile of feathers of a wood pigeon and another of a collared dove would indicate the female has been around and more successful too!
Had a couple of sightings of a wren which hides in a shrub quite close to the house.
Outside of the garden, we had good sightings of some fieldfare and redwing in the field opposite and also around 60 waxwing came down two days in a row and cleared the rowan tree in the next door neighbours garden. They came back a few days later and finished off her cotoneaster and have now disappeared. How lovely it was though to look at them out of the front window.
Lastly, there has been a flock of around 70-80 goldfinches in the tall silver birch each evening. They make an incredible noise and their swooping around when spooked would put the starlings to shame (well, nearly !!)
Looking forward to spring now, and babies.
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Old 22nd February 2011, 11:35 AM   #16
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Sorry to hear about the rat problem you had hevva. Sounds like you have it sorted. They can take some getting rid of though. Not seen any where i live.
Seems like the birds are back with a vengeance as well.

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Old 18th May 2011, 03:40 PM   #17
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Lots of birds here, but very few babies. Perhaps it’s still a bit early. There are several families of sparrows and starlings with young, although nowhere near the amount I’ve had in previous years. A couple of spotty robins have appeared but the blackbirds seem to have been unsuccessful this year. The blackbird that nested on my patio gave it up after a couple of days and rebuilt another nest about 10 ft away in the hedge. My neighbour could see this from her greenhouse and reported 4 eggs but sadly it would appear they have been taken.
The song thrush managed to raise one youngster who is now adult size but sadly lost its mate so the population didn’t increase there.
My tit box is inhabited by blue tits this year but the mother would appear to be very unsure of what she is doing. She appears from the box, sits on the feeder, looks around and then goes back in the box. I wonder if she is very young herself, but I can hear tweeting as I go by so, hopefully ….
We’ve still got around a dozen collared doves and lots of woodpigeon and the nyger is still quite popular with the goldfinch. Lots of greenfinch this year and I noticed a couple of chaffinch on the patio feeder.
The pair of mallards that arrived last spring and visited regularly have appeared again this year, mostly late afternoon – clear up any leftovers under the feeders, take a drink from the pond and then have a sunbathe on the lawn for up to an hour. They have got quite confident now and the female quacks at the dog when she walks down the garden (she gives them a very wide berth!!). For around three weeks we also had the pleasure of a moorhen who also tucked into the seed, had a drink and then disappeared under the bushes. We have some lakes about half a mile as the crow flies, so I assume they all travel from there.
We still have two female pheasants that pop by each day – much kinder on the purse than the 17 that turned up a couple of years ago!
The magpies have been really aggressive and have taken at least two baby starlings. I managed to get to one, but it was so shocked at being hauled through the air that it died within 5 minutes. I got rid of the body and the magpie spent the whole afternoon around the spot looking for it.
We also have a crow which seems to delight in swooping down and scattering every bird in the garden.
A whitethroat sat on the top of the hedge opposite the house singing its heart out, and the swallows are all back and nesting but no signs of babies yet.
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Old 26th June 2011, 01:21 PM   #18
Hevva
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Lots of babies have arrived in the garden now. A couple of young blackbirds are hunting on the lawn for something, although they don’t seem to sure of what. A lovely family of chaffinch, or maybe even two families, came to the feeders at the beginning of the week and the goldfinch have bought their babes along for the first time too. We seem to be inundated with goldfinch and had at least 20 in the garden the other evening. I laughed at a youngster who sat on the top of the nyger seed feeder, which was full of adults, madly flapping its wings but was ignored by all – obviously a case of ‘this is how it’s done’.
This morning there are four young greenfinches and several adults. These birds have increased in number this year and must be reaching double figures daily.
The one decline has been in the starlings – last year there must have been around 50 – 60 in the garden but this year possibly down to 10 or 12. Has anyone else noticed this?
The swallows too seem to have bucked their ideas up and their young are sitting on the wires with beaks open waiting to be fed, although there have definitely been fewer than in previous years. During the early very dry spell they seemed to disappear, even though my neighbours and I took wheelybin loads of water over the road into a ditch to try and help.
The sparrows seemed to do well, and early too, and the families sit in the privet chirping happily.
There were two families of blue tit in the garden (I’m sure one was mine from the box) and several young great tits.
The greater spotted woodie has been to visit on several occasions and the heron puts in an almost daily appearance too, but seems to prefer my neighbours’ pond !!
We still have visits from a very large crow and a couple of magpies who make it their business to frighten every small bird and the crow has made a couple of kills.
Both male and female sparrowhawk have visited.
The ring neck doves and the wood pigeons are still regular visitors but, hopefully, as the farmer has a large field of corn growing opposite, they will wander off soon and take their fill of the left-overs.
The pair of mallards still appear occasionally and seem happy to have a little seed and then a little sunbathe – this is their second year with us, but obviously no young.
The young vixen appears some evenings and the rabbits are back in force digging in the garden.
A very busy garden – just glad to have them all.
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Old 26th June 2011, 05:38 PM   #19
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A lovely, informative read.


"The one decline has been in the starlings – last year there must have been around 50 – 60 in the garden but this year possibly down to 10 or 12. Has anyone else noticed this?"

Starlings both at home and at work appear to have had a good year Hevva, (one less to a female Sparrowhawk this afternoon)
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Old 26th June 2011, 07:33 PM   #20
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I second that with the starlings. This year i have a lot of fledglings. But numbers have generaly gone down. Last winter when i could expect around 50 i only had a dozen or so. It was cold though and may have gone farther south.
Has me wondering about them, i dont think its food related. probably a decline in good nesting sites.

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