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Old 13th March 2008, 01:49 PM   #11
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Hi 70007
It really is a fantastic location for both garden birdwatching and in the surrounding countryside (which we are slowing discovering) but I must admit all the hard work was done for us. It is a mature garden and even more mature wooded area. The house was built in the late 1600's right smack bang on the top of Hadrian's Wall. The main garden (lawn, scrubs,flower borders and veg patch) is surrounded by dry stone wall and grazing pasture with hedgerows so there is always the hope of Bramblings, Reed Buntings, etc (nothing to report yet). The wooded area (mainly beech and yew) is across the lane and is where most of the action takes place! I really can't count the number of Blue Tits that are coming onto the table and feeders (the most I have ever counted as being visible was 26). The personal attraction is the more unusual species such as Marsh Tit, Long-Tailed Tit, Nuthatch, Great-Spotted Woodpecker, etc.

I will happily keep you up-to-date with sightings, etc on a weekly basis.

Last edited by banks; 13th March 2008 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 14th March 2008, 12:34 PM   #12
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Yes, updates would be great, thanks.

26 blue tits! That reminds me of a big house we visited in Northumberland. It may have been Alnwick but I'm not good at stately home recognition. All I remember is walking through some woods to a bird hide which looked out onto a large number of hanging seed and peanut feeders.

The activity was amazing. There were queues of blue, coal and great tits waiting to take seeds from the feeders, occasional woodpeckers and nuthatches, plus a couple of red squirrels cleaning up the debris on the woodland floor. There were probably more than that, but it was the sheer number of tits flying backwards and forwards that mesmerised me.

I thought I had gone to heaven. I could have stayed there all day, but mrs 70007 had to look at some 17th furniture and I had to be dragged away kicking and screaming.
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Old 19th March 2008, 02:17 PM   #13
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A single Mistle Thrush made a brief appearance over the weekend as did male Sparrowhawk in woodland feeding area. Rooks are becoming a real problem on the bird table – any suggestions by way of a deterrent greatly appreciated.

Nothing too exciting in woodland area. Two Great-Spotted Woodpeckers about on Saturday along with single Nuthatch. My mission before the end of the month is to really try and count the number of Blue Tits!

Talking of numbers, I counted eight (8) Siskin at garden bird table along with Goldfinch (7), Green Finch and Chaffinch on Saturday morning.
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Old 26th March 2008, 09:03 PM   #14
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As promised, several photographs of both garden and woodland area. The 'green' pics are couple of weeks old. Most recent 'snow' pics from last weekend!

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Old 28th March 2008, 08:37 AM   #15
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The weather has been very changeable in seven days – heavy snow showers over East weekend then periods of bright spring sunshine. Today we have blustery winds with occasional shows. Having said this, spring is certainly in the air. Blue Tits are showing increased interest in nest boxes and this morning I saw male Blackbird strangely making his way into ivy that covers dry-stone way in garden. On closer inspection I discovered the start of what I hope will be a successful nest.

Up-to-date sighting include:

Blue Tit
Great Tit
Coal Tit
Long-Tailed Tit
Chaffinch
Greenfinch
Gold Finch (7+)
Siskin (2)
House Sparrow
Starling
Blackbird
Dunnock
Robin
Nuthatch (1)
Great-Spotted Woodpecker (2)
Rook
Carrion Crow
Jackdaw
Collard Dove (2)
Stock Dove (2)
Wood Pigeon
Pheasant (2)
Tawny Owl (3) (heard calling at night)

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Old 30th March 2008, 02:57 PM   #16
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So much is happening lately. Two additional species in the last 24 hours. Yesterday two Red-Legged Partridge paid us a short visit before making a mad dash to nearby pasture and this morning we had a pair of Tree Sparrows (with mixed flock of House Sparrow and Chaffinch).

Pair of Blue Tits are busy building nest (nestbox outside study window) whilst the pair of Blackbirds have just about completed their nest in ivy in garden. Today I found second Blackbird nest on edge of small wooded area again in ivy. This pair have already laid two eggs.

Siskins are still about and getting very tame and approachable whilst Gold Finches are getting very aggressive at bird tables.
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Old 9th April 2008, 08:22 PM   #17
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NESTING UP-DATE

Blackbirds in garden (nesting in ivy on dry-stone wall) now sitting on four eggs whilst Blackbirds on edge of woodland (ivy-covered tree-stump) sitting on three eggs. Blue Tits outside study window appear to have boycotted nest-box but second pair of Blue Tits have just completed nest in box on summer house. This evening I discovered Song Thrush brooding four or five chicks (about a week old) in conifer shrub in woodland area.

Finally looks like spring is well and truely underway at long last! Roll on the arrival of migrants.
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Old 15th April 2008, 05:25 PM   #18
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The Red-Legged Partridge (2) are becoming regular visitors to garden. Finally managed to take a snap of one of them today.

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Old 1st May 2008, 01:22 PM   #19
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Blue Tits are sitting on eggs in both nestboxes in garden. Unfortunately, all nestboxes in wooded area remain empty (although a pair of House Sparrows have built a very untidy nest in one of them). Is it possible Blue Tits prefer to use nestboxes attached to man-made structures i.e. house, outbuilding, shed or summer house?

Blackbirds and first fledgings have left the nest in wooded area whilst pair nesting in ivy in garden have about another week (or so) to go.

Still plenty of birds coming to feeding stations including Siskin (8), Tree Sparrow, House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Goldfinch. Brambling made a brief appearance over several days in late April. Nuthatch and Great Spotted Woodpecker daily visitors.

More news as and when it happens.
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Old 4th May 2008, 11:59 AM   #20
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marvellous stuff, thanks

i dont know much about nests, but maybe blue tits are one of those species that build several and pick the best one?
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