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Post by Ploshkin on 2nd December 2013, 9:23 am

I've just made my second batch of fat & seed feeders for the birds.  Usually my first lot lasts until Christmas.  The birds seem to be very hungry this year.  There were some berries on the rowan & elderberry & I have seen some rose hips but there is nothing on the hawthorn or holly & no sloes either so I think they've been having to bite narrow.
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Post by freebird on 2nd November 2015, 11:04 am

Didn't seem worth starting a new thread for this - a garden visitor this morning, enjoying the peanuts left-over from the parrot food.

Hungry Birds Woodpe10
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Post by Chilli-head on 2nd November 2015, 9:13 pm

That's a coincidence - visiting my parents this afternoon I spotted a woodpecker on their feeder. I didn't get a photo though ! Nice one FB.
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Post by Ploshkin on 2nd November 2015, 9:37 pm

Are woodpeckers regular visitors to your garden Freebird? I usually get a breeding pair & their young & they take a lot of feeding but I love to see them.
Interesting seeing my December 2013 post at the beginning - I am just about to do my first lot of feeders for this year but the fruit and berry situation is pretty dire again this year though, oddly, I've seen berries on holly trees that never usually have them.
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Post by Chilli-head on 2nd March 2018, 11:15 am

We had two redwings and FIVE fieldfares in our garden this morning. The holly is being quickly stripped of berries.

Why does this never happen on the RSPB birdwatch weekend ?
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Post by FloBear on 2nd March 2018, 11:19 am

Exactly, CH!
We had a single fieldfare yesterday. Mr Bear spotted it - he's getting better at noticing different birds since he knew me Smile We haven't had any berries for a while.
A daily visitor currently is Lady Blackcap. Not unheard here but only occasional.
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Post by Ploshkin on 2nd March 2018, 1:49 pm

I haven't seen any different birds apart from a small flock of starlings yesterday.  I've had very large numbers coming to feed, there must have been 20 blackbirds this morning.
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Post by FloBear on 2nd March 2018, 3:41 pm

I didn't know that blackbirds ever flocked in numbers like that, Plishkin!
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Post by Ploshkin on 2nd March 2018, 4:00 pm

Neither did I.  I thought we had about 6 locals.  This lot were nearly all males.  I think word had got around that the place that has all the lovely red and blackcurrants currently has plenty of seed available.
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Post by Dandelion on 3rd March 2018, 9:49 pm

I've seen two redwings in the garden this morning - it really hurts not being able to put food out for the birds in such cold weather but I don't want to break the avian flu restrictions. We had a little blackcap which I saw (and heard) regularly over the last couple of years, but I haven't seen it for some time. I don't know if it coincided with last year's avian flu restrictions - before that I was feeding the wild birds all the time. Maybe it's found a better garden to go to!

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Post by Ploshkin on 10th December 2018, 3:12 pm

I've had my feeders out for 5 or 6 weeks now. I've been quite sad as there have been no visits from woodpeckers (great spotted) - I've seen males, females and juveniles every year for the 20 years we've been here and had come to the conclusion that the hot, dry weather of the summer had been too much for them. I haven't seen any nuthatches either.
Then at last today - I saw one, I was so pleased, still no nuthatches though but I never have had more than 2 visiting. The tits must have had a good summer because I've got legions of them feeding. Great tits are few and far between as they have been for the last 2 or 3 years but I have never seen so many coal tits
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Post by Chilli-head on 14th January 2019, 3:45 pm

We had six long tailed tits, a pair of blue tits and a goldfinch in our garden yesterday. The long tailed tits are very interested in one of those half coconut shells filled with a fat and seed mix that Mrs C-H has hung in the tree.

The blue tits were checking out the camera equipped nesting box - I hope the camera still works !

All of this surely means one thing - it was not RSPB bird watch weekend. They'll all go into hiding as usual Rolling Eyes
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Post by FloBear on 14th January 2019, 4:26 pm

Similar situation here, CH. I've had a good variety of birds this winter including, at one point, TWO nuthatches - let joy be unconfined.
I'm sure they all have their Awayday tickets booked for the Bird Watch weekend!
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Post by Dandelion on 14th January 2019, 9:02 pm

It would be lovely to have something really unusual, like a red kite, over the RSPB weekend!!

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Post by Chilli-head on 14th January 2019, 10:03 pm

Red kites aren't at all unusual around here, though I've not had one in the garden yet.
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Post by Dandelion on 16th January 2019, 4:32 pm

You're in Bucks aren't you? We used to watch them when we were on the M40 when we lived in the SE (I was obviously watching the road like a hawk at the same time!!)

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Chilli-head on 17th January 2019, 11:03 am

Nearly, just over in Bedfordshire. I think we aren't too far from one of the original release sites. I have heard there have been reports of them helping themselves to food from people's barbecueues in some places ! They certainly fly quite low, you can get a good look at one from the car on occasion.

As a digression, one of my best bird encounters was in the mountains of Crete. Drove to one of those eco-village style holiday places, just for a look. Horrendous drive up a rough track with a precipitous drop, winding higher, then passing over a saddle. We had to pull over when we realised that we were up amongst the eagles ! Amazing sight.
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Post by Ploshkin on 17th January 2019, 11:47 am

I was lucky to see a pair of red kites in Wales back in the 70s when there were thought to be only 7 pairs remaining in the UK. (Never for a moment would I have thought that 40 years on they would be part of the backdrop of my daily life. I never tire of seeing them especially their fantastic aerobatic displays on the very windiest days. I'm quite sure they fly for fun when it's like that.
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Post by Dandelion on 17th January 2019, 4:44 pm

We saw them when we were in Aberystwyth two years ago - we had a trip on the steam train to Devil's Bridge, and were able to watch them from the train. Very exciting (and it was nice not to be driving, so I could have proper look!)

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Chilli-head on 23rd January 2019, 11:52 pm

RSPB birdwatch coming up at the weekend. Cue utter silence descending on the garden, all those long tailed tits will find an out-of-sight bramch to snuggle up on, and our tally sheet will once more read:

1 pidgeon

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Post by freebird on 28th January 2019, 2:09 pm

Birdwatch results submitted. I've not paid it the usual amount of attention this year, as when I am not sleeping or eating, I have a paintbrush in my hand. Still, this is the haul for half an hour or so over breakfast, and odd glances out the window when taking a drink break:
Magpie 3, Wood pigeon 7, Great tit 2, Blackbird 2, Robin 1, Bluetit 4, Goldfinch 2, Crow 2, Wren 1, Parakeets 2, Dunnock 1, Coal tit 1.
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Post by Chilli-head on 28th January 2019, 2:17 pm

We started watching on Sunday lunchtime and saw - none ! Well, I did see 1 Red Kite low overhead, but it didn't actually visit our garden.

Earlier on in the morning we were visited by blue tits and our long tailed tits. But they hid when we came to the count ! My sister also got 0. I blame the wind yesterday.
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Post by freebird on 28th January 2019, 4:38 pm

So why didn't you submit what you had seen? After all, it's not a set hour when the whole country watches birds. Surely the idea is to give the RSPB a snapshot of what visits your garden.

I have had this conversation before on a different forum, and am always puzzled by people's interpretation of 'the rules'. As far as I am concerned the only thing that really matters is to count only the birds you see at any one time - though even there I bend it somewhat. On my watch I saw one male blackbird, then later saw one female. I submitted two, as they obviously weren't the same bird (unless he dresses in drag at the weekends ....!). I saw a wren outside my allotted time, likewise a pair of dunnocks, but still counted them.
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Post by Chilli-head on 28th January 2019, 4:59 pm

I imagine that a lot of people follow their own variant of the rules. But, provided it is more or less consistent over the years, it still provides comparative data across years, even if hard to interpret in an absolute way.

Mrs C-H does the entering; she might choose to plump for the time in the morning when we had our long tailed tits around. We often see a flock of six, and they are jolly cute biglove. We do lure them into the garden with seed/fat balls. But it did amuse me that, as ever, when we sit down thinking "I'll do the birdwatch NOW" there never are any birds to be seen. They must know !
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Post by Dandelion on 29th January 2019, 8:42 pm

That's quite a list Freebird. Parakeets as in the green ones? We used to watch a flock of them over the park near where we lived in the SE.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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