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  • RSPB breakfast bird watch
  • Bunnyhop
    Member

    The RSPB are asking people (great for children) to spot the birds in their garden, or from outside their windows.
    Between 8 – 9 am.
    Details on the RSPB site, twitter or their face book page.

    Let me know what you are seeing in the coming weeks

    loum
    Member

    Skylark, kestrel and green woodpecker have been this week’s highlights so far

    Premier Icon pondo
    Subscriber

    We had a jay in the birdbath this morning – I like jays. 🙂

    What tree to plant next to my summerhouse for birds? obviously get some feeders, but anything preferable? Planted a comice pear tree yesterday, Aldi had lots of fruit trees for a tenner.

    Premier Icon stevied
    Subscriber

    This was this week’s highlight. A whole hour eating a starling.
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/qkErFshRQTkPynx89

    Premier Icon Tracey
    Subscriber

    We have a few feeders and a new bird table as the old one is now like triggers broom.
    Our neighbor’s has been watching them all week and today commented on the squirrel that has been hanging on one of the feeders. Didn’t have the heart to say it was the dogs fur that we had put out for the birds to take for nests. Once it gets dark I will remove it

    Premier Icon CountZero
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    Off the top of my head there will be a pair of blackbirds aggressively guarding their territory, a dozen or so sparrows, (very) roughly the same number of starlings, but the damn things are so fast and quarrelsome there could be two or three times that number, several pigeons, between one and six, a pair of blue tits, and a pair of long-tailed tits.
    Earlier this year you could add a pair of great tits, a pair of coal tits, a robin, and a pair of goldcrests.
    Those last ones are likely still in the area, they’re just not using my garden as a larder.
    The goldcrests have been occasional visitors for at least a decade, they nest in a row of conifers just down the road, but they are so little and unassuming they’re difficult to spot.

    Premier Icon CountZero
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    What tree to plant next to my summerhouse for birds?

    My first thought would be an Acer, as they grow, smaller branches die off, leaving the centre of the tree empty, with all the leaves on the outside. This leaves lots of empty internal branches handy to hang feeders on.
    There’s only one real issue – in order to get to the right sort of size you have to wait thirty years for the tree to grow there! Mine is roughly that old, it’s now about 12-15’ tall.
    Lovely tree, mind – it’s an Acer Palmatum Osakazuki I bought from a nursery in Newbury on the advice of the people at Westonburt Arboretum, it was a stick about five feet tall and cost me £19. Having looked at the prices of Acers at Westonburt’s nursery shop, I reckon mine’s worth several thousand pounds now.

    Those photos were taken a couple of years ago, the rotary washing line went shortly afterwards, it was just a nuisance.
    There are about a dozen feeders of various sorts actually inside the tree, during the spring, summer and autumn when the tree’s fully in leaf the birds love it, because they’re effectively hidden, the sparrows go hurtling through gaps in the foliage and the tree vibrates with all the birds bouncing around on the branches – great fun sitting outside with a drink watching them.

    Bunnyhop
    Member

    Wow that tree is amazing.

    nobeerinthefridge – I suggest a crab apple tree. Blossom in the spring, food for the birds in the autumn and not too bushy.

    I’m quite envious of the green woodpecker sightings :o)

    We had:
    black birds
    pair of coal tits (which I’m thrilled about)
    blue tits
    great tits
    goldfincch
    greenfinch
    wood pigeon
    ferel pigeon

    Premier Icon pondo
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    I’ve put a supplementary bowl on the patio with a fat ball and seeds in for the blackbirds – they’re well happy with it, but interesting to see the sparrows and tits stick to the hanging feeders, I guess they just prefer the cover. I thought magpies would be all over the bowl, but they’ve been surprisingly timid – a young crow had a go at it yesterday, and a magpie just hung back and watched for a bit, but still no magpie action at the bowl itself.

    Premier Icon Twodogs
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    the usual haul is a lot of goldfinches, a few house sparrows, dunnocks, blue tits, great tits starling, jackdaws, one rook, 2 collar doves, a wood pigeon, a pair of nuthatches and an occasional blackcap . also what i assume is a willow tit rather than a marsh tit

    i had a half a coconut shell with fat up last week…the jackdaws just flew away with the whole thing!

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    The garden today:
    Wood pigeon X2
    Magpies arguing
    Blue tits coming and going from one of the nest boxes
    Great tit
    Robin
    Goldfinch
    Sparrow

    My run added:

    Chaffinch
    Yellowhammer
    Jackdaw
    Thrush (yelling it’s head off!)
    Buzzard
    Red Kite (about 10′ above my head, almost a dive bomber moment)

    Premier Icon WildHunter2009
    Subscriber

    That Acer is incredible! Would love to have something like that. How about something like a hawthorn or as mentioned earlier crabapple? Or both in a kind of hedge setup?

    Benefits of blossom, berries and good cover for the small birds. The spikes seems to keep the pigeons and squirrels out as well?

    We have just planted a mix of hawthorn, blackthorn and crabapple as hedging in the new house. Hopefully in a few years will be a bit of a magnet for beasties.

    Dave

    muttley109
    Member

    This last week i’ve had:

    2 Robins
    1 Magpie
    7 Goldfinch
    4 blue tits
    6 sparrows
    12+ longtailed tits
    2 great tit
    2 Coal tit
    1 wood pigeon
    1 mallard
    2 buzzard (overhead)
    2 Peregrine falcons (perched in a nearby pylon and flying over the garden)
    1 sparrowhawk
    8+ jackdaws
    2 jays
    2 dunnocks
    2 blackbirds
    2 Chaffinch

    Its been pretty busy here!

    Premier Icon CountZero
    Subscriber

    Thanks bunnyhop and wildhunter for the kind remarks about my tree! It was a pressy for my late mum, and I’m quietly rather proud of it, in autumn it’s absolutely stunning! Acers aren’t a particularly fast growing tree, but offsetting that is the fact they won’t stage a unilateral takeover of your garden like a leylandii will!
    Hawthorn is a good call, it can grow into a decent sized tree, and of course it has lovely flowers come May, with loads of berries in the autumn. Obviously the berries are really only of interest to the birds, sloes would be useful, but Blackthorn is a menace in a garden! I’ve got a hawthorn growing at the bottom of the garden, to fill in a gap in my hedge left by a scraggy elder, I found a tiny little shoot about 6” high growing out of the ballast on the old disused railway line that’s now a Sustrans route, managed to get its entire root out from the granite ballast and planted it a couple of years ago. It’s now getting on for 2.5-3 ft tall, and I’m hoping it’ll flower this year
    A Rowan or mountain ash, preferably the native variety with red berries might be worth looking at, the birds will go after the berries and it’s a tree that doesn’t make itself unwelcome over time.

    Not many greenfinches about nowadays are there? Very sad, used to be everywhere. That nasty disease pretty much wiped them out I think.

    Count, that is a braw tree sir!

    Premier Icon stevied
    Subscriber

    Not in the garden but had a very impressive display from a peacock this afternoon..

    Lionheart
    Member

    Stunning tree, love Acers and that one looks pretty special. Feels like nature is coming back a bit, birds are louder. Lots in the garden especially since we started to expand the veg bit. A kestrel ripped apart a pigeon on the road out side the house yesterday, all very publicly.. The pair of woodpeckers, we have locally, seem more active. Squirrels are standing by the side of the paths now, seemingly giving the finger, think Mother Nature has told them we are on the back foot.

    Bunnyhop
    Member

    Lionheart – At a guess I think the kestrel will actually be a sparrowhawk. A lovely bird to see.

    Premier Icon CountZero
    Subscriber

    Had two visitors to the garden who’ve been absent for a while, a robin and a magpie. The maggie was a frequent visitor last year, but while I’ve heard magpies around they haven’t been into the garden. No idea as to its gender, but this particular one is very distinctive – its left wing has a very noticeable droop, but it seems to be able to fly ok. It’s sussed out the feeder I fill with mealworms, that and the suet pellet feeders which plenty of the other birds empty pretty rapidly every day.
    They’re neater eaters than the starlings though – the magpie perches on a branch nearby and takes individual mealworms, whereas the starlings just shove their beaks in, grab a load, and half go straight onto the floor!
    I know magpies raid nests, but there aren’t any nearby that they can get at easily, and they’re such striking birds in the sunlight, the iridescence of their feathers is beautiful.
    I managed to get several photos of the magpie while it was under the tree scavenging the dropped suet pellets and mealworms, you can clearly see its drooping wing, and all the feeders in the tree, plus all the dropped bits of sunflower hearts, suet pellets and mealworms on the paving stones I reckon about 40-50% goes on the floor!

    Lionheart
    Member

    We have a SparrowHawk sit on the fence from time to time, ignoring the cats, dogs, people and birds all in the garden. The one on the road looked more like a Kestrel but I’ve never seen a Kestrel with anything bigger than a vole up to now, so agree – probably a Sparrow Hawk and I wasn’t wearing my glasses…

    faerie
    Member

    Acer Campestre (Field Maple) would be a good choice for the birds, it’s a native variety that supports over 300 different species of wildlife, as does Hazel. They’re both suitable for small gardens and hedging too as they can be cut back

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
    Subscriber

    Can’t really contribute to garden bird sightings, we’re in a tree-less new build development so we’re lucky to get an occasional wagtail (but I’m proud to say our 2.5 year old can identify them now, although occasionally confuses with magpies).

    However, for the record I’ve been treated to a few Grey Wagtail sightings recently, always a pleasure.

    null

    Bunnyhop
    Member

    Wow – CountZero your feeding station is wonderful.

    The breakfast RSPB bird watch is weekdays, however I don’t see a problem with 7 days a week.

    1 blackird
    1 robin
    1 greenfinch
    2 dunnock
    2 goldfinch

    Premier Icon CountZero
    Subscriber

    Thanks Bunnyhop! 😊
    It’s sort of grown over the years, literally in the case of the tree! Started off with one or two and I’ve added more as time’s gone on, most recently I’ve bought a couple full of mixed seed feeders to attract a variety of birds, and all the birds completely ignored the mixed seeds! The tall one on the right with the green top and bottom I fill with mealworms, and it gets emptied very rapidly, the starlings will empty it in a couple of hours, if not less. The mesh ones, meant for peanuts, and which were also ignored, are now filled with suet pellets, and those can all be emptied in an afternoon, if not quicker.
    It’s costing me a fortune, I bought two more tubs from B&M today, that’s £11, and they might last a week! 😳
    Then there’s the hedgehogs that need feeding every night, honestly, it’s got to be cheaper to have kids. 😉

    Premier Icon CountZero
    Subscriber

    Been watching a pair of crows that have taken to coming into the garden – rather than raiding the food, they’re up in my silver birch breaking off thin branches for a nest, something a silver birch is perfect for. They really do put in a lot of work to break twigs and branches off too.

    tewit
    Member

    This mornings hour.
    4 Blue Tit
    3 Dunnock
    3 Robin
    4 Gold Crest
    3 Blackbird
    1 Wren
    1 Great Tit
    2 Goldfinch
    1 Coal Tit
    2 Long Tailed Tit
    3 Jackdaw
    2 Wood pigeon
    1 Magpie
    And Percy Pecker the racing pigeon. Called round with his burd today.😁

    Built another bird box yesterday with the help of our youngest and already have interest from Blue Tits. We’ve put out a peanut feeder stuffed with the finest miniature Poodle fluff which they’ve been taking.

    crikey
    Member

    Had a visit from this little fella this week.

    Gary steals local hearts: Friendly Jackdaw is neighbourhood hit

    Premier Icon Rona
    Subscriber

    CountZero – another thumbs up for your beautiful tree – planning to get one of these for the garden, although on a much smaller scale. I can’t think of a more vibrant acer – although happy to be educated by those more knowledgeable than me.

    Watched a sparrowhawk (I think) perch for ages this morning on the topmost branch of an old stump in the hedgerow. Always exciting to see larger birds.

    In the garden – great to hear the birds yelling their heads off and going about their usual spring business – bringing some sense of normality to these crazy times.

    Premier Icon pondo
    Subscriber

    Lovely to hear the birdsong. 🙂 Got a pair of starlings and a couple of beautiful goldfinch to add to the list. 🙂

    Bunnyhop
    Member

    The birds seem to know when it’s going to be cold. Yesterday’s feeders both virtually emptied by first thing today.

    Todays highlight (though not for the blackie) was a sparrowhawk taking said blackie from neighbours garden. Brutally quick, more feathers than a rupaul convention.

    plop_pants
    Member

    Im lucky to live next to woodlabd so get all sorts in our garden. Today its mostly

    Robins
    blackbirds
    blue tits
    great titis
    goldfinches
    magpies
    greater spotted woodpecker
    stock doves
    wood pigeons
    collard doves
    starlings

    But no

    greenfinches
    coal tits
    tree creepers
    nuthatches

    which we used to see often

    I do oftwn see
    willow or marsh?

    but dont know if it is a willow or marsh tit.

    nbt
    Member

    sound will be the best way to tell – what does it sound like? A willow tit has a ‘zee-zurzur-zur’ call whereas a marsh tit call sounds like ‘pitchou’. Shame it’s side on as the “beard” is another indicator, the willow tit tends to have a larger dark patch beneath the bill – suggests it might a marsh tit? Beatiful to see though, wish we had one visit our garden! Closest we have is when we go to Meathop Fell Caravanm site each Christmas where we often get them on the feeders we hang outside the caravan

    tewit
    Member

    Just heard my first Swallow and Willow Warbler.

    muttley109
    Member

    I’ve added to my tally with. Pair of greenfinch that have started making an appearance and a red kite.

    There were reports of a white tailed sea eagle in the area last week but I didn’t see it.

    Premier Icon plop-pants
    Subscriber

    thanks @nbt, not sure about the call. I’d set up the camera on a tripod pointing to a perch near the feeders while I was sat indoors with my remote shutter phone app waiting for something to come in to view, so didn’t hear the call.

    Bunnyhop
    Member

    mutley109 – are you in the North Yorkshire area?
    If so, the sea eagles are still around. Or back in The Isle of Wight area.

    muttley109
    Member

    I’m in South Wales, one of the eagles has been around but there haven’t been any sightings for a few days. There is a site showing the tracking data of them somewhere.

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