Sunday, May 12, 2013

My Garden Birds Last Week

Well the weather was very mixed for my garden birds last week. Lovely sunshine at the beginning of the week was replaced by strong wind, rain and a drop in temperatures with some sunny spells at times.

Goldfinch picture
Only managed to catch this Goldfinch from a distance.
We have seen the Goldfinches again but it seems they are no longer collecting nesting material. They are up and down in the front and to the rear of our house and have been seen in the Pear tree. It seems like they are now after food but I have yet to see them on the feeder or the bird table, although I did catch sight of one drinking from the bird bath.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Goldfinch Pictures

Here are a few more Pictures of the Goldfinch that I managed to snap while he was collecting nesting material. I know they are not good from a photographic point of view, but I could only get the range using the 10x zoom on my video camera and using the stills facility. I wanted to capture the Goldfinches from an interest point of view  and to have a record of their activity in the garden.

One interesting observation I did make, was that while the bird pictured was busy gathering together a beak-full of material, its mate would be close by as though keeping guard. This could be a strategy they use so that one bird can concentrate fully on the task while the other one is the lookout watching for any signs of danger.

Goldfinch pictures number 1
The Goldfinch thinks this is going to be lovely for lining the nest

Goldfinch Pictures number 2
He finds it's not so easy to pull apart and gather in manageable pieces
Goldfinch Pictures number 3
The Goldfinch is pulling hard but that one last strand just will not break
Goldfinch Pictures number 4
The Goldfinch things he looks quite handsome sporting this nice white beard
Goldfinch Pictures number 5
A beady eye, but will he really fly carrying all that?

Well yes, actually he did.

Goldfinch Pictures.

Thursday, May 2, 2013


These delightful little birds have been regular visitors during the last few days, obsessed with the task of collecting nesting material. Initially they were pulling out the strands of coconut matting from the liner of a hanging basket but then their attention turned to some lovely soft, downy, Kapok. It is likely that the coconut fibre would be used in the construction of the outer structure of the nest and that the Kapok was then used to provide a warm and cosy lining.

I did not see any of the Goldfinches yesterday and so far none have been observed today, this could indicate that the nest building is complete. I wonder if they will return or if their visits were solely for the collecting of the nesting material?

Picture of Goldfinch collecting nesting material
The Goldfinch takes a liking to this soft, white, fluffy stuff.

"This will make a lovely warm nest"

"If only I could pull these strands apart"

"Ah that's better, this could be just right"

"Oh yes, the wife will love me for this"

Monday, April 29, 2013

My Garden Birds Last Week

Following three weeks of being bedridden and barely able to move, it has been so good to finally sit in an armchair in the lounge and look out at my Garden Birds.

There is so much activity, I would say that as far as the birds are concerned, Spring is in the air!

Wood Pigeons and Collared Doves are without doubt nesting in the tall Conifer tree that stands in the garden behind our next door neighbour. Oh and when I say tall, I mean Tall, in fact it is huge in every way. I may have mentioned before that I refer to it as "The High Rise" because it serves as accommodation for so many birds.

Many of the birds seem to be totally preoccupied with collecting nesting material which can be so amusing. Some of the Starlings are busy collecting the dried leaves that have fallen from the bamboo. They try to cram more and more into their beaks until they reach the point where that last leaf results in half of the others falling out and on and on they go.

Sue has fixed a hanging basket to the trellis in front of the kitchen window and this has definitely found favour with the local House Sparrows and some new regulars, Goldfinches. They are pulling out strands of the coconut matting liner they obviously fancy will make a fine building material for their nests.

We have seen Goldfinches in the garden previously, but only occasional observations which were few and far between. These birds of which we have seen up to four together are now coming many times each day.

Birds seen in the garden last week:
Collared Dove
House Sparrow

Birds seen from the garden:
Various Gulls
Carrion Crow

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The RSPB | Big Garden Birdwatch | My Results

I carried out my Big Garden Birdwatch survey yesterday morning as planned. I have visited the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch website but it seems that the form for submitting results is not up yet. There is no need to panic though, the form will apparently be available online from this weekend until some time in February.

We had another fall of snow that started Friday evening and continued all through the night, much heavier this time. Accompanied by some strong winds it caused some quite deep drifts in the garden. I am afraid I could not manage to venture outside and it was down to my "Dearly Beloved" to brave the arctic conditions to see that the birds were fed and could access the water.

So at 09.20 I settled myself down with a clear view through the patio doors, pen and paper to hand and a cup of tea within easy reach. Sitting down and watching for a one hour period showed much more bird activity than I had anticipated. It demonstrated that you have to be watching for a period of time to get a true picture of the comings and goings of your garden birds.

The results, because for this survey you merely record the highest number of a species seen together at any on time, do not give a very good indication of how busy the garden was during this hour. It seemed to be a constant stream of birds flying into the garden for very short periods of time, just enough to grab a morsel of food and sometimes a drink, then flying away again.

I watched a pair of Coal Tits, which I had not seen recently, coming into the garden to wrestle free a nut from the string bag or to collect a sunflower seed from the bird table, then fly to the safety of a nearby tree. From here they would  return to the garden to search for a suitable place to "cache" it for later. They had a liking for the wall of the garage which they would inspect in minute detail looking for tiny cracks, nooks and crannies into which they could hide the food items away. They continued to do this throughout the hour I was watching, maybe disappearing for five or ten minutes then showing up again to repeat the performance.

It was amazing how quickly that one hour went.

My RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch Results:

Blackbird male       2
Blackbird female    1
Blue Tit                   1
Coal Tit                   2
Collared Dove         2
House Sparrow      3
Starling                  12
Woodpigeon           2

The survey should be carried out at anytime during this weekend 26 - 27 January 2013, so you still have all day today if you have not done yours yet.

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2013.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Mistle Thrush

I saw on BBC teletext this morning and on the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch website that the numbers of Mistle Thrush in the UK is in a serious decline.

Low and behold I glanced out of the window this afternoon and there perched on the dead branch of the Corderline tree was first one and then two Mistle Thrushes. The first I had seen since the cold spell last winter. 

What a coincidence eh!

I shouted my nearest and dearest to come and have a look but they flew up the gardens to Rams Cherry tree and from there out of sight. Hope they soon come back.