Monday, August 8, 2011

Young House Sparrow Update

House Sparrows
Do you remember the young House Sparrow I showed you that had the white wings and tail?- Unusual Young House Sparrow - Well although there have been many of the youngsters coming into the garden, I have to say that I have not seen that cute little fellow again.

New fledgling House Sparrows continue to appear on a regular basis, being brought along to our free "eat in or takeaway" bird diner. When the weather has been fine and the sun shining, they love to have dust baths in the scattering of sand that I have left on the stone patio at the end of the garden. They also take full advantage of bathing in the fresh clean water to be found each day in the regular bird bath.

I enjoy watching how sociable the House Sparrows seem to be. Adult males and females of the species will happily feed and play side by side although of course the occasional squabbles do occur. In contrast Blackbirds of either sex will not tolerate any other of their kind anywhere near the garden when they are here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Starlings go for a Day Out

I sat outside with my bowl of cornflakes, enjoying a rare moment of peace in the early morning sunshine. In the uppermost branches of the tall conifer that overlooks our garden, were a multitude of Starlings. How many, I could not hazard a guess at, some were in full view while others were merely ghostly heads showing through the foliage.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Unusual Young House Sparrow

Here are a few pictures Of the unusual Young House Sparrow with white wing and tail feathers ( mentioned in previous post here )

This was a recently fledged young Sparrow, able to fly, but still reliant on the parent birds to provide the food.

I saw it for a period of about half an hour, but have not seen it again since that time.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My Garden Birds | This Week

Looking back at the week with my Garden Birds.

It's been a funny old week - weatherwise that is - one minute it's sunshine, then heavy downpours of rain, then the next thing you know, out comes the sun again. But wind, rain or shine, nothing on the weather front stops the birds from visiting the garden.

Reflecting on the past week, it has been a rare moment indeed to look out on the back garden and not see a bird of some description.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

House Sparrows | Young Bird Update

There are more and more young House Sparrows appearing in the garden, this morning some newly fledged babies were being fed by the parents. 

How many of these young House Sparrows are around at the moment I could not hazard a guess at. I have managed to count up to 15 at one go but there were more of them at the time hidden in the pear tree. Where they are all nesting I do not know, they seem to fledge from somewhere near and head straight for our food supply. They are coming and going all day long as are numerous young Starlings. I saw the first young Blackbird this morning and there were 2 young Wood pigeons last night.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Garden Birds

The garden seems to be empty of birds at the moment, maybe due to the alarm that has been driving us daft for the last 20 mins, or the window cleaner who has come next door, or maybe next doors dog barking. Having said that, my garden birds have become so used to the dog barking that they all now seem to take no notice of it at all.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Starlings | Youngsters Feeding Time

Afraid I've been having some problems with my video but here is a short clip of some of the Young Starlings feeding.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Starlings | Young birds in my Garden

Following our holiday in Devon last week, we have returned to find that there are a large number of young birds in our garden. Starlings and House Sparrows to be precise. Another recent report has stated that these two species of garden birds are still in rapid decline. I guess we must have more than our fair share of them because there are so many it is impossible to even hazard a guess at the number.

Constantly throughout the day they come to feed, drink and bathe then fly off to rest, often in the large conifer tree situated in the garden diagonally behind us.

I have not had a serious attempt at taking photos of them and they are easily spooked, so it is not possible to get close, most of my sightings are through the kitchen window or patio. I did however shoot a bit of video of the Starlings yesterday evening when they came down to feed and I have included a few stills off the video here.

Feed me Mummy

Young Starlings feeding

These young Starlings are not speaking

This group of young Starlings have found the meal worms in the basket. There are more birds in the basket out of sight.

This little group found some more meal worms that were hidden in the garden for the blackbirds.

This young Starling found a rare moment of having the fat ball to itself,

then promptly fell asleep.

I know the quality of these pics is not very good but I thought I would share with you a brief glimpse of some of these young birds which are visiting our garden. I am now trying to remember how to edit and convert my video footage. When I have got my head into gear around that I will upload a short video with a little more action.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Collared Dove Family

Since I first observed the Collared Dove family, they have been visiting the garden at least once every day. I have seen mum, dad and one youngster coming to feed at around the same time each evening.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Collared Doves

One of the Collared Doves which live in our neighbourhood flew onto the bird bath to take a drink of water. Did you know that Collared Doves (and other pigeons) do not raise their heads when they drink as most birds do, they are able to suck the water up in a continuous stream.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring is in the Air

Well what gorgeous weather we have enjoyed over the last few days, it definitely makes you believe that Spring is in the Air. It has been, or has seemed to me at least, a long and cold winter.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

RSPB | Big Garden Birdwatch - update

Well things did not go to plan for me this weekend with the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.

Saturday morning, and full of good intention, I settled myself down with pen and paper, plus of  course tea with 2 sugars and a little milk, and with a good lookout onto the rear garden.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

RSPB | Big Garden Birdwatch

A reminder for those of you in the UK about the Big Garden Birdwatch organised by the RSPB. I do it every year and email my results in.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Collared Dove pencil sketch

I have started to make some sketches of my garden birds. It is early days yet and I have not practised drawing for quite some time, hopefully my efforts will improve.

Collared Dove
This is a sketch of one of the regular Collared Doves that visit our garden. Of course it is nigh on impossible to identify individuals with any certainty, but in the afternoon a lone Dove feeds on the bird table then sits on the iron post of the bird feeders to watch the world go by.

Friday, January 21, 2011

An Overnight Frost

An overnight frost had painted the garden white, the air was still, the sky clear, and it appeared to be very cold outside. Like yesterday, the bird bath was frozen and I could see from the patio doors that the bird table was empty, no food there for my garden birds.

I made ready the food and water, donned my coat and boots and braved the cold of another January morning. It was apparent that the birds had a good appetite yesterday, having cleared up all the spilt seed from the garden and devoured all the mealworms.

I must admit I did not hang about though, with food and water delivered, I hurried back inside where it was nice and warm.

By late morning I wondered that I had not observed much activity in the garden but ventured out once more with some scraps from the freshly baked, and home made, loaf. It was obvious that the birds had been to feed for unseen by me they had already eaten today's supply of mealworms and half of the seed from the bird table.

I hope the Blackbirds and Robin had managed to claim at least some of the mealworms and that the disappearance was not solely down to the ever hungry Starlings.

What started out as a cold and frosty morning turned into a beautiful, bright and sunny winters day. Many of my garden birds, Sparrows, Starlings, Woodpigeon and Collared Doves, sat on the outer branches of the "High Rise" conifer and bathed in the sunshine. The Starlings of course were evident by their incessant chatter and squabbling, the doves by the gentle soft cooing from the pair of "new kids on the block" who have fallen in love.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Misty Morning

My Garden birds

Today started out as a cold, frosty and foggy morning. The first birds I saw in my garden were the pair of Collared Doves as they came to feed and drink. The water appeared to be frozen so I would have to attend to that ASAP.

Soon the House Sparrows were around the feeders and the male Blackbird was scratching around on the garden where we scatter the mealworms. Unfortunately for him it seemed that they had all been eaten yesterday. He continued to look around and on the drive found some bread that had either been dropped by a bird flying overhead or possibly flung by the birds feeding on our garage roof.

I put on my coat and boots and prepared the food for my garden birds, it has been a cold night and they will all be desperate for food to recharge their little bodies. I loaded the bird table with seed and suet pellets, scattered mealworms in the regular places on the ground then spread a few chopped dates where the Blackbird would easily find them.

Finally before returning to the warmth of the house, I broke the thin layer of ice that had formed overnight in the bird bath. We must not forget that a supply of fresh clean water is essential to the birds survival.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year day 2

This morning soaked bread put on the garage roof yesterday was being wolfed down by a flock of Starlings, Sparrows and Wood Pigeons. In no time at all there was not a trace to show that it had ever been there.

Starlings were soon all over the bird feeder pole and the bird table, fighting and squabbling, making their usual racket and tucking into the lardie cakes and fat balls. House sparrows then started to peck around on the ground seeking out all the fallen seed. Suddenly they would all fly up as one, startled by some sound or even a sudden movement from one of their own. A single Starling remained on the Pear tree chomping on the fat ball. He briefly looked around then went back to eating as though saying, "What is all the fuss about."

Soon the birds drifted back, a small group of House Sparrows dashed past and into the conifer, then out again, flying like Spitfires in formation, I am sure they were playing, having fun.

The Woodpigeon who is an expert at standing on the hanging basket and reaching into the bird feeder was here too, taking full advantage of the supply of fresh seed. A male Blackbird flew onto the fence then after a quick look around swooped down to the small area beneath the Bamboo where we put the seed, fruit and Mealworms. He had a good feed then departed quick as a flash over the fence from where he had first appeared.

I am going out soon so will not be able to watch any longer to see if the tits pay a visit, but I am happy to know that after my worries of yesterday, the garden and my Garden Birds, seem to be back to normal.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year day 1 | 2011

Well it's hard to believe that yet another year has flown quickly by and we are here at the start of 2011, a New Year - Day1.

The garden has seemed unnaturally quiet today and there is an unusual amount of food left in the feeders, on the table and on the ground. Do you think the birds have a hangover after celebrating the New Year?

Actually I have not seen the usual number of birds coming into the garden as I would normally do while pottering about the house, though we did have all the tits around as mentioned in my previous post. Also the other day I noticed that the birds I did see coming to feed seemed very skittish. The thing that is worrying me now is that we have a new cat on the block, I have needed to shoo this brazen feline away on a few occasions now. Maybe it is here too often for the birds to feel safe and so they are looking elsewhere for their food. It is also possible that a number of the local birds have perished during the spell of very cold weather we have experienced over the last few weeks.

I guess there is nothing I can do but keep a look out over the next few days and hope that things are soon back to normal and that the birds are indeed safe and well.

Meanwhile I wish a Happy New Year to all my friends and followers and hope that your 2011 is a good one for you.