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.