MY FAVOURITE CARTOON AS A BOY..

Sunday, December 16, 2007

GARDEN BIRDS

Just a few notes on the few garden birds we have at present.
Our feeding station is, in my opinion, complete. Four small shop-bought fat balls, a peanut net, the suety, nutty, woodpecker post and the old faithful, the expensive niger and sunflower heart feeder, for the "Fortnum and Mason shoppers" of the avian world.

Not much to report though really.

Still no Goldfinches - I haven't really heard them overhead since the "summer" either - though every time I pop out of the office, I hear and see them. I do hope they'll be back.

The expensive feeder is still attracting fleeting visits from the odd Great Tit, and two Blue Tits (I hope these are the two that will take to roosting and then nesting in the nestbox (with camera) in a few months time.

The Woodpecker post still hasn't fulfilled its raison d'etre. I've taken to sprinkling a few mixed seeds on the gate post adjacent to it, and this has brought in half a dozen plump Woodpigeons, but nowt else yet.

We have two Dunnocks that peck about on the compost heap under the feeders, after something ( a Tit, usually) has pecked at the feeders, but we need those messy feeders, the Goldfinches, to return, to cover the ground in discarded seed bits, to really satisfy those little "Hedge Sparrows".

We are often used as a landing stage for a couple of Blackbirds (mainly the hen) to launch a raid on next doors' berry bush - something we are sorely missing.

I've also noted one Robin recently, not staying long, but appearing with more regularity these days.

The Large Lime tree behind the fence generally has something in it, whether its the regular, dozen-strong winter flock of Long-Tailed Tits, a couple of Carrion Crows, a Pigeon or two, a Mistle Thrush or one of the Tits - but I haven't seen the once-regular Great Spotted Woodpecker in that tree for some time now - or for that matter, heard it either.

Finally, we have the obligatory half a dozen or so House Sparrows that fly in occasionally, for a quick raid, and of course the odd Cormorant, Kite, Black-Headed Gull that flies overhead.

Not great really, but with the addition of a makeshift bird bath ( a tray), and the onset last week, of much colder weather - I'm expecting our feathered visitors to increase substantially over the next month or two.
I write this today, as this morning, we've had pretty well ALL of the above visit - something I haven't seen for some time - so I presume things are looking up?

Oh. One more thing. Since installing the nestcam, no Tit has taken to roosting in the box overnight yet - in fact I haven't even seen one investigate the new box yet. Patience is a virtue you know....

NB. STOP PRESS. 11:00am 16/12/07. We've just seen (witnessed) the first visit to our new nestcam by a pair of Blue Tits!!!! The garden this morning has been very busy in terms of bird activity - a starling or two on the fat balls, Blackbirds, House Sparrows, Dunnocks, Chaffinches and Tits in the garden, and now, finally, the first (that we've witnessed anyway) inspection of the new nestcam box.

One of the pair decided to check out the boiler flue (its off I should point out at this stage), whilst the other perched on the roof of the box, looked inside, flew inside, stayed there for a few seconds, left and perched on the roof again, and then repeated the process.

REALLY good news! I'm MUCH more confident now, that we may have a rooster when the really cold weather sets in, and a nest in the spring - all caught on video! Unfortunately I did NOT manage to capture the visit today on the nestcam - the whole inspection was over in about 8 seconds - too quick for me I'm afraid...

Next time...

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