Sunday, 30 January 2011

Big Garden Bird Watch

Today was the day for the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch and there were quite a few birds in feeding today, but there were some notable absentees.

The pair of Carrion Crows did pay a visit, but this wasn't surprising as we'd saved some chicken skins and they were down for then quite quickly. A Herring Gull and two Magpies also came down to this treat.

The feeders were quite busy, but for the first time I cam remember there were NO House Sparrows In the garden. I'm sure the group that is usually nosily calling from the hawthorns just down the road were there, but they are now quite infrequent visitors to my feeding station. On the other hand there were quite a few Chaffinches, and half a dozen Goldfinches.

Some of the male Chaffinches are getting quite colourful now, as the tips of their feathers are wearing off to reveal the courtship wardrobe.

Although there were not as many Greenfinches as we some times get at this time of year, they do seem to have recovered from the very low number earlier in the winter when an outbreak of Trichomonosis had a severe affect on their numbers.

Four Blue Tits were around the garden, and two Great Tits, but I failed to see or hear any Long-tailed Tits during the time.

One of the most obvious Birds this year were the Blackbirds, and I estimated that there were around 18 in various parts of the garden. I did cut up some apples and put them just in front of my study, and this brought a few of them closer. They occasionally got a bit quarrelsome and chased each other around.

The vanquished bird turned its back on the victor, but to show that it was still around, it fanned waved it's spread tail around.

These three showed that it was possible to get on in close proximity, in fact at one time there were six quite closely spaced.

I only saw one Robin for sure, but there may well have been two, a Jay put in it's customary appearance and two wren foraged around the plant pots, one on each side of the house. Two Dunnocks and a Great-spotted Woodpecker were around, but no sign of the Pied Wagtail that sometimes visits. Of course pigeons were represented with two Collared Doves, four Wood Pigeons and a few, I didn't count them, feral pigeons. Only two Starlings appeared, although later there were quite a few in the trees before going off to roost.

Last evening I popped out to a local area where a friend tells me he has seen a Barn Owl, on his way home from the pub, that's my friend on his way home, not the owl. I know that would be later but as Owls often hunt in the same territory for quite long periods I though I'd have a look. No Barn owl, but the Magpies were gathering by the hedge.

One for sorrow.
Two for joy.
Three for a girl.
Four for a boy.
Five for silver.
Six for gold.
Seven for a secret never to be told.
Eight's a wish.
Nine's a kiss.
Ten is a bird you must not miss,
I got up to silver, (the closest bird hasn't really got two tails!).

I've had three days of problems with ny PC. On thurdsay it had slowed down to a total crawl, and then nothing happened at all on friday, it wouldn't switch on. With professional help that was solved but yesterday I couldn't load any photos; but now it's back to normal. The ads in the Parish magazine are very useful, and thank you Alex for your quick response and diagnosis and then for getting me up and running again.

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