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Gardening

Birds/birding

(39 Posts)
CanadianGran Tue 04-May-21 23:44:16

While I am not a dedicated bird watcher, and do not know all the species in my area, I consider myself an amateur.

I did spot the first barn swallows of the season today, and that makes me happy. I also saw some geese that were different than the normal Canada geese; when I looked them up they were Greater White Fronted geese.

So handy to have an app to help figure out the species. I use Ebird.

JaneJudge Thu 06-May-21 16:35:17

Amberone, that's why I find the sparrows entertaining, as there are many you can see their behaviours. It is so endearing isn't it?

Greyduster Thu 06-May-21 16:33:14

We have a small, but burgeoning, reed bed near us and were delighted last year to hear reed warblers had moved in. It sounds as if there is more than one pair. We haven’t seen them yet, but they are a joy to listen to and we feel privileged to have them here. This is not the Norfolk marshes (sadly), it is post industrial South Yorkshire, and the reeds were planted to sweeten the ground water from the old pit workings. There’s an island in our country park that has a heronry on it. We are so used to seeing them in water, it’s quite strange to see them sitting in trees!

Amberone Thu 06-May-21 16:28:54

We took all our feeders away a few weeks ago because a rat came visiting - one arrives every year at about this time, probably because they are feeding as well. We were a bit concerned that the birds wouldn't visit the garden as so many of our neighbours feed the birds but they still come. Not in the same numbers, but still quite an assortment.

One of the things that brings them is the bird bath (well, it's a big, deep plant tray really) as they all visit for a regular bath. A few years ago there were 13 blue tits sitting around it, looking for all the world like a bunch of schoolboys at their first swimming lesson, shaking their wings and hopping about - almost like they were saying 'You go' 'No, you go first' 'I'm not going. You go' . Eventually they all jumped in and splashed around - absolutely hilarious to watch.

JaneJudge Thu 06-May-21 16:10:48

We live near some man made lakes so have Canadian geese fly over daily but they make such a mess on the garden! The are mute swans in the field at the back and lapwings must be nesting someone where as they are so vocal. Red Kites, Buzzards, Peregrine falcons, sparrow hawks, loads of sparrows <and pigeons sigh> a daily pheasant, partridge, dunnocks, robins, lots of finches that I can never remember which is which. We also have some BRIGHT yellow birds which I thought were budgies grin but they are some sort of finch. Next have big feeders out and none of these houses have cats afaik which must make it safer for the little birds. I must admit though I find the sparrows the most entertaining

Chestnut Thu 06-May-21 16:04:23

We have birds of the night. There is a bat roosting in the tiles on the wall under my living room window. He flies around the house early evening which is lovely. I have heard a lot of tapping in the wall in the middle of the day, which sounds like bat DIY. Maybe he is digging the wall out. I want to buy a bat box but have to get agreement from the others as it's a shared garden. I hope no-one is freaky about bats.

MayBee70 Thu 06-May-21 15:58:24

Aren’t goldfinches beautiful. Had one in the front garden last week.

Shandy57 Thu 06-May-21 15:58:22

Fat ball feeders were my greatest success. I had all seven blue tit babies feeding in it one day.

Jaxjacky Thu 06-May-21 15:53:17

We’ve tried leaving food out, but it just went off, or the pigeons scoffed it, no cats around. There are birds around, they still come in the garden, blackbirds, thrush, sparrows, robins, they just have a peck about, the sparrows a dust bath. We had a flock of goldfinches last year and a sparrow hawk occasionally.

tidyskatemum Thu 06-May-21 15:50:15

I put out a small bird mixture, sunflower hearts and mealworms. The starlings don’t even wait until my back is turned before they descend in droves to hoover up the mealworms. The goldfinches love swinging on the sunflower heart feeder but don’t do it so much since a sparrowhawk started to visit for a snack. It’s horrible when you see it up in the tree ripping bits off its latest catch but that’s nature. Better that than next door’s cat that I have to keep chasing from its hiding place under a bush.

Kamiso Thu 06-May-21 15:21:13

Very determined pigeon!

Amberone Thu 06-May-21 15:09:20

Whitewavemark2^Soon if not today even - there will be extremely noisy babies in the garden demanding to be fed.

It costs a fortune.^

It certainly does - we never had starlings until about three years ago, now we are inundated. The first gathering with babies arrived this morning - 15 starlings in all. They can clean out the feeders in about 20 minutes.

MaizieD Thu 06-May-21 15:00:16

Do you think if I soaked the mealworms the birds might actually eat them, Shinamae?

Mind you, I'm not sure that I can be doing with pernickety birds that need their food to be soaked grin

Shinamae Wed 05-May-21 15:02:33

Just sparrows in the front garden feeding on suet balls, suet pellets and soaked dry mealworms. Out the back not much activity at all at the moment because I moved the bird table and they just don’t like it they are very suspicious....🤨

Parsley3 Wed 05-May-21 14:58:40

birdNET is a very useful little app for identifying birdsongs.

Whitewavemark2 Wed 05-May-21 14:58:19

maizie🤢 little owls! The nearest we get is seeing barn owls on summer evenings when out walking.

Lots of swifts on a walk around a reservoir a couple of weeks ago. They seem to be playing with each other. Pre- pairing I guess.

MaizieD Wed 05-May-21 14:45:36

No swallows for me in the NE, but they were very late last year and not many of them. So I haven't given up hope yet.

When I tried putting mealworms out for the birds they turned up their noses at them. grin So I stick to mixed grains/seeds, peanuts and fatballs.

Being pretty rural we get lots of bird life. My favourites last year were a pair of Little Owls, who were very active in the day, and brought up a couple of chicks. They used to shriek very loudly at my cat whenever they spotted him. Quite different from their usual call.

Shelflife Wed 05-May-21 09:38:58

Had some beautiful long tailed tits , so pretty with their pinkish plumage. The house martins have not returned - yet , on their way I hope . Favourite bird has to be the Goldfinch .

hazel93 Wed 05-May-21 09:25:15

I love to see the first swallows arriving , about a month ago now, they seem so happy to have made it here and give a mesmerising display before moving on to more open country.
So far we have blackbird fledglings still asking to be fed even though sitting on the bird table ! Parents now becoming pi**ed off and generally ignoring them. Still another blackbird nest yet to fledge.
The robins are done and dusted - two broods raised and on their way.

shysal Wed 05-May-21 09:20:40

I was very disappointed to have to stop feeding the birds and badgers because of a rat problem, I miss them.

Whitewavemark2 Wed 05-May-21 09:14:34

Suet nibbles is what I use. But honestly the cost, it is embarrassing.

FannyCornforth Wed 05-May-21 08:45:43

Gingster

I heard the cuckoo in Suffolk two weeks ago. No.2 son, when he was small, used to say ‘Rogers back’ ! No idea why he called the cuckoo Roger.

That is so sweet!

FannyCornforth Wed 05-May-21 08:44:42

I've got housemartins nesting above my bedroom window.
Different generations come back from Africa every single year.
It's miraculous and beautiful.
They are very vocal, and chirrup to each other constantly while they are in the nest.
I love them 😍

grandmajet Wed 05-May-21 07:59:27

Sunflower hearts are a great hit too, bringing goldfinches, tits, spotted woodpeckers. I love them. We have some young robins at the moment being fed by an adult. They are as big as she is!

Gingster Wed 05-May-21 07:54:26

I heard the cuckoo in Suffolk two weeks ago. No.2 son, when he was small, used to say ‘Rogers back’ ! No idea why he called the cuckoo Roger.

kittylester Wed 05-May-21 07:43:17

It's the meal worms that have been the biggest success here! Might try the suet!

Fatballs go pretty quickly too!