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Bird and wildlife watching

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


kandj Report 28 Aug 2013 13:18

You maybe right Lesley we do have a regular male blackbird. The brewer blackbird only ever appeared on his own though. Haven't seen our neighbours but I will ask if they still see this unusual bird and ask them to send it back over the wall.

Usual blackbird, thrushes, magpies, pigeons and collared doves though. All are interesting to see. We used to have a tame robin but haven't seen that for a few weeks either, no idea why.


Annx Report 29 Aug 2013 23:05

We had the Buzzards circling over the field at the back this morning. I usually hear their cries first. It always puzzles me that they are so noisy if they are looking for breakfast!!

We also have lots of Magpies and Pigeons. The young Magpies can be a pain. Over the past few years they have stripped lead seal off the conservatory and they wake us up trying to pull the birdmesh out of the guttering. We have even seen them on our car bonnets tugging at the rubbers in the wiper blades and pecking at the tyres!!

We have noticed one of the Pigeons has started taking interest in the sloes on a tree just over the fence. Last year we had one (might be the same one) That was gobbling them up every afternoon. It was when they looked past their best (to us) so we wondered if he was getting a bit tipsy if they were fermenting.

I have bought 2 extra bird boxes to put up. One was £3.50, half price at the Garden Centre and the other was £1.50 from a charity shop. I'm hoping to encourage more birds in the garden next year. :-)


kandj Report 31 Aug 2013 08:14

Very interesting to read your newsy message. I have never used a bird box in our small garden but perhaps I might consider buying one this year,

I found out yesterday what has happened to the beautiful Brewer Blackbird that appeared in our garden and next door neighbours for a few days recently.

I spoke to Pete and he said he was sitting in the lounge and heard a noise from his open hearth and a bird, covered in soot appeared and flew around the room in a panic. The bird flew into the hall and then into the bathroom banging into the window in an attempt to get outside. Pauline was shocked but found a small empty box while Pete gently wrapped the stunned bird and placed it inside and covered it up so as to leave it quietly to recover.

They both tell us on close examination this bird who flew down their chimney was the Brewer Blackbird and that it was a ringed bird. Pete rang a friend in our village who has a large aviary and who collected the special but naturally distressed bird and has promised to care for it and also to make make inquiries regarding the ringing of the birds spindly leg.

Hubby and I are shocked and upset..... poor bird. We have no doubt that Brynn will take good care of this unusual bird and we hope it will be released and come back visiting our road before very long. He said he would bring it back to Pete's when the bird was fully recovered and well enough to fly around again.

Our neighbour Pete who is a member of the RSPB has sent them an email regarding the siting of the Brewer Blackbird and also has explained all that has happened and he awaits a reply which we hope might answer some of our questions as to how such a rare bird has appeared in our gardens and we hope the ring will give us some clue to where it originated........... watch this space!


AnninGlos Report 1 Sep 2013 13:04

Two interesting posts, I didn't realise that magpies could be quite so destructive.

Kandj, do keep us informed re anything you find out about the beautiful blackbird. Poor thing it is a wonder it didn't die from shock.what a good thing you have an expert in the village to care for it.


Jane Report 2 Sep 2013 18:11

Our garden is like the M25 at the moment just so busy.Robins, Tits ,Finches .Sparrows ,the Wood Pigeons (just seen one baby today ,first steps from the nest :-D)
and the Green Woodpecker has been on the lawn today :-D.The Spotted ones seem to have vanished.The Magpies are not in our garden any more.I think they must have moved away.Swifts/Swallows all love our roof and TV Aerials,chit chatting away.I have even spotted some of them feeding young ones on the aerial .
Wagtails are about too ,dashing around the lawn snapping up insects.
It seems to be a busy time :-D


kandj Report 2 Sep 2013 22:46

Not a lot of activity in our garden that I can see Jane.... probably moved over to yours?

The regular blackbird/thrush/ sparrow/ magpie/pigeon and doves have been absent.... perhaps it could be the new cat that has appeared in the garden, no idea who this one belongs to. I don't mind because I would rather have neighbours cats than mice, i don't like mice!!

The birds are emptying my wild bird seed containers and the fat balls are disappearing as well, but the peanuts feeder is hardly being touched.... choosy birds (that have been invisible to day) maybe they will come avisiting tomorrow?

No more news about the Brewer blackbird who came down our neighbours chimney and is being cared for by a village man who has an aviary. Our neighbour keeps forgetting to phone and get an update on the pretty bird's condition and any information of the ring on his leg.


Jeniwren Report 4 Sep 2013 10:13

Hello everyone, have been watching the birds in my garden this morning,
what a hungry group they were, seed holders are now almost empty, all the fat balls have gone and most of the nuts, and the dish of chopped fruit is now empty.
I have had 2 visits from squirrels so far today, all their food has gone and Mr Fox came in very early and took the chicken carcass.
I really enjoy watching all the wildlife that comes into my garden as it helps pass the day, being disabled I cannot get out very much but at least I can see lots of activity.
I have my 3 year old Granddaughter living here at the moment so she is learning
to recognise birds and animals and likes helping to feed them.
For the last 2 days I have had a group of about 15 sparrows, 1 of them is all white,
going to look on internet for some information on this one.
Thank you for this thread.
Take care and stay safe, enjoy your day.

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-)


AnninGlos Report 4 Sep 2013 13:52

Jean, we have a few sparrows that have large patches of white on them but not seen an all white one.


Jane Report 4 Sep 2013 15:52

We have had lots of birds with white patches.Robins,Blackbirds.Are they just moulting? We have one Blackbird at the moment and all it's side feathers look a whitish colour.
It seems a busy time here bird wise,mainly the small ones.Thank goodness all the Crows and Magpies have vanished from the garden.Even though I love my birds ,those are the 2 I would rather not have here .We are hearing Owls at night now.One was very close to my bedroom window the other night.I just couldn't see or work out where it was



Diamonds-R-A-Girls-Best-Friend Report 4 Sep 2013 23:18

Do you think the birds sense something we don't in regards to the weather as they certainly seem to be fattening themselves up.

kandj is there any news on the injured brewers blackbird?

We have a little owl visit our garden most evenings he/she sits on my washing line and often in the morning we find it's calling card:-D

Magpies grrrrrrrrr I could live without them, where did they come from? I don't remember them when I was a child many moons ago.


Jane Report 5 Sep 2013 16:42

It is so hot here today.Birds sunbathing all over the place.They just plop them selves down and spread their wings and have their beaks open.I remember the first time I saw this I thought we had an injured bird lol.Now I know different :-D


kandj Report 5 Sep 2013 20:45

No Lesley no news of the brewers blackbird. A bit irritating really. I feel I am hassling my neighbour for information but his memory is dreadful and he forgets but I will ask him tomorrow if he has any news from the village man or any reply from his contact with the RSPB.

My seed feeders and fat balls keep disappearing and I keep topping them up. The peanuts are hardly touched though. I have been thinking of buying a ground feeder but worry this might attract more than birds to our garden.(don't like mice!!).

Around 10pm last night I checked the garage was locked and spotted a very large hedgehog...... I am a bit of a wuss, and almost freaked out. I thought it was a rat.
We haven't had a hedgehog in our garden for several years. Hubby and I watched though our window as it tried hard to get up from the drive and on to the patio. It is a big hedgehog but after 3 attempts it was successful and scurried quickly down to the bottom of the garden. Interesting!


Annx Report 6 Sep 2013 18:34

We put a tiny, tiny (2 foot diameter) pool at the far end of the garden last year with slate chips and paddle stones around it. We thought we could sit in the arbour behind and look at the reflections. (think...restful!) Well, as the arbour was a lot lower than the pool it didn't quite work out as we were looking upwards to it. Also we were worried wildlife might fall in. We decided to take it out and fill the hole in with soil and bought a same size black fibreglass pot about 2 feet high to stand on the same spot. I fibreglassed over the hole in the bottom and we filled it with water and planted a dwarf pink lily in it. The added bonus was less bending of the back when it needed a spruce up. Well, the poor old water lily is having a struggle as the Pigeons and Magpies absolutely love it and it's their favourite watering hole now!!! I suspect they are even standing on the lily basket in the middle to have a bathe as the top edge of the pot is permanently muddy from their big feet. :-S It is no longer a thing of beauty either as they bring their breadcrusts from nextdoor to soak and soften them!! lol. I intend to part drain it and cover it over for the winter, but I'm racking my brains to think what I could tempt them away from it with next spring. There's a whopping big pond in the field at the back as well. :-|

As we have pebbles instead of lawn at the back, our flower beds are all edged with granite rocks. To stop soil washing between them and onto the pebbles I have carefully wedged small slithers of granite and slate between all of them and which was quite a task as we have island beds as well as the borders. Every winter the clever Magpies work their way around, but far more quickly than me, equally carefully removing all my bits of granite and slate to look for grubs and insects!!

We have some young Blackbirds that are regulars in the garden at the moment. They love to scratch amongst the bark to look for grubs, just like chickens do!


kandj Report 6 Sep 2013 22:36

Have had magpies and pigeons and regular blackbird today. It has rained heavily most of the day but the birds seem happy enough and hubby and I have watched their antics with great interest.

I have spoken to my neighbour again about the brewer blackbird but he still hasn't made any effort to speak to the man who has taken it to his aviary and he also says that the RSPB have not answered his email regarding the siting of this unusual bird. I am beginning to wonder if he has actually been in contact with RSPB. He has told me that he is a member and so I would expect this Society to contact him.

Annx, the dwarf lily sounds lovely. What a shame that the pigeons and magpies are spoiling all the hard work and effort that you put into your garden.


AnninGlos Report 7 Sep 2013 10:11

Why not get a shallow bird bath Ann and site it in a convenient place for the birds away from the pot. It may be that they got used to bathing in the pool you had and the pot is on the same spot. Could you temporarily cover the top of the pot so the birds can't get in it?


Annx Report 7 Sep 2013 17:06

Yes, that might be an idea AnninG.....although there are so many of them this year I would prefer to discourage them particularly the Magpies which although are very handsome birds can be a nuisance because they are so intelligent. I have watched two youngsters play tag around a Yucca plant in the middle of the pebbled area, each trying to sneak around to peck the other without being seen and scuttling behind the plant to hide. It would go on for about to minutes.

As a teenager, I aquired a young Jackdaw from a work colleague who's young son had got it in a swap from another boy at school!! What a clever bird he was. My parents had quite a big garden and lived in a country village then and for a few weeks I would shut Jack in an outhouse at night and he would be fed and let outside in the day. He followed me everywhere if he saw me and would come in the kitchen and if the sink tap was on, he'd be there like a shot, flapping his great wings in the water stream and enjoying an impromptu bath. He was banned from the house when mum spotted him with her marquisite watch and eyeing her rings which she always put on the mantlepiece. After I stopped shutting him in at night he soon worked out which was my bedroom window and at first light would be on the windowsill pecking on the glass to wake me up. I discovered he loved peas when I sat shelling some into a bowl for mum one day. So there would be some left for mum I went down the garden to pick some more and shelled and gave him some. A bad move because a day or two after I spotted him helping himself from the plants. He would sit on the wing mirrors of our old van looking at himself upside down and was happy to travel in it standing on the back of the passenger seat where he had a good view. If I walked down the lane to the village I only had to shout his name and he would soon appear and land on my outstretched arm. I soon had to discourage this as he started to land on other people walking along who didn't know he was tame and it freaked them out quite a bit!! :-S (it was in the 60s when the Hitchcock film 'The Birds' was still fresh in people's memories.) As he was maturing then and I wanted him to live a natural life, I didn't encourage him and we saw him less. Eventually I saw an article in the evening paper........he'd found a mate and was nesting in an old barn in the village.....the farmer couldn't believe how friendly he was, so it had to be him.:-D

Sorry if I have digressed a bit, it was just a happy memory and privilige to have got to know more about these birds.


kandj Report 7 Sep 2013 23:06

Amazing memories and thank you for sharing the stories Annx...... just so brilliant.

Have had lots of thrushes feeding in our garden today and the usual pigeons, blackbirds and magpies. All are welcomed and keep hubby and myself entertained.


Annx Report 8 Sep 2013 19:49

We hardly ever see Thrushes around here now. They are such handsome birds too and I miss hearing the tap tap as they smash snail shells on their favourite stones.

There has been the Victory Airshow near here today, so it has been very quiet on the bird front.

I'm attempting to put up my first birdbox on a pole tomorrow. Nextdoor get Bluetits in theirs and it is facing north, but which is the best direction for it to face?


Jane Report 8 Sep 2013 20:59

Oh Ann ,What a lovely tale about your 'Jack' :-D :-D.Good luck with the bird box.I have no idea which is the best way to place it :-S


AnninGlos Report 8 Sep 2013 22:07

There is definitely a correct way but I don't know what it is. Maybe googling would help I think north is possibly right though.