Monday, 27 April 2009

squirrel destruction

they found me!!

lol theyve found out just where to nibble the feeder ports so they drop out, dispensing sunflower hearts to all (where they fill up the under tray)!!

wired them all on, will probably have to go for a big yankee droll metal job.

oh.. new camera this week!!! finally getting the dslr Ive wanted for 2 years.. so watch this space for pics

Monday, 20 April 2009

new clear feeder trays

Went to the garden centre again today and found some lovely clear plastic plant pot trays for a very expensive £1.99. So Ive redone my feeder trays and the hanging birdbath. I think they look alot better!

New trays
looks much nicer I think, its also a bit wider too which will help alot!

New trays
The bird bath seems really popular, we have a free standing one too but they dont use that!

Great Tit
Just a shot of one of our lovely Great Tits, noisy buggers they are

A lovely inherited Geranium, not seen one this colour before

Saturday, 18 April 2009

A pretty good day

more of the same here today. Goldfinch Goldfinch Goldfinch! Here almost all the time now, one flock or the other, or both. When its both its noisy and unsettled! Its also quite amusing when Mr Chaffy comes in and expects everyone to vacate all 10 of his feeder ports... he always gets his way until the Greenfinches come in, and then HE's the one to move.

They seem to be emptying the ginormous feeder once a week, which seems quite fast seeing as its 2 feet long! I tend to keep it topped up though or they get too compacted and fight more than they need to.

The 2 male Robins, 'Rob' and 'Reg' have been at the meal worms since first light, and are still at it now. They take it in turns to fill a beak up, then take it back to their respective nest.. often they appear at the same time and are normally very good at letting one go first before the other moves in.. occasionally though Reg, who is the territory owner it seems sees Rob off, but hes smart, he just waits in the edge of the wood and returns as soon as Reg is gone. Occasionally we've had a third Robin at the same time, but Reg seems to tollerate that one, I think it might be Mrs. Reg? Dont know if the hen will leave the chicks this early or not.

The 2 families of Blackbirds take it in turns as well. They foraige around under the feeders fairly patiently, only once have I seen the 2 males really have a go at each other, and boy did they!

The Great Tits are here far more often of late, we have a pair that always visit together for suit cake, peanuts, fat balls or sunflower hearts.. often they go around all 4 as if they cant make up their minds!

The Blue Tits arent quite so regular, but a pair do visit probably about 10 times a day, it seems to be increasing as the weather warms up and as they get used to all the other birds.

Alan CoalTit (pity hes not a Marsh-tit, then he could be Alan MarshTit!) stopped by frequently today as well, no more burying goods though since that one day, well not that Ive seen anyway.

Mowed the front garden this afternoon and as I speak Mr Blackbird is pulling bits of moss out of the lawn, GO MR.BLACKBIRD! He makes a right mess.. he doesnt take it away for material like youd think, I presume hes just foraiging for grubs underneath it.

Thats been it today, I did go for a 70 mile ride on the bike this afternoon as my other half was dying in bed from possibly the worst hangover Ive ever seen she got at a girly party last night! So I didnt get to watch all day as Ive been doing. Only 2 more days to go and back into College Tuesday, and back to the normal routine.

Friday, 17 April 2009

new species

we were having a very busy early evening with 12 birds of all different species in the tree and on the feeders when someone walking their dog scared them all off... literally seconds after that a lovely little Nuthatch came onto the sunflower feeder, took a few nibbles, can birds nibble?? and flew off again!

lovely to see a new species, and its the first Nuthatch Ive seen too.

The garden

Thought I'd post a pic of the garden. I cant get all of the patio in on this shot, but its quite large (c.15ft x 10ft). I've done alot of clearing of winter die-back and we've planted some new shrubs. Also part way into renovating the lawn. The soil is a bit crap, mostly building site clay and chalk (house is only 20 years old), so lots of manure compost going on at the moment!

You can see the woods in the background.

April 09

Thursday, 16 April 2009

feeder tray close up

thanks for all your comments on the other post!

I thought Id do a close up of how I attached it. Im sure you could work it out but this might save time!

This feeder has small perches on the bottom of it, making it easy to thread the string around it.

If I was to do it again, Id put a stick underneath, and use wire twist ties instead, forming a sort of figure 8 shape. I recon that'd be easier to untie to clean.

Ive also put in 4 drain holes around the edge of the tray as I noticed that the tray was raised slightly in the middle.. dont want soggy sunflower porridge!

another feeder customisation

Due to the vast amounts of seed they throw about the place, I've made a tray to go on the bottom. Its fixed on by threading some garden twine through 2 holes in the bottom (which also drain it) and up over the bottom perches which is then pulled tight and tied (for easy removal for cleaning). Its already collected loads of seed. I know you can buy this kind of thing, but this way it was only £1.70.. I'm a skinflint.

Bottom tray addition
They seem to love feeding in the tray almost as much as on the perches

Bottom tray addition
A rare moment of peace...

odd coaly behaviour

watched for ages one of the Coal Tits taking single sunflower hearts and burying them around the roses today.. its nicely loose soil there which I'm guessing is why he chose that spot. Never thought a bird would hide/store seeds.. if that's what he's doing of course!

Thankfully its just hearts so they wont germinate! I've named him Alan.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

totally over the moon

At last! We have bullfinches!

I had no idea how big they were, or how incredibly beautiful!


Tuesday, 14 April 2009

playing with bracketing to capture motion

Been playing around a little more.. helped by so many birds all trying to get the sought after perches on the feeder. I think its 2 flocks of Goldies, which is why they dont get on so well!

Fiesty Goldfinches

Fiesty Goldfinches
I think this one is my favourite with his feet hanging down!

Fiesty Goldfinches
The feisty little little bugger didnt want him landing, he screemed and shook his wings at him

Fiesty Goldfinches
2nd try...

Fiesty Goldfinches
Eventually, after a few seeds he got his way and shooed the imposter away! Check out those angry wings!

some photos from the garden today

A seriously lucky shot
Can't believe I caught this

Some shots from the garden today
We don't get them often, so its lovely to see them today

Some shots from the garden today
He was really wary of us on the patio!

Some shots from the garden today
3 species in one shot! The Chaffy had just finished having a right go at everyone!

Some shots from the garden today
Full of spring promise

goldie madness

dont know whats going on with them recently, but we seem to be inundated with Goldfinches.

they seem to have 'flocked up' again, just when youd think theyd have other stuff on their minds!! They come down into the feeder tree anwhere between 2 - 7 individuals at a time, pretty much all day with only minutes between visits. The greenfinches seem to be joining in on the action as well, with sometimes 3 or 4 birds with them. Combined with the blue tits, coal tits, the odd great tit and the robins our place seems to be alot busier recently.

I opened the back door earlier and what had to have been 15 birds all flew out of the tree at the same time, I couldnt believe it. Whether this is due to sunflower hearts I dont know, the Goldies share their time between Nyger and Sunflower hearts almost equally, but do empty our huge 10 port sunflower feeder in fairly short order!

I thought that with the nesting season upon us, things would quieten down as the birds go about nest building and .. er.. other business! Not so it seems.

young robin?

really odd, but for the 2nd time weve seen what Im sure is a juvenile robin. He didnt stay long enough for a picture though. Isnt it a bit early yet for young birds to be about? hes old enough to like the suit feeder and the meal worms it seems.

edit: after looking through my RSPB book, Im not sure now that its a young robin, its markings and colourings are much more like a lesser Redpoll.. Im going to need the little bugger to pose for a photo to be more sure!

Friday, 10 April 2009

the College Peregrine

Photo taken by my Colleague Steve,

truly magnificent!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009


What a treat this morning to come down stairs, sleepily throw the tea bag in the mug, lift my weary head to look out the window to see a pair of Siskins on the Nyger seed!

what an amazingly pretty bird! They stayed for ages before flying off towards the lower end of the wood.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

some spring pics

not posted for a while.. been upto my arms in motorbike grease fixing and servicing.

since we put out the sunflower hearts theyve gone mad. our most common visitor now is the Goldfinches. we have a group of 5 which come in, sometimes all at once but more commonly in 2s and 3s.

heres some pics of recent activity.

Our beautiful Mr Chaffy

Incoming Goldfinch! My perch adaptation to this feeder has made a huge difference to the numbers we get.

They're such a common visitor now, we're very lucky

Mopping up under the sunflower feeder

2 of our 8 large wood chickens. They empty this feeder every 3 days. I fill it with otherwise unwanted food.

Our Greenfinches are spectacular