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Re: Feeding the birds

Posted: 25 Mar 2018, 2:41pm
by 661-Pete
A relatively unusual visitor to our garden today:
Sparrowhawk 25_3_18.jpg

Not ideal conditions to snap this, I took it through a bedroom window - but at least I captured some detail. Why the sparrowhawk was perched on our lawn, without prey, was puzzling: usually they take prey in the air and then come down to land. But the answer was soon clear: it was eyeing a sparrow perched in the bushes at top left. A few seconds after I snapped it, it took off and dived into the bushes.

But the sparrow escaped! The hawk then turned its attention to a blackbird, also in the bushes. We could see it chasing it out of our garden. But I think the blackbird got away, too. Bad luck on the sparrowhawk! I hope it got its lunch eventually...

Re: Feeding the birds

Posted: 26 Mar 2018, 12:25am
by NATURAL ANKLING
Hi,
Other day on bike a buzzard swooped down in front of me to gutter down a lane, not sure whether it was a road kill or proper hunting, took off instantly after landing as I was now very close.
Come across many Buzzards down lanes sitting on prey, till I appear then they scarper.

Re: Feeding the birds

Posted: 26 Mar 2018, 8:01pm
by colin54
P1090592 (640x438).jpg


Nice to see this Goldfinch yesterday.

Re: Feeding the birds

Posted: 27 Mar 2018, 10:11pm
by NATURAL ANKLING
Hi,
Lots of birds out today as well as squirrels on my ride.

Re: Feeding the birds

Posted: 27 Mar 2018, 10:54pm
by JohnW
colin54 wrote:P1090592 (640x438).jpg

Nice to see this Goldfinch yesterday.

Good for you Colin - what a lovely picture.

Re: Feeding the birds

Posted: 27 Mar 2018, 11:19pm
by colin54
Thank you John.

Re: Feeding the birds

Posted: 27 Mar 2018, 11:53pm
by JohnW
colin54 wrote:Thank you John.

You're welcome Colin - what is the Goldfinch eating - sunflower seed hearts? If so, do the other birds come and take them? I put cockatiel seed out for our birds - we get mainly sparrows (up to 40 at one time - we have a hawthorn in our backyard) and they take the millet out of it, but the sunflower seeds (possibly about 5%-7% of the total) fall to the ground and the collared dives come for that, and the blackbirds also take it. We don't get many goldfinches (or any kind of finches) since 10 acres of farmland behind us became a housing development.

Re: Feeding the birds

Posted: 28 Mar 2018, 12:24am
by colin54
Yes sunflower hearts, I've had blue, great and long tail tits feeding there but they seem to prefer peanuts from the feeder

the other side of the post for preference, also get nuthatches feeding upside down on it.

I had a mob of Siskins the first year I lived in this house, they occupied the maple tree overhanging the garden, it's

chaffinches and the odd Brambling pictured up thread in the tree this year.

P1060439 (640x417).jpg


Siskin.

I had at least a couple of pairs of Jays but I've hardly seen them this year, Woodies, collared Doves and Magpies are my

other 'regulars.There's a line of Beech trees behind the garden so they've got plenty of nesting places.

I've also seen a Wren messing about under the eaves of the shed recently.

Re: Feeding the birds

Posted: 6 Apr 2018, 5:17am
by Cyril Haearn
Got up at 5:42 this morning, the crazy birds were already twittering away
Still nearly dark out
+1

Re: Feeding the birds

Posted: 6 Apr 2018, 2:37pm
by JohnW
colin54 wrote:Yes sunflower hearts, I've had blue, great and long tail tits feeding there but they seem to prefer peanuts from the feeder

the other side of the post for preference, also get nuthatches feeding upside down on it.

I had a mob of Siskins the first year I lived in this house, they occupied the maple tree overhanging the garden, it's

chaffinches and the odd Brambling pictured up thread in the tree this year.

P1060439 (640x417).jpg

Siskin.

I had at least a couple of pairs of Jays but I've hardly seen them this year, Woodies, collared Doves and Magpies are my

other 'regulars.There's a line of Beech trees behind the garden so they've got plenty of nesting places.

I've also seen a Wren messing about under the eaves of the shed recently.

Another lovely picture Colin - well done.

As for the tits feeding - we get blue, great, the occasional coal and very occasionally a little gaggle of long-tails........great and blue predominating. I had peanuts in a feeder all last spring/summer/Autumn and this (still with us) winter. Only very occasionally did any tits use that feeder - about 80% of the nuts remained untouched and when there started to be signs of mould I took the feeder away, and threw the nuts away. We don't get any fewer tits than when we had the peanut feeder.

The tits, all varieties except long tails, go to the fatballs. The fatballs that come in big tubs from Wilkinsons seem to be the favourite with all our birds. Occasionally a tit will have a peck or two at the seed-feeders - I use cockatiel seed mix. I've tried the so-called 'sooper-dooper-high energy-all breeds-wild bird seed that no garden birds can resist' (supposedly), which seem to be all grains and sweepings-up from a porridge factory floor and none of our birds take that from any of the feeders. Quite a Lot of it spills on the ground, e.g. in windy weather, and the wood/feral pigeons take a few pecks at it, but

Re: Feeding the birds

Posted: 6 Apr 2018, 4:20pm
by CliveyT
JohnW wrote:
colin54 wrote:Yes sunflower hearts, I've had blue, great and long tail tits feeding there but they seem to prefer peanuts from the feeder

the other side of the post for preference, also get nuthatches feeding upside down on it.

I had a mob of Siskins the first year I lived in this house, they occupied the maple tree overhanging the garden, it's

chaffinches and the odd Brambling pictured up thread in the tree this year.

P1060439 (640x417).jpg

Siskin.

I had at least a couple of pairs of Jays but I've hardly seen them this year, Woodies, collared Doves and Magpies are my

other 'regulars.There's a line of Beech trees behind the garden so they've got plenty of nesting places.

I've also seen a Wren messing about under the eaves of the shed recently.

Another lovely picture Colin - well done.

As for the tits feeding - we get blue, great, the occasional coal and very occasionally a little gaggle of long-tails........great and blue predominating. I had peanuts in a feeder all last spring/summer/Autumn and this (still with us) winter. Only very occasionally did any tits use that feeder - about 80% of the nuts remained untouched and when there started to be signs of mould I took the feeder away, and threw the nuts away. We don't get any fewer tits than when we had the peanut feeder.

The tits, all varieties except long tails, go to the fatballs. The fatballs that come in big tubs from Wilkinsons seem to be the favourite with all our birds. Occasionally a tit will have a peck or two at the seed-feeders - I use cockatiel seed mix. I've tried the so-called 'sooper-dooper-high energy-all breeds-wild bird seed that no garden birds can resist' (supposedly), which seem to be all grains and sweepings-up from a porridge factory floor and none of our birds take that from any of the feeders. Quite a Lot of it spills on the ground, e.g. in windy weather, and the wood/feral pigeons take a few pecks at it, but


When you've got a small stomach and an enormous energy usage ( especially in winter) - you need fat (and a bit of protein). We can jazz it up with stuff but most of that is for our benefit. Larger birds like blackbirds can eat fruit and greenery is really restricted to pigeons.
I always find the no-mess is exactly the opposite, especially if that's all you serve because then they will sit there throwing out all the stuff that's no good for them until they find a bit of peanut that they like.

Re: Feeding the birds

Posted: 7 Apr 2018, 8:45pm
by Cyril Haearn
Just read about a lonely albatross that has been seen over Sylt at the top of Germany

Its home is probably the Falkland Isles but it is thought to have crossed the equator by accident, that is hard enough and getting back through the doldrums is hard too

It has a wingspan of more than 2m and seems to be thriving, albatrosses can live for several decades. But it has little chance of finding a mate :?

Re: Feeding the birds

Posted: 8 Apr 2018, 9:22am
by Vorpal
It's not so unusual to see Albatross in Europe... https://www.acap.aq/en/news/latest-news ... nd-germany

Re: Feeding the birds

Posted: 8 Apr 2018, 9:29am
by 661-Pete
I recall a fellow-passenger on the cross-channel ferry, noticing that I was carrying a pair of binoculars, decided that I must be an 'expert'. He came up to me and asked "what was that huge bird we saw just back then? Albatross? Do we get albatrosses in the English Channel?" :shock:

He'd been watching the gannets flying around the ship.... :lol:

[edit] Another thought springs to mind. There are two car-ferries regularly doing the Newhaven-Dieppe crossing. One of them is named the Seven Sisters, the other the Côte d'Albâtre. Many people will have heard of the Seven Sisters, the famous cliff formation near Newhaven. The Côte d'Albâtre is the name of the corresponding line of cliffs on the French side.

It literally means "Alabaster Coast". I wonder....

Re: Feeding the birds

Posted: 8 Apr 2018, 11:20am
by cycleruk
I worked at Seal Sands (Teeside) for short while in 1978. One day came out of the factory to see a Flamingo wading in a pool next to the power station. :shock: