Feeding the birds

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thirdcrank
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby thirdcrank » 20 Mar 2017, 12:15pm

We've generally concentrated on accurate identification of the common birds we've seen and I'm very dubious if we think we are looking at something rare. We once saw a heron whose appearance was a bit unusual in water behind the sea defences waling north from Thornham in Norfolk. A bit further on in the visitor centre, an excited chap dashed in to announce he thought he had seen a purple heron. That sighting was later confirmed.

At one time, we used to go to the RSPB reserve at Old Moor near Barnsley. We were once in one of the hides when a kingfisher dived, caught a fish, perched on a rail right in front of us, whacked the fish and ate it. Although I'm sure it was then looking for more to eat, it had the appearance of taking a bow. :D

hamster
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby hamster » 20 Mar 2017, 2:18pm

My Goldfinches prefer the sunflower hearts over anything else. I probably get through 6 pillow sized sacks a year for them and the Greenfinches. I buy directly from Hampshire Wildlife Trust or RSPB shop. Midwinter I had a band of around 15 Goldfinches visiting together.

Niger seeds never appealed to them so I gave up.

hercule
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby hercule » 31 Mar 2017, 9:38pm

Our tally includes blackbirds, song thrushes, several robin pairs, dunnocks, coal, blue, great and long tailed tits, occasional visits from starlings, crows and rooks, collared doves, woodpigeons, the occasional sparrowhawk, brown owls, barn owls... finches include chaffinches, bull finches, Siskin, yellowhammers, goldfinches, greenfinches...

The resident bunnies make a good job of clearing up the mess but unfortunately make their own mess :roll:

I put out a mixed bird food, whole sunflowers, peanuts and niger seed. Contrary to others' experiences the niger seed goes so fast that the feeders are usually empty in a day. It's interesting how different feeders in different parts of the garden get favoured - in the more open areas peanuts last ages, behind the hedge they go very quickly.

We had a problem with the crows raiding one of our seed feeders, despite my best attempts at deterrence I kept finding it on the ground. Finally I found out what they were doing: holding on to the bottom with their feet and madly flapping their wings to rotate it and unscrew the fitting that holds it together. I was pretty impressed!

JohnW
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby JohnW » 31 Mar 2017, 10:39pm

hercule wrote:Our tally includes blackbirds, song thrushes, several robin pairs, dunnocks, coal, blue, great and long tailed tits, occasional visits from starlings, crows and rooks, collared doves, woodpigeons, the occasional sparrowhawk, brown owls, barn owls... finches include chaffinches, bull finches, Siskin, yellowhammers, goldfinches, greenfinches...

The resident bunnies make a good job of clearing up the mess but unfortunately make their own mess :roll:

I put out a mixed bird food, whole sunflowers, peanuts and niger seed. Contrary to others' experiences the niger seed goes so fast that the feeders are usually empty in a day. It's interesting how different feeders in different parts of the garden get favoured - in the more open areas peanuts last ages, behind the hedge they go very quickly.

We had a problem with the crows raiding one of our seed feeders, despite my best attempts at deterrence I kept finding it on the ground. Finally I found out what they were doing: holding on to the bottom with their feet and madly flapping their wings to rotate it and unscrew the fitting that holds it together. I was pretty impressed!


All that is very impressive - and suggests that you live in a lovely place.

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661-Pete
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby 661-Pete » 31 Mar 2017, 11:14pm

One not-so-welcome visit the other day. Noticed a couple of feral pigeons on our roof.

The significance is that, normally, these pests don't come near our house: we live sufficiently near the edge of town and hence adjacent open countryside, that the larger and more aggressive native woodpigeons come to ours and keep the city-dwellers at bay.

But maybe, the fact that an awful lot of new housing has gone up in greenfield sites on our side of the town, means that we are no longer 'adjacent to open countryside'. At least as far as the pigeons are concerned.

I'm no great fan of the woodpigeon either: it's an arrogant bird and takes far more than its share of the food we put out (notwithstanding the RSPB's guarantees of 'pigeon-proof' feeders which only appear to encourage the pigeons!). But it has to be conceded, they are part of our ecology. And I would be sorry to see them displaced by 'rats-with-wings'.... :evil:
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JohnW
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby JohnW » 31 Mar 2017, 11:23pm

661-Pete wrote:..............the fact that an awful lot of new housing has gone up in greenfield sites on our side of the town, means that we are no longer 'adjacent to open countryside'..................


It's the same everywhere Pete - I know the feeling. Our village has been wrecked over the last 20 years.

We have a pigeon fancier (racing pigeons) across the lane from us, and one of his flock has taken to us :roll: ..............it's a joke between us :lol:

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661-Pete
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby 661-Pete » 31 Mar 2017, 11:53pm

JohnW wrote:We have a pigeon fancier (racing pigeons) across the lane from us, and one of his flock has taken to us :roll: ..............it's a joke between us :lol:
Well, there is a possible remedy. But I reckon your neighbour's already thought of that...
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby Cyril Haearn » 8 May 2017, 7:24pm

Feeding and observing the birds at home and while cycling is fine, I watched some cormorants and geese today

But those obsessive twitchers have been at it again. The Grauniad reported that a queer bird had been spotted at the edge of the kingdom. Numerous twitchers jumped in their vehicles and raced hundreds of miles to try to see it. Others chartered planes to get there ASAP. One wonders whether the poor creature will survive so much attention

It makes one sick. I wonder what psychologists make of these obsessive "nature lovers"
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landsurfer
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby landsurfer » 8 May 2017, 7:38pm

I shoot wood pigeons, the breast meat is nice and the foxes and beasts of the field polish off the remainder.
As for Corvids ....... Around Lambing time I am often invited to protect new borns from Corvids.
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661-Pete
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby 661-Pete » 8 May 2017, 7:51pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:But those obsessive twitchers have been at it again. The Grauniad reported that a queer bird had been spotted at the edge of the kingdom. Numerous twitchers jumped in their vehicles and raced hundreds of miles to try to see it. Others chartered planes to get there ASAP. One wonders whether the poor creature will survive so much attention
I assume you're referring to this story. Makes no sense to me either - any more than does that little video snippet of a gang of twitchers that we see on TV just before the 10 o'clock news. But that's some folks' cookie, no doubt.

I'm a bit more into butterflies than birds, I have to say - and I admit that if I chance upon a specimen outside of its normal range or habitat, I get interested - but I don't go rampaging about the countryside in pursuit of it! On a visit to southern Spain some years ago, we spotted several Monarchs - the iconic migratory species of the Americas - which is not supposed to occur in Europe. However, in recent decades, the species has become establised in areas like Andalucia and is now breeding there. Much more recently, we saw Monarchs during a trip to the USA - but that's their natural homeland.

One of the most characteristic - and elegant - butterflies which grace the area around our place in France, is the Scarce Swallowtail, Iphiclides podalirius. Its name is very much a misnomer: it is not in the least bit 'scarce' in the range which it normally inhabits. Nevertheless, to encounter one in the British Isles would be quite a sensation: it very rarely shows up this far north. Here is my picture of one, snapped some years ago in France:
I_podalirius_0025.jpg
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby [XAP]Bob » 8 May 2017, 10:51pm

I'm being treated to a few buzzards on my way to and from work at the moment.

Honest question - is it still called mobbing if it's just a single crow seeing a buzzard off its patch?
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JohnW
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby JohnW » 8 May 2017, 10:59pm

landsurfer wrote:I shoot wood pigeons, the breast meat is nice and the foxes and beasts of the field polish off the remainder.
As for Corvids ....... Around Lambing time I am often invited to protect new borns from Corvids.


I've rescued a few few upturned ewes from them myself.

francovendee
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby francovendee » 9 May 2017, 8:28am

I haven't lived in the UK for many years and a piece on R4 surprised me. They were talking about Nightingales and said they were a rare bird.
I lived in the south of the UK and used to hear them all the time back then.
No shortage here, they sing day and night, lovely sound.

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661-Pete
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby 661-Pete » 9 May 2017, 9:39am

francovendee wrote:I haven't lived in the UK for many years and a piece on R4 surprised me. They were talking about Nightingales and said they were a rare bird.
I lived in the south of the UK and used to hear them all the time back then.
No shortage here, they sing day and night, lovely sound.
I can assure you, there are plenty still about, here in Sussex. We were on Ditchling Common (a few miles north of Ditchling Beacon) yesterday, and we were treated to a splendid 'concert' from a bird that must have been only a few yards from us, and was going through its full repertoire (we couldn't see it though: nightingales are notoriously difficult to spot in the thick bushes). Perhaps I should go back today and try to get a recording.

Incidentally, there's an open space adjacent to our town, called "Nightingale Meadow", and - yes! - I have heard nightingales there. But the name is probably a coincidence.

In France, of course, we hear them all over the place. Just about every tree has its own resident...
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Feeding the birds

Postby [XAP]Bob » 9 May 2017, 9:44am

[XAP]Bob wrote:I'm being treated to a few buzzards on my way to and from work at the moment.

Honest question - is it still called mobbing if it's just a single crow seeing a buzzard off its patch?

https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildl ... bbing.aspx

Apparently it is still mobbing, even with just a single bird doing it.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.