Birds in my garden.

  • So, I have 3 large pine trees and some laurel in this garden, all fave hangouts of small birds in the winter.


    It is also a very cold winter and there seems to be few berries out there, so we have been going a bit overboard feeding them.


    I had an ad hoc survey this morning.


    6 x pretentious pigeons, aka collared doves, they are a plague here, we are tolerant of what they steal from the little birds. We never seem to get more than the 6, weirdly territorial, with tiny territories, they roost in the barn.


    Pair of Magpies, we had 2 pairs but since the cold came the more established pair are being more antisocial.


    3 x female and 2 male blackbirds, maybe there is another male around but never seen it at the same time as the others.


    4 x Green Finches,


    Approx 20 to 30 Chaffinches


    8 x draber finches I cannot put a name to yet, flocking with the other finches.


    Pair of Bramlings


    4x Bluetits.

    6 x great tits,

    2 x coal tits


    And the ubiquitous single robin.


    The little blighters are now munching through 5 kilos of seeds a week.

  • I've a small suburban garden so not the same variety as you. We have one small tree- a birch but have several feeders supplying peanuts, sunflower hearts, niger + put out a fat bar, dried mealworms + suet pellets.


    Due to the weather yesterday spent the whole day at home + saw the following:


    2 Great Tit

    2 Blue Tit

    Blackbird

    Robin

    2 Dunnock

    Wood Pigeon

    6 Ring-necked Parakeet

    2 Starling

    15 Goldfinch

    32 House sparrow


    Earlier in the week we had seen an escaped male Plum-headed Parakeet over several days but no sign of him yesterday.

  • Arent there a large number of parakeets living wild in and around London ? Green and Rose ringed mostly...I used to see them occasionally when i lived there in the late 70's early 80's but nothing like the large flocks there are now.

    Di occhi belli ne è pieno il mondo,ma di occhi che ti guardano con sincerità e amore, c'è ne sono pochi. :hippy:

    The post was edited 1 time, last by NomadicRT ().

  • I regularly count upwards of 12 to 14 Collard doves perched on a metal marquee frame round the back of my wagon. To think they were introduced to the UK around 1958 they sure have made it their home.

    If we had called them by any other name I’m sure they would be on our menu by now.

    I Saw a solitary pied wagtail scooping up seed I had thrown down in the snow yesterday, along with several Starlings, female Black bird, Robin, sparrows.

  • pretty sure the drab finches are bramlings now, funny how both tits and finches seem flock together. I think I saw a Hawfinch yesterday, beak that could crack open a steel beam, just one, and still hanging out near the edge of the garden, from memory they hate ground feeding, so I will make a cat proof feeding table if it even stops raining. There is a cherry tree about 2 doors down, and we have an Iranian cherry ( plum in reality) but it lost its fruit in the late frost.


    All my neighbours are reporting very few birds in their gardens, so we are chuffed. We have almost no grass, so at the moment a couple of hanging feeders from plastic water bottles and seeds chucked on the drive.


    Bought in some more fat balls when when it gets real cold, at this time of year they ignore them.


    My mum tried mixed seeds years ago , but most of the common garden birds just ate the sunflower seeds and ignored the rest.

  • I regularly count upwards of 12 to 14 Collard doves perched on a metal marquee frame round the back of my wagon. To think they were introduced to the UK around 1958 they sure have made it their home.

    If we had called them by any other name I’m sure they would be on our menu by now.

    I Saw a solitary pied wagtail scooping up seed I had thrown down in the snow yesterday, along with several Starlings, female Black bird, Robin, sparrows.

    the French shoot and eat them, then they eat anything free.

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  • Cormorants active here every day. I'm often woken in the morning by them swimming round the boat or by the rattle of fish hitting the boat as they try to keep out of the way. Amazing how they manage to work in gangs. Still see at least one kingfisher most days, although there is often one fishing from each end of my boat at the same time. Very vocal moorhens nearby. The past few of days I have been surprised to see a heron peering through my window. Weird because they are usually so shy. Gave me a start the first time. He has left a line of footprints in the remaining snow. Crows of course, pigeons and ducks. Not really much variety at the moment, but all beautiful. Gulls (and terns?) are following the tractors.

  • Arent there a large number of parakeets living wild in and around London ? Green and Rose ringed mostly...I used to see them occasionally when i lived there in the late 70's early 80's but nothing like the large flocks there are now.

    Ring-necked or Rose-ringed is the abundant species with well in excess of 30,000 around London. Other species occasionally turn-up. Monk Parakeets were getting established in a couple of places but there have been efforts to stop these spreading- they're common in parts of Spain + some of the southern US.

  • Cormorants active here every day. I'm often woken in the morning by them swimming round the boat or by the rattle of fish hitting the boat as they try to keep out of the way. Amazing how they manage to work in gangs.

    They can be trained to fish for humans from a shallow boat or raft. The keeper places a loose noose around the cormorants neck. Then encouraging them to dive in and catch a fish. They jump back onto the boat/raft with a fish in their beaks. The noose prevents them swallowing the fish and the keeper removes the fish and puts the it out of sight. The cormorant repeats this many times. Eventually the keeper lets the cormorants have one of the fish that they have caught to eat, otherwise they get shitty and try to pinch the fish already caught and stored.

  • In the wood's I live in there's loads of Wood pigeons. There's a family of very noisy jays, the odd pheasant, a robin or two, thrushes, buzzards, owls of some sort that I hear hooting and lots of little skittery birds that I don't know the name of.


    I didn't want to start feeding them cause i probably won't be there much longer but they started eating the bits of food where I chuck my washing up bowl. Then when the weather turned cold they were hanging about staring at me with their little hungry bird eyes so now they get seeds and porridge every day :rolleyes:

  • the two theories behind the Ring Necked Parakeets are

    1, they escaped from Pinewood Studios during the shooting of a Bollywood film

    2 Jimmy Hendrix released them from his garden in Richmond.

    There's more theories than that + neither of these have been proved. No doubt there have been several escapes/illegal releases but they didn't start breeding until the early 70's.


    They are now a part of London life + people tend to be quite polarised in their reactions to them, Some hate them (they are very noisy) while others love them. Certainly difficult to ignore them.


    There's a large roost near my parents' house on Wormwood Scrubs where several thousand birds congregate + it's quite a spectacle watching the flocks flying in as it gets dark.


    Peregrines regularly take them + in a study in Kensington Gardens/Hyde Park, Sparrowhawk, Hobby + Tawny Owl were all recorded taking them. I did see a clip of a Crow killing what must have been a sick parakeet.


    In the same park there's a couple of lesser black-backed gulls that daily drown + feed on feral pigeons. There's a guy called Ralph Hancock who does a daily blog of the park's birdlife + some interesting photos/movies.

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  • wow Gomphus that's amazing about the black backed gulls drowning pigeon. Have they crossed the line into predators?

    Larger gulls have always been predatory as well as scavengers but these 2 specialise in feral pigeons + seems to be the main part of the diet. If you look back through some of Ralph Hancock's blogs he has filmed this on numerous occasions.


    Yes Emma the pelicans in St. James Park have been recorded capturing pigeons in their bill but I'm not sure how often they do it?

  • Not in my garden, but on my walk to work, ( and Yaz's too.. we work in the same place at the moment ) we've spotted a male blackbird with a mostly white head, it looks quite extraordinary....


    Sadly the little sod won't stand still long enough to be photographed!!!

  • Blackbirds Turdus merula are quite common with white heads or some white feathering its down to leucism a melanin issue similar to albino gene.

    Di occhi belli ne è pieno il mondo,ma di occhi che ti guardano con sincerità e amore, c'è ne sono pochi. :hippy:

  • I noticed some birds in the plum tree at the bottom of the garden and was thinking either fieldfares or redwings , so out with the scope and it appears they were a dozen redwings ..


    https://prnt.sc/hnr6zj


    While I was watching them I noticed the flock of 2 dozen or so local pigeons/doves circling more than usual and not landing as a group on their fave south facing roof, the reason for this was a hawk amongst them, few days back I saw what I thought was a kestral fly by, now I am thinking sparrowhawk ?

  • I noticed some birds in the plum tree at the bottom of the garden and was thinking either fieldfares or redwings , so out with the scope and it appears they were a dozen redwings ..


    https://prnt.sc/hnr6zj


    While I was watching them I noticed the flock of 2 dozen or so local pigeons/doves circling more than usual and not landing as a group on their fave south facing roof, the reason for this was a hawk amongst them, few days back I saw what I thought was a kestral fly by, now I am thinking sparrowhawk ?

    More than likely. Though kestrels will take birds it would be unusual for one to take a pigeon, whereas female sparrowhawks regularly take pigeons. The females are bigger than the males so tend to take larger prey + the species feeds almost exclusively on birds though do sometimes take small rodents + even bats at dusk.


    Kestrels feed on a wide range of prey from earthworms to insects, lizards, small rodents + the occasional bird.


    I can often tell when a sparrowhawk is about before I see it from the behaviour of other species + then look for it + most of the time locate it.

  • The gold finches turned up en masse about a week ago during the cold snap, not just a few odd ones. Luckily they play nice with the other small birds. By en masse, the flock is easily 100 strong.


    They are now eating 2 kilos of sunflower seeds a day. Hopefully they will bugger off to the woods soon, they cost more to feed than I do and the noise in the morning is crazy.

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