Birds in my garden.

  • I wonder if they will be the new urban bird then.

    They've been common in even central London for a couple of decades now + there are a couple of large breeding colonies around London but can be seen anywhere on the Thames + on any fish inhabited lake. A couple of times I've seen over 100 feeding by Putney Bridge though that is nan exceptional number.


    Yesterday when I was at Chelsea waterfront there were a dozen loafing on the foreshore along with a heron, a great-crested grebe in the water ten or so each of mallard + gadwall as well as the best part of a hundred gulls (of 5 species).

  • I Really Love All The Birds And Love To See Them And Hear Them Anywhere And Especially Be Loving Them When They Be In My Garden:))


    I Always Esp Think When I See The Teenie Tiny Birds Like The Blue Tits Esp How Amazing It Is That The Teenie Faces Are Soooo Tiny Tiny And Yet They Have Such Beautiful Perfect Pretty Little Faces And Have To Me One Of The Prettiest Birds Faces Even Though They Be Sooo Teenie Tiny Faced That Are No Bigger Than A Thumb Print So Its Amazing How Much. They Be Simply Beautiful In Such A Teenie Tiny Face :)

  • First of the geese went over yesterday, heading North east, so spring is officially here in my book.


    I saw 40 or so break off the back of one formation and circle down to the lake.


    Hawfinches are getting common in the garden, one handsome Male and 3 females now on the feeder each day.

  • First of the geese went over yesterday, heading North east, so spring is officially here in my book.


    I saw 40 or so break off the back of one formation and circle down to the lake.


    Hawfinches are getting common in the garden, one handsome Male and 3 females now on the feeder each day.

    There was an unprecedented invasion of hawfinch last autumn with literally many thousands reported. London + the surrounding area has had many records. Near Box Hill, surrey over 300 are still being recorded + close to me at Ruislip Woods there are still maybe up to 30m around. Hoping some may linger to breed but I suspect many will return to the continent.


    You are really lucky having them in your garden. Have you got any photos? Massive bill on them!

  • There was an unprecedented invasion of hawfinch last autumn with literally many thousands reported. London + the surrounding area has had many records. Near Box Hill, surrey over 300 are still being recorded + close to me at Ruislip Woods there are still maybe up to 30m around. Hoping some may linger to breed but I suspect many will return to the continent.


    You are really lucky having them in your garden. Have you got any photos? Massive bill on them!

    I love the Hawfinches, they are only a small handful so it seems a treat seeing them still, we were sat in the sun watching them today eating donuts and trying hard to ID the odd extra bird that was coming to the feeders, one was a nightingale, but there was another we just couldn’t quite put our finger on. Very very drab, almost but not quite a finch in looks. It just sat on the feeder table scoffing and chucking the seed casing on the floor.


    Not luck though, we are on 60 kilos of mostly sunflower seed and counting for the year.


    I will try and set up the wombled Go Pro 3 Black tomorrow if the weather is good, the iPad camera is useless.

  • I love the Hawfinches, they are only a small handful so it seems a treat seeing them still, we were sat in the sun watching them today eating donuts and trying hard to ID the odd extra bird that was coming to the feeders, one was a nightingale, but there was another we just couldn’t quite put our finger on. Very very drab, almost but not quite a finch in looks. It just sat on the feeder table scoffing and chucking the seed casing on the floor.


    Not luck though, we are on 60 kilos of mostly sunflower seed and counting for the year.


    I will try and set up the wombled Go Pro 3 Black tomorrow if the weather is good, the iPad camera is useless.

    It won't have been a nightingale as they haven't arrived back in the UK yet from Africa. Normally turn up mid April + not that likely to visit feeders. Wonder what it was you saw?

  • It won't have been a nightingale as they haven't arrived back in the UK yet from Africa. Normally turn up mid April + not that likely to visit feeders. Wonder what it was you saw?

    BUT...Languid doesnt live in the UK,she lives in France :/

    Your enemy will stab you in the front,your friends stab you in the back - beware your friends,embrace your enemies,you'll always know what youre dealing with.

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  • I didn't realise that but still unlikely to be a nightingale this early or using feeders.

    we get lots of them in SW France, they are not a rare bird round here in the slightest, so I know what they look like. Evidently they do use a feeder because I saw one using a feeder, a hanging one made out of an old water bottle with a stick pushed through the bottom. They are a PITA because they refuse do nest anywhere else than the exact spot they nested last year, even if it is now indoors due to building work, on beams in barns and outbuildings are their fave spot, they then spend the next 2 months berating you for getting too close. At least the wrens who like similar spots are happy if you move their nests elsewhere out of the way, with a nightingale, not a hope in hell. Tutt, tutt, tutt, is the sound of spring to a builder.


    The last birds in are the cuckoos and hoopoes ( which are rare round here) , which is only 2 weeks time, so quite reasonable to get nightingales at this time of year.


    Herons are about still, someone said they saw some cattle egret the other day, this part of France has a spring a lot earlier than the UK. Earlier than many other parts of SW France.

  • Hi Languid Virago. I accept nightingales are much more common in southern Europe so I wouldn't be surprised you would see them a lot. Yet nothing you describe sound like nightingale behaviour to me. You may well be right but I find it difficult to comprehend it.


    I've studied wildlife since a kid + am a semi-professional naturalist leading tours to look at fauna/flora overseas on 3 continents so have seen many nightingales in southern Europe but never seen one breeding in any sort of building. I'm not disbelieving but really surprised. I would love to see photos to dispel any doubts in my mind as I'm really curious about this. Sometimes wildlife adopt novel habits so maybe yours are showing unusual behaviour.


    I'd be interested if you have any photos of the small birds you could identify as I'd be happy to identify them for you. Sounds a wonderful place you live.

  • Hi Languid Virago. I accept nightingales are much more common in southern Europe so I wouldn't be surprised you would see them a lot. Yet nothing you describe sound like nightingale behaviour to me. You may well be right but I find it difficult to comprehend it.


    I've studied wildlife since a kid + am a semi-professional naturalist leading tours to look at fauna/flora overseas on 3 continents so have seen many nightingales in southern Europe but never seen one breeding in any sort of building. I'm not disbelieving but really surprised.

    well, I guess lived experience trumps studied info for once. My description of their behaviour is their behaviour, I have lived with the feckers for 1/4 of a century, well, the summer months, I am terribly sorry it doesn’t mesh with what you learned from a book and teach people on your tours. But I reckon if you surveyed 100 random French people not one would reckonise your understanding of how nightingales behave. They would all recognise mine, Belligerent, inflexible, love similar style nesting spots to wrens, couple of meters off the ground inside open human buildings or low trees close to human buildings. Not really a garden feeder bird, but one that will happily live close to humans with no fear of them.


    I guess it is time to reasses your “knowledge”, sadly most birds don’t read bird books, so they have no idea how they are supposed to act.

  • Obviously I can't speak for your garden but I was intrigued to find arrival dates online for the south-west of France. Not a huge amount of information out there but one blog had a house in your area where the husband has been recording the arrival date for nightingale in their garden for the 20 years they have lived there. Their earliest date was 6th April in 2005 + 2011 + the latest date was 24th April in 2000. Certainly these are more like the figures I would expect.

  • I Can drive an hour from here towards the coast and find spring a week more advanced and a whole different set of birds we never see round here, 2 hours the other way up into the massif and spring will be still a month away and they will have no small migratory birds yet. That is just east to west and still in SW France.


    Never mind the cote d’azur to Brittany.


    Nature is never neat and tidy, x birds do not arrive at set times across the whole of a country, Especially one as large and diverse as France. Keep in mind I live the same distance from Calais as Newquey is from John o Groats. It takes me 12 hours non stop in one direction along a motorway to get to Calais. 12 hours south from here and I can be in Malaga which is just a few hundred miles from where they winter.


    Like I said, we always reckon the cookoos are the last to arrive and the one we look out for (hoopoes too, but we do not see them here sadly, they avoid human activity) , my dates for them are 22 as the earliest and always before the 1st of April. I don’t make records of when nightingales they arrive as I never expected an armchair expert 1000 miles away to think they knew more than what my eyes see and ears hear over the last 1/4 of a century.


    The nightingales left Africa a month ago, you expect some of them to arrive in the UK in another month, I am somewhere in the middle. I fail to fathom your disbelief at what was just a simple mention of a common bird. I never said they were all here, had settled, were nesting or were pairing up, just had seen one in the feeder. It may have just been passing through after riding the strong southerly winds we have had the last week and had a bite to eat, i Am no expert on small birds, but I do know nightingales at nesting time and do know what they look like.