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Old Saturday 14th August 2004, 19:28   #1
Andy Ledger
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Super Saturday

Today has been the best day in the garden for ages. It's been a bit quiet for a while, but this morning the lawn was crawling with House Sparrows, with female Chaffinch, female Blackbird and a Dunnock in there, and Blue Tits on the new peanut feeder for the first time that I've seen, plus a Collared Dove and a Woodpigeon. This afternoon at teatime, I went out to eat my macaroni cheese on the patio, and the hedges and trees around the garden were alive with Long Tailed Tits, which were also competing for space on the nut feeder with Blue and Great Tits, and in the Silver Birch was a Willow Warbler. Nothing earth-shattering, but the warbler was a garden tick for me, and it was great to see so many birds in the garden at one time. And there I was the other day, complaining that all I get are Sparrows and Collared Doves!

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Old Saturday 14th August 2004, 19:56   #2
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Willow Warbler?

I appreciated the tone of this post very much. It goes along with my thinking on birders vs twitchers (see that thread for more!) and you are evidently and admirably the former, and also the thread about what underrated birds are. All yours are everday jewels. Good on you!
Just out of interest - how did you identify the Willow Warbler?
Hope the macaroni cheese was as enjoyable as the birds!!
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Old Saturday 14th August 2004, 20:07   #3
Elizabeth Bigg
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I must try macaroni cheese on the patio tomorrow - haven't seen a long tailed tit for ages!
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Old Saturday 14th August 2004, 20:21   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black52bird
Just out of interest - how did you identify the Willow Warbler?
I sat with a pair of bins waiting until it showed me its legs. I may not be a twitcher, but I don't want a Willow/Chiff on the garden list - I need certainty!

The macaroni cheese was just the ticket, too.
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Old Saturday 14th August 2004, 22:42   #5
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Hi Andy, that must have been a very nice sight to have longtailed tit's, we have not had them for at least 6 months. And the warbler!! what a day for you best of luck for a few more.
bert.
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Old Sunday 15th August 2004, 09:10   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black52bird
I appreciated the tone of this post very much. It goes along with my thinking on birders vs twitchers (see that thread for more!) and you are evidently and admirably the former, and also the thread about what underrated birds are. All yours are everday jewels. Good on you!
Just out of interest - how did you identify the Willow Warbler?
Hope the macaroni cheese was as enjoyable as the birds!!
best
David
I agree with David, Andy - a lovely post. You have a very 'green' garden, by the sounds of it. Sadly we don't have enough space for lots of trees and bushes. We're attracting goldfinches now, which is nice.
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Old Sunday 15th August 2004, 09:26   #7
Andy Ledger
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I think we benefit by being right on the edge of town, literally. On our side of the road it's all houses, cross over and it's farmland. I just pray that the farmer never sells it to property developers. Plus, I'm not much of a gardener, so there's plenty of cover in our hedge and around the borders. It's not a huge garden, but the two trees either side do help.
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Old Sunday 15th August 2004, 10:46   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goonerbirder
I think we benefit by being right on the edge of town, literally. On our side of the road it's all houses, cross over and it's farmland. I just pray that the farmer never sells it to property developers. Plus, I'm not much of a gardener, so there's plenty of cover in our hedge and around the borders. It's not a huge garden, but the two trees either side do help.
Trees are the secret to attracting birds - that and lots of dense cover such as ivy. You're in a great part of the country, too, if you're nearish to the coast, anyway.
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Old Sunday 15th August 2004, 12:45   #9
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We're about a mile from the Medway Estuary, near where it meets the Thames. A short drive from some top spots, and only a slightly longer drive to even more. I think I'm pretty lucky. More time to get out there would be nice, but birds turn up in unexpected places - like the Wheatear in the middle of a roundabout near our local Tesco supermarket.
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Old Sunday 15th August 2004, 12:49   #10
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Legs?

Do you think legs are enough?
It's always worried me as a certain ID focus.
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Old Sunday 15th August 2004, 13:35   #11
Andy Ledger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black52bird
Do you think legs are enough?
It's always worried me as a certain ID focus.
Best
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As it was just for a Willow Warbler on my garden list, and not for a first on the British list, it was enough for me. They weren't in any way dark, far from it. Also, it was tinged greener than I'd expect from a Chiffchaff. In the absence of it actually singing, or a VERY close look at its primaries, I can live with it. I sometimes wish I was set up for digiscoping, then I'd be able to peruse the bird at leisure, but for now I'll just have to do it the old fashioned way!
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Old Sunday 15th August 2004, 13:37   #12
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I had a Willow/Chiff in my garden in spring. I was able to photograph it, and sent pics to 2 experts asking for i.d. Yes. you guessed - one said w.w. and the other chiffchaff! In the finish, I measured the relationship of secondries/primaries and tail, and compared with guide book, which made it a chiffchaff! Best I could do.
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Old Sunday 15th August 2004, 13:57   #13
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All part of the fun, isn't it?

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