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Very busy at the bird feeder today!

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Old Wednesday 6th January 2010, 18:18   #2601
JeffMoh
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Only a few minutes' look in our yards today but did spot several Chipping Sparrows, House Finches and Northern Cardinals. Also a White-winged Dove, a Northern Mockingbird, a Downy Woodpecker, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and an Orange-crowned Warbler. So fairly busy.

Got out to a local park for half an hour, which added to my year list:
54. Red-bellied Woodpecker
55. American Robin
56. Red-shouldered Hawk
57. Carolina Wren
58. Red-headed Woodpecker
59. Vermilion Flycatcher

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Old Wednesday 6th January 2010, 19:21   #2602
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Some good spots today. Not been anywhere but work unfortunately. The days are at least getting longer. Now light till 4.30pm and the sun which was out for a good few hours took the edge off the temperature.

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Old Wednesday 6th January 2010, 19:47   #2603
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A Sharp-shinned Hawk just zoomed through our yard and spooked all the birds which were feeding at our yard feeders. This was Missouri Year Bird #61 and 2010 Yard/Garden Bird #16.

Birds which had been coming to the feeders: Blue Jay, Northern Cardinal, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Dark-eyed Juncos, European Starling, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Goldfinch and House Finch.
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Old Wednesday 6th January 2010, 20:57   #2604
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quite busy at my feeders today, at the first point i looked out after putting some more raisins, brussels, meal worms and peanuts, i was greeted by about 20 chaffinches feeding away like mad. 2 song thrush, 6 blue tit 2-3 great tit, 10 greenfinch were dotted between the trees and feeders plus a few goldfinch.plus 2 moorhen again, i'm used to them coming in, but it is amazing to see them becoming a daily visitor,
Actuallly had a REDWING visit the tree at the end of my garden today, first this winter! so hopefully all of those that keep flying over will decide to pay me a visit.

Hopefully some redpolls will make a visitt too along with brambling and fieldfare.....
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Old Wednesday 6th January 2010, 21:11   #2605
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Still dark when I left for work but already there were 15 Blackbirds and a Robin feeding. I forgot to take my lunch today so had to come home. Managed to add a Moorhen to this years garden list, now at 28 but no identifiable flyovers yet.

I checked last years list and I didn't get a Brambling until the end of January so still a chance.

I won't see anything else till the weekend now.

Lewis
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Old Wednesday 6th January 2010, 21:32   #2606
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Just thought i'd post my birding week .................snow.. snowy birds and more snow but here's 3 photos taken through the window as i'm not safe to go out in the snow anymore lol

how sneaky..... squirrel proof feeders i think not !!

PS captaincarot just said i had to let you all know about my working trip to MALTA i go 23rd feb for a week working as a teacher (my old job)for the week i sit and give out advice to oaps on there painting holiday
the week i'm there they will be painting wildlife and are set to be outside looking for some to paint draw and photograph had a look at birdlife and there might be a few different to ours so i'm taking my camera ..

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Old Thursday 7th January 2010, 06:47   #2607
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Nice one jabba and Micheal Hoping for redwing and brambling too at the minute lol.

Nice photos Bornwild thats a bloody sneaky squirrel for sure, I could do with a malta trip right now lol.

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Old Thursday 7th January 2010, 07:10   #2608
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My Fieldfare is back and he's mad he is belly flopping starlings right left and center lol
Awesome to watch and thought i would share before i go off to work:)

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Old Thursday 7th January 2010, 07:16   #2609
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Just a quick post:

I don't usually take much notice of flyovers as I'm too busy watching the action in the garden. Also, being quite close to a Reservoir complex, there are always birds flying back and forth. But I happened to look up while doing the feeders before it got light, when a lone Cormorant flew over.

It reminded me that all 10 Reservoirs are probably completely frozen over now; I've no idea where the Cormorants will find food as there's not much flowing water in my area (Rivers/Streams).
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Old Thursday 7th January 2010, 09:22   #2610
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Since I put out some chopped apple yesterday my solitary Fieldfare has decided to take on all comers - chases off the Blackbirds (and Wodpigeons) by running at them, or dive bombing from the shrubs or bird table, and then stands all fluffed up in the middle of the lawn. Eventually the Blackbirds get hungry, outnumber the Fieldfare, and get their share, but the spacing is much larger than it was.

Our first Lesser Redpolls of the year turned up this morning on the sunflower feeder, so I hope the Siskins won't be long now. And I saw a female Blackcap in the top of the shrubs next door just after I spotted the Redpolls.

Greenfinch have vanished completely - I think they may have been badly hit by disease.

Current visitors:

Woodpigeon 8
Collared Dove 3
Pied Wagtail 1
Wren 3
Dunnock 4
Robin 2
Blackbird 24
Fieldfare 1 (had 2 for a short time)
Blackcap 1
Coal Tit 3
Blue Tit 6
Great Tit 4
Magpie 1
Starling 8
House Sparrow 32
Chaffinch 8
Goldfinch 10
Lesser Redpoll 2
Bullfinch 6

Flyovers:

Red Kite 1
Black headed Gull 6
Carrion Crow 3

Update

Male Greenfinch feeding happily on the ground.
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Old Thursday 7th January 2010, 10:07   #2611
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superbly busy this morning, pretty much the same as yesterday, BUT I am really happy that I have now seen 3 willow tits together! went to get the scope on them for a better look, as 1 of them seemed much warmer in colour they dissappeared! hope i can track them down and get some photos of them to put my mind at rest on the id. knowing my look i will have to wrap up and sit very still close to the feeder as they are so quick!

I think we should all design the ultimate squirrel proof feeder! Crafty devils!
Edit, forgot 1 buzzard over this morning being mobbed by 6 crows
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Old Thursday 7th January 2010, 12:18   #2612
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Hey,

My garden is very busy also got home for me lunch the fieldfare had took to sleeping under me bird table lol, Pretty sure i had a Mpippit when i first got back too but could only observe for a few seconds before he fled.
Mistle Thrush also present with plenty of the normal got some pics for later.

cheers back to work now

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Old Thursday 7th January 2010, 12:27   #2613
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PS captaincarot just said i had to let you all know about my working trip to MALTA i go 23rd feb for a week working as a teacher (my old job)for the week i sit and give out advice to oaps on there painting holiday
the week i'm there they will be painting wildlife and are set to be outside looking for some to paint draw and photograph had a look at birdlife and there might be a few different to ours so i'm taking my camera ..
bornwild
Lucky you! I like Malta. Used to visit there often when I lived in Libya. I'm not sure you'll see many birds though. I think the Maltese try hard to shoot every bird that approaches the islands, including protected species that pass through during migration.

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Old Thursday 7th January 2010, 13:55   #2614
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Siskins?

During this snowy period, I've had my usual garden mix but with redpolls again battling for the nyger seed with the goldfinches. Last year was the first I'd had them in the garden and in high numbers. Come late Autumn '09 they were back again, which suggests that unlike bramblings they have returned to the same Winter area/site for a following year. I've not seen them in the Summer around here so I doubt they are resident birds.

Talking of bramblings there has been a single male and a female hanging around with the chaffinches here.

What is surprising is the complete lack of siskins so far here. Normally they are here in good numbers come the end of the year.
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Old Thursday 7th January 2010, 14:34   #2615
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Had my first Blackcap of the year today a male also first Brambling also a male and our first Greenfinch this year, total at moment 26.stuck some apples in tree nothing on them yet
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Old Thursday 7th January 2010, 14:52   #2616
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I think we should all design the ultimate squirrel proof feeder! Crafty devils!
No hope of success there, I fear. Like Bornwild's, our squirrels have learned to lift up the top of cage feeders. And to somehow climb around a squirrel baffle to get onto our platform feeder. And to perch and eat on our suet feeders. And to shake other feeders until seeds fall out onto the ground. And to reel up and bite through the string holding peanut-butter-covered pine cones. There's really no end to their craftiness.

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Old Thursday 7th January 2010, 15:18   #2617
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The gentle Collard Dove (or not)

Most people think Collard Doves are gentle birds, but anyome who's observed them for any length of time knows different. Collard Doves are no different to any other Bird; they'll do whatever is necessary to survive. So why am I posting this? Well because one of them just surprised even me. Bear in mind that I've been watching my garden for years, and for at least 6 hours a day, so I don't get surprised too often lately.

I was upstairs and could hear a funny squeaking noise coming from the garden. I knew it wasn't a Starling as they are always beating one another up, and I'm used to that sound, but it sounded a bit different to the noise that the House Sparrows make when squabbling. So I went downstairs to see what it was, oh, and I knew it wasn't a Sparrowhawk as I could hear all of the other birds still in the garden.

For those that don't know, I hang home made trays in the trees for the Collys and Sparrows (which the Pigeons worked out long ago). Usually Sparrows feed from these trays alongside the Collard Doves, and sometimes the Starlings. The Sparrows also have 2 normal seed feeders that they empty before the afternoon. Anyway my garden has gone mad recently and sharing is a thing of the past, now it seems it's a case of get to the food or die trying.

OK, so you get the idea, so back to what surprised me:

At the side of one of the trays was a Collard Dove, in it's mouth was the wing of a Sparrow. The Sparrow was dangling from the Colly's beak while screeching and trying to fly away (not easy when one of your wings is clamped in another bird's beak). The Sparrow continued to struggle, and every now and then the Colly gave it a shake from side to side. This went on for about 30 seconds until the Colly ate the Sparrow; no it didn't, just kidding. The Sparrow eventually got free, or was released, and flew away unharmed. So I'm guessing that all deals are off as far as sharing is concerned.

When you get the chance, watch your gardens as much as possible, I think that this harsh weather will provide some very interesting behaviour. Oh, and it really is costing me more than I can afford to feed the birds ATM, maybe an average of the numbers over the last few days will help explain why:
  • 60+ Feral Pigeons (yes I know, that's 20 more than usual)
  • 24+ Collard Doves
  • 30+ Starlings
  • 30+ House Sparrows
  • 10+ Chaffinches
  • 6 Jays
  • 3 Carrion Crows
  • 3 Magpies
  • 5+ Great Tits
  • 4+ Blue Tits
  • 2 Robins (definitely different birds as seen within a few feet of each other, which is odd)
  • 5+ Squirrels

If you think that's not a lot of Wildlife; all of the above are in a 20 foot square garden with 2 trees taking up most of the space.
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Old Thursday 7th January 2010, 15:20   #2618
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Well we have about 8" of the white stuff here, and everything is permanently frozen solid. I do feel sorry for all the wildlife in these circumstances, but all I can do is make sure there is plenty of food and water for them. Just keeping the water bowls clear of ice is a bit of a never ending job.

I have just cut up a couple of apples and pears that had gone a bit soft, so maybe that will bring in a few more customers...and yes, it costs me a ruddy fortune in peanuts every year!

Here are a few visitors, with the lovely male bullfinch making an appearance.
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Old Thursday 7th January 2010, 15:33   #2619
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Just before this cold snap started we were getting up to 5 squirrels a day eating everything in site but this cold weather seems to be keeping them holed up in their dreys.At least thats one plus side of this weather.
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Old Thursday 7th January 2010, 15:50   #2620
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Just before this cold snap started we were getting up to 5 squirrels a day eating everything in site but this cold weather seems to be keeping them holed up in their dreys.At least thats one plus side of this weather.
thats lucky i have upto 6 evreyday playing tag and eating everything, including some of the brussels i put out for the moorhen!

Had a superb fieldfare in the tree today at the end, first of the winter that has actually sat still and eaten the berries. as i came back in he was chomping away on a lovely apple (1 that hadnt been pinched bvy the squirrels!)
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Old Thursday 7th January 2010, 15:56   #2621
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We get fieldfare"s and Redwing"s in the trees opposit but they never come down into the garden so I have bought some apples today and stuck them on the branches of our rowan tree fingers cross that will bring them down
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Old Thursday 7th January 2010, 17:09   #2622
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Hey guys just got back from work and catching up on the thread.

Awesome shots GE and what a lovely set up ya got going on there, I'm blessed not to have any squidgells at present "Thats what me daughter calls squirrels and it kinda sticks"
Fieldfare numbers increased to 2 though which is nice got some more shots today and apples is sure the way to go.
I would chop a couple in half and lay em on the lawn too mate seems mine are most happy to feed there and belly flop starlings.

Later
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Old Thursday 7th January 2010, 17:37   #2623
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Love everyone's descriptions of their fieldfares' antics! You know that old saying-'be careful what you wish for, it might come true' ? Well I've been putting out apples every winter for years, hoping for a fieldfare ..... now there's one in the front, and another in the back garden! Mayhem! We've got a new saying in our 'ouse... anyone being a bit beligerent or stroppy.... they're fieldfarish! A redwing has tried to join the melee, so there were 4 thrush species together - dare I wish for a Mistle?!
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Old Thursday 7th January 2010, 17:46   #2624
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Some unusual paw prints on the snow covered lawn this morning.. so have just put out a couple of sausages for a foxy treat!!

Birdwise its pretty normal today, the Redwings are still in good numbers as is virtually everything else. Only one Redpoll & Fieldfare and no Song or Mistle thrush today.

Temprature was -15 when I left for work this morning, I did find time to think of how the birds were copping, sure cant be pleasant.
Have been finding whatever scraps of bird edible food to put out, including some jaw breaking musili that has been sat in the cupboard, a few extra handfulls of cheap seed also. Unfortunatly only getting an hour of light after work this week, but with the complete whiteout with the snow it does keep a little lighter for longer... about 16.20hrs this evening. Roll on weekend.

Some great posts over the last week or so, good to see some new contibutors too, although I miss the updates from the likes of Fozzy, Treesparrow and Moray, maybe they are all snowed in!! <I am sure they can be tempted out though>

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Old Thursday 7th January 2010, 18:15   #2625
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I forgot to add these to my last post, all taken today through the window:
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