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Patch Neglect. (1 Viewer)

brianfm

Botanical Birder
I'm afraid because of my recent trip to Islay and Jura (report here http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=156343 Thanks to those who have commented) and a variety of other more mundane issues, I've rather neglected the local patch in recent weeks. One thing I have kept my eye on however, is the Rowan Tree across the street.

As, I think, the photographs below show, the tree changed significantly during October. Unfortunately I was away when the leaves reached their peak of wine red colouring before dropping to the ground. I did notice a couple of days ago that the tree was acting as an avian restaurant as the berries where attacting flocks of birds. Mistle Thrushes, with their rattling calls, seemed to be the most dominant birds about, but the flocks of Starling and Blackbirds were not easily put off and almost equally noisy. Is anyone able to tell me the name for a flock of Blackbirds please? The usualy shy and timid Song Thrushes also surprisingly held their ground, such was the attraction of the berries. I also found tits being attracted.

I wasn't surprised to see the Mistle Thrushes taking charge as I had watched one of them protect its ornamental Rowan white ,earlier this year, from a flock of ninety Waxwings. The Waxwings being very easily intimidated. Anyway, I walked past the Rowan across the street today as I walked in the darkness of late afternoon and I found the tree to be almost completely stripped of its berries. Only a few individual berries now hung from limp barnches of the tree.

I hope to be off to Martin Mere on Saturday and then I must get back into patch birding.
 

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Pam_m

Well-known member
That is or rather was a splendid Rowan tree, Brian.

The leaves have all fallen from my Rowan tree now and there are very few berries left.

The name or names for a flock of Blackbirds:
A cloud, flock, grind, merl of blackbirds.
 

brianfm

Botanical Birder
Thank you Val and Pam. I am enchanted by this tree each autumn.

Pam...thanks, I really should have known merl!
 

Peewit

Once a bird lover ... always a bird lover
super pictures Brian. Love the autumn colours - very vibriant and warm looking.

Love the names for flocks of Thrushes

I know for group of Goldfinches - it is a Charm of Goldfinches. o:)

Regards
Kathy
x
 

Sy V

Well-known member
Rowans are marvellous for foraging flocks of Waxwings, too.
They are also prevalent in a lot of spooky anecdotes. It seems they have a somewhat superstitious reputation.
From Wikipedia:
"Rowan is one of the familiar wild trees in the British Isles, and has acquired numerous English folk names. The following are recorded folk names for the Rowan: Delight of the eye (Luisliu), Mountain ash, Quickbane, Quickbeam, Quicken (tree), Quickenbeam, Ran tree, Roan tree, Roden-quicken, Roden-quicken-royan, Round wood, Round tree, Royne tree, Rune tree, Sorb apple, Thor's helper, Whispering tree, Whitty, Wicken-tree, Wiggin, Wiggy, Wiky, Witch wood, Witchbane, Witchen, Witchen Wittern tree."

Incidentally, when my son was a lot younger, he grew some trees from natural seed.
Horse Chestnut from Conkers.
Sweet Chestnut from chestnuts.
Rowans from berries.
Oak from Acorns.
Ash from their 'helicopter' seeds and
Sycamore from from their 'helicopter' seeds.

We planted a variety in the hedgerows around our fields and we offered some to the warden of a local nature reserve (the name of which, for the purpose of this story will remain unmentioned).
He welcomed them all with open arms, bar one species that he basically told us where we could plant/put them! - Sycamore. I gather they're seen as weeds these days.
 
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bill moss

Well-known member
Hi Brian,

Been neglecting my local patch too but I haven't anything as colourful as those, great photos.

Haven't seen a Mistle in ages and no sight of ANY Winter Thrushes yet (but I haven't been down the Lane for a week, must go look) anywhere that I've been; where are they?

For berries, I've got a Cotoneaster that's laden with them but not even the Blackbirds have had a go; maybe I'm putting out too much scone?

Enjoy Martin Mere.

Bill
 

brianfm

Botanical Birder
Thanks Simon and Bill

Really interesting post Simon. I'm always very interested in the naming of our wild heritage. Bill got my interest going on that some years ago. Sycamores do certainly take some stick. The local Wildlife Trust has recently being collecting seed fro replanting.

Bill...I have only had two calling Redwings overhead on patch so far Bill, but as I say I haven't been to active recently. There were lots of Redwings about on my trip to Lindisfarne in Oct and large flocks of both Redwing and Fieldfare on both Islay and Jura when I was up there last week. I usually find they arrive on patch around New Year after a very cold snap. By then they seem to spend their time feeding on the fields.

I've never been to Martin Mere so will report back on my findings. Sadly the weather forcast I heard was pretty dreadful for Saturday.

Cheers
 

Pam_m

Well-known member
Forgot to say enjoy your trip to Martin Mere, Brian! :t: Take your brolly...hope you don't need it though!:eek!:
 

BazR

bazr
Hi Brian.
I viewed your pics of the Rowan with a tinge of sadness. My neighbour across the road had a beauty in his garden, until earlier this year when he had it removed because he feared that its roots were endangering the drains and sewers on his property.

I have missed its developmental stages throughout the year. Coming into leaf, the beautiful white flowers, followed by the red berries, and then the invasion by dozens of Starlings and some Blackbirds. He might have had a point, but boy do I miss the tree.
Beutiful pics Bonny Lad.

Baz.
 

brianfm

Botanical Birder
Hi Brian.
I viewed your pics of the Rowan with a tinge of sadness. My neighbour across the road had a beauty in his garden, until earlier this year when he had it removed because he feared that its roots were endangering the drains and sewers on his property.

I have missed its developmental stages throughout the year. Coming into leaf, the beautiful white flowers, followed by the red berries, and then the invasion by dozens of Starlings and some Blackbirds. He might have had a point, but boy do I miss the tree.
Beutiful pics Bonny Lad.

Baz.

Hi Baz

I'm glad that you enjoyed the photos.

It's always sad to see a signifigant tree go. I've noticed this year that a number have suffered from the winds in this area.

Cheers
 
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