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Bird Watching
Mon 10-Jan-11
10:43 am
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devongarden
Devon, UK

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Michelle from Oregon said:

devongarden said:

We saw a tree creeper this morning, on the tree across the street from P's house. (See here.) I wouldn't have recognised it instantly, but he did. They are hard to see, but not uncommon apparently.


 

Well, you had the Master with you......big_laugh

When we were in the Oregon Gardern I was in awe of him and his bird identifying abilities. Make me feel better and tell me he's been watching birds since he was a child so thats why the names come to him so naturally?

 


 

Yes, he did spend a lot of his childhood roaming the countryside and watching birds (when he wasn't train spotting big_laugh). He knows most of the English birds by sound as well as sight. He keeps encouraging me with that but it really is like learning a foreign language. I learn a few each year and forget most of them over the winter. I am happy learning to recognise the ones I see!
When we first visited the US together I knew more American birds than he did, and there are still a few I recognise before he does, but he has learned them so fast! He goes by "jizz"--general impression, shape and size--and seems to absorb the information readily. We do travel with bird books, my field guide, his Sibley, and we get bird lists when we visit nature reserves to help narrow down the choices.

 
I have robins in the garden, and they come round when I am gardening, but they are not nearly as friendly as Danuta's. That is impressive!

I saw the nuthatch again this morning. It goes down on this week's list for Garden Bird Watch.

 

Mon 10-Jan-11
1:54 pm
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devongarden
Devon, UK

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Michelle from Oregon said:

 

Make me feel better and tell me he's been watching birds since he was a child so thats why the names come to him so naturally?
 


 

Michelle, he says his misspent youth was divided between wildlife and trains. doh

Sun 16-Jan-11
4:14 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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Saw a brambling just now " I thought that it looked like a very spruced-up sparrow, and then I saw the back of the head is a bit like a badger stripe " great !!

brightsparklystuff

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Sun 16-Jan-11
4:33 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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wave  They are lovely aren't they. They have never visited my garden again, but I live in hope.   smile

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Sun 16-Jan-11
4:38 pm
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brightspark
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We are very lucky here - having lots of trees and farmland and vineyards around, we have a selection of birds!

Danuta, your weather this winter has been awful, snow lasted a lot longer, and now I keep hearing about flood warnings in Scotland - have you had any problems with flooding?

 

Women are like tea bags. . .
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- Eleanor Roosevelt -
Sun 16-Jan-11
4:53 pm
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danast
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wave  The ground is very wet and the burns are  very full, but we have no flooding here.  The rain must have been very persistent last night, but I slept through it.   I don't think I have ever seen the roads in such a bad state, the verges are crumbling and the potholes are very dangerous. 

However ( keeping on track TA ) can I ask how much anyone is paying for peanuts in their neck of the woods?   I just paid £43 for a big sack.  aargh    Can you believe that?   I know it will last for ages, but what a price.  Thing is all the birds and the squirrels come for food now, so I couldn't possibly stop feeding them.

Old teachers never die, they just lose their class

Sun 16-Jan-11
9:06 pm
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devongarden
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Danuta, that is a lot to pay! What size sack was it? But when I look at what I paid for seed last month I cringe! I use Vine House Farm for bird seed (link here) because they grow a lot of their own seed, support the wildlife trusts, and are really reliable at next day delivery (which is included in the prices listed).

I have decided not to buy another bag of peanuts because they get eaten so slowly they go mouldy in the feeders, but the birds are now guzzling the ones I am putting out to finish what I have. doh I find that sunflower seed hearts or chips are best here, eaten by almost all the birds. The goldfinches even seem to prefer it to niger seed, though I have both in feeders.

Sun 16-Jan-11
9:41 pm
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Heather E
Rubery, Worcestershire

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My birds seem to have suddenly disappeared, except the pigeons!  It's gone much milder here, so they may be off looking for insects etc, but I feel quite bereft after all the winter visitors I've been fattening up.  Ungrateful little b****s.  I have about half a dozen neglected fat balls looking very bedraggled - very misshapen through lots of pecking and softening up by rain.  They don't appear to be mouldy, but do you think I ought to ditch them and put new ones out?  I'm not sure I want to just throw them away, and I'm a bit miffed with my little feathered friends.  On the other hand, Spike's been on the prowl more lately, since the snow has gone. Hmmm.

Gone crazy. Back soon.

Sun 16-Jan-11
10:15 pm
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brightspark
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Danuta, that does seem a lot of money, doesn't it?

I can't buy peanuts here - I bring them over from UK - but yesterday I bought a 5kg sack of mixed bird seed for almost €4, which seemed very reasonable.

 

Women are like tea bags. . .
you never know how strong they are
until they're in hot water.
- Eleanor Roosevelt -
Sun 16-Jan-11
10:21 pm
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seth
lincolnshire fens

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devongarden said:

Danuta, that is a lot to pay! What size sack was it? But when I look at what I paid for seed last month I cringe! I use Vine House Farm for bird seed (link here) because they grow a lot of their own seed, support the wildlife trusts, and are really reliable at next day delivery (which is included in the prices listed).

 

 

Shouldn't have used the link delivery price is the same as collection price and I take the sacks back !  steam  

Seed catalogues are responsible for more unfulfilled fantasies than the web and playboy combined . (after Michael Perry)

Mon 17-Jan-11
1:45 am
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Michelle from Oregon
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danast said:

  Thing is all the birds and the squirrels come for food now, so I couldn't possibly stop feeding them.


 Its a heavy load isn't it?

I know the feeling, I had to yell at Dan before I left this time, "Don't forget my birds! You have to feed my birds!".

He rolls his eyes, but he's probablly better at being consistant at feeding them then I am. peace

If you can't be a shining example, be a terrible warning!

Mon 17-Jan-11
7:18 am
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OdelleS
Cleveland,North-East,U.K.

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danast said:

wave  The ground is very wet and the burns are  very full, but we have no flooding here.  The rain must have been very persistent last night, but I slept through it.   I don't think I have ever seen the roads in such a bad state, the verges are crumbling and the potholes are very dangerous. 

However ( keeping on track TA ) can I ask how much anyone is paying for peanuts in their neck of the woods?   I just paid £43 for a big sack.  aargh    Can you believe that?   I know it will last for ages, but what a price.  Thing is all the birds and the squirrels come for food now, so I couldn't possibly stop feeding them.


We're all as bad as each other, feeding the birds, squirrels, anything and everything that has to forage for food especially during the dreadful weather we've had.

I try not to think about what it's costing me....I can't stop snow though, as you say danast, they come every day as they're used to it.  What I could buy with what I spend, but it wouldn't be as pleasurable as watching the birds and squirrels antics every day.

We had dreadful rain & wind Friday/Saturday, yes we've had lots of flooding and damage, especially the roads, the bottom of my garden is like a pond, that'll take some draining away, they'll be ducks swimming on it soon! No shortage of water this year. It's nothing though compared to all those poor people in Australia, it doesn't bear thinking about does it, climate warming, over-population, I really don't know but every thing is going 'topsy-turvy', I couldn't bear to watch it on the news.

Will catch up again soon, Odelle. wave  

Mon 17-Jan-11
7:55 am
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OdelleS
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devongarden said:

Danuta, that is a lot to pay! What size sack was it? But when I look at what I paid for seed last month I cringe! I use Vine House Farm for bird seed (link here) because they grow a lot of their own seed, support the wildlife trusts, and are really reliable at next day delivery (which is included in the prices listed).

I have decided not to buy another bag of peanuts because they get eaten so slowly they go mouldy in the feeders, but the birds are now guzzling the ones I am putting out to finish what I have. doh I find that sunflower seed hearts or chips are best here, eaten by almost all the birds. The goldfinches even seem to prefer it to niger seed, though I have both in feeders.


The little wee devils here eat what they want depending on when the mood takes them I'm sure of it, they pick & choose, there's always a mixed selection out now, and if the finches and tits don't eat one thing, the sparrows, bully blackbird (he is!) will eat anything if he thinks the other birds want it, the resident robin sits on the fence nearest to the windows chirping away when he wants food, bully blackbird does the same, what's left the wood pigeons come to finish off, it's amazing that birds have their own little characters, they're clever little things though, never cease to amaze, they've probably got us sussed out as a 'soft touch' I'm sure!

I can identify with that, just when you think they're not eating one thing it's a sure thing put it out for something else and they'll start to eat it....think they're testing us....ha, ha. roll_eyes wave

Mon 17-Jan-11
8:25 am
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OdelleS
Cleveland,North-East,U.K.

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Toffeeapple said:

We have masses of Starlings in our big town, I love watching them.  I haven't seen a Nuthatch since I was in Symonds Yat at my SiL's place.


Strange, we have hardly any Starlings here, yet plenty of sparrows, tits of all types, beautiful song-thrushes, charming wrens, robins and blackbirds that nest every year in the most inappropriate places,  I'm like the 'mother hen', on guard, when the chicks hatch.

Almost forgot had a 'sparrow hawk' come into my front garden few months ago, oh it was awful, it took the poor sparrow, plucked it in the garden amongst the leaves, I never expected to see that in a 'suburban' front garden, I was horrified at the time, here's me feeding them to be fodder for the hawk, stupid of me, just shocked at the time, it's nature, they all have to live and eat the same as us all.

Odelle. doh wave 

Mon 17-Jan-11
10:08 pm
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danast
Argyll, Scotland

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wave  I have a sparrow hawk who regularly appears to swoop down on my bird feeders.  This morning as I looked out of the kitchen window, I wondered at the lack of birds.  I looked around and there was the sparrow hawk sitting on the path beside my polytunnel.  He really is very handsome and I know he needs to eat, but I wish he would use another cafe.

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