Friday, 18 January 2013

....AND THE BIRDS DROPPED OUT OF THE SKY

 Okay I have to admit the title for the post is uber lame but I was figuring there would be many posts with snow related puns, but looking around I was wrong. Perhaps I'm not the only one who groaned when they heard it was going to be snowing. I swear if I hear another reporter on the news asking for "viewers pictures of snow" I'm going to scream. I wasn't going to go out in the stuff, no point the vehicle would only get stuck, which was a shame as I've got (thanks to Paul Riddle) a Barn Owl to catch up with that I'm pretty excited about.
So I opted just to top up the feeders and see what turned up in the garden, glad I did. Now I have to confess as a bird photographer my garden is hardly "photographer friendly", firstly it isn't very big, located on a town centre housing estate, and the fact one half of the garden has a metal-style fence stopping the dogs getting out onto the grass during inclement weather thus preventing me having to get mud of their feet when they come running in. There's a yew tree that has Dunnocks,Robins and Goldcrests some sort of non-native tree that's a pain in the arse, no matter how much we chop down and rip it out of the ground the bugger returns and grows rapidly. There's a lot of this bush over the local park so probably spread from there. If you look at the Fieldfare and Long Tail Tit images you can already see that despite the freezing temperatures and now snowit is already budding...grrr.
 So there I was making a cup of tea after getting in from topping the feeders and I heard Long Tail Tits calling I had a quick glance out of the window and saw what I could only describe as a swarm of birds coming into land, I quickly grabbed my camera (switching to a smaller lens) and hung out the living room window. Firstly I counted 13 Long Tail Tits, they came onto the feeders a few times during their visit but spent most of the time nipping away at the buds on this horrible tree, then from all directions ( I swear I've never seen anything like it in my garden) was a mix flock of Great Tits and Blue Tits, sadly no Coal Tits, coming in en-masse, I counted only 5 Great Tits but an unbelievable 16 Blue Tits, normally at one time I would only see about 4 different Blue Tits in the garden, then the ever reliable and always hungry Starlings (56) turned up, I couldn't see the feeders! The Blue Tit and Starling were queueing up waiting for space on the feeders on the top of the metal fence, they don't normally do this because of the dogs. A couple of Dunnocks joined the feeding frenzy and last were 7 Blackbirds but the best came last but as always were very flitty, 8 Fieldfare. That's a new bird for the garden, sadly yesterdays 3 Mistle Thrush was just one Mistle Thrush and flew straight over, probably realised there wasn't much room for it to land! The fieldfare is typical of my garden with the lovely upvc window in the background on the left of the frame lol.
Until this afternoon I normally I hate snow, but it seems to have brought me a big influx of garden visitors, yipee, luckily for me I got big (12.5kg) bag of bird seed for just £4.99...bargain lol, that drew some funny jokes and looks from those that saw the bag, but I'm glad I did now, he who laughs last and all that...hahahah :) I started to hope for Bramblings or even a Redpoll, but sadly not yet. I was surprised to see the sheer numbers of birds and the noise and the fact that no cat and sadly no Sparrowhawk showed up, still we had our urban Buzzard yesterday and that's becoming quite regular as were the Common Gulls that circle over our house, they looked pretty special against the snow filled skies and had a angelic glow to their underside courtesy of the reflected light off snow covered ground.  Great Fun, now hurry up and melt please.

6 comments:

  1. That's some pretty impressive bird numbers Doug.
    Shows how vital it is for the birds this weather to have good people feeding them.
    I do like that Fieldfare. Just a little jealous. A few years since I've had them drop in.

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    1. Thanks Keith, yeah I like Fieldfares too, counted them up today we've got 25 Fieldfare, 50+ Redwing over the park, 3 Mistle Thrush and 1 Song Thrush, luckily loads of people have bird feeders on our estate so the trip to get my paper I was asked by several "I had this...." I love it.

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  2. I thought I had a manic day in the garden, Doug, but it doesn't seem it was half as crazy as yours! Lucky you!

    I've still not ventured out in this snow, but I'm going to have to get out soon or I'll go mad!

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  3. The number of Blue Tits were amazing it was like watching a minature flock of geese coming in.

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  4. For a so called 'non bird friendly' garden I think you done great there Doug .... I'm forever trying to rig something up so that I dont get the washing line in shot! Cracking Fieldfare ... plenty over my garden but not tempted one down yet!
    Tim@Timbobaggins Abroad

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    1. Cheers Tim, I know only to well that "washing line" in the frame situation lol. Yeah my Fieldfare never came to the feeders either just in the trees before popping onto some nearby berry bushes.

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