Sunday, 20 March 2016


Honestly this will be my last post on Siskin's.
Birding this week has been limited to what I've seen whilst at/going to/coming back from work. But saying that I've seen some nice birds including Little Egret, displaying Buzzards and Golden Plover.  The fields surrounding the industrial estate are looking very tempting for any passing wader and resemble both wetlands and mini scrapes, if you squint,  thus far it's only producing wildfowl, plenty of Snipe sightings and gulls. Even counted 5 Goosander behind the brewery on the Nene. The towpath section is coming alive at dawn with Cetti's Warbler and Song Thrush being the most noticeable calls and a Chiff-Chaff.
The only place due to prior engagements for any sit down birding was courtesy of the garden.
It's a hive of activity. Plenty of Tits, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Wren, Dunnock etc.
In fact I've noted the Dunnock is already paired up and even taking individual seed back to a female and passing food.
Which brings me to the Siskin's.

All week I've been fluctuating between 4 to 6 birds visiting...think Goldfinch in terms of devouring sunflower hearts. I've heard plenty more calling from other gardens. I reckon there must be approximately 18-20 birds around.
I placed more feeders out overnight on Saturday night trimmed a few more branches as you do at night :-/

I had 8 birds (6 male 2 female) on the feeders this afternoon which provided slightly more entertainment then the Grand Prix. Though I'm excited to see Murray Walker will be involved in the new coverage and ol' Suzi has gone too. Early days but I reckon it'll be really interesting especially with the rookies and I'll reckon we'll see a stronger Ferrari once the circus hits Europe.
Anyway another Siskin

 Another Siskin.....
 Sorry but they were a bogey bird for me so here's two more in a very slightly different pose.....filled my boots. Light levels in my garden don't get much better, it was sunny!!

I've got to get another bogey bird off my list now a list which includes Merlin, Firecrest, Ring Ouzel, Hippo, Treecreeper (!)

Saturday, 12 March 2016


I have to say at the start of the week I thought the two Siskin's had departed, in fact all the way up to Thursday I was convinced they'd gone.
However on Friday and today I've had 6 birds in the garden.....typical,what's the saying about buses?
Weirdly it's five males and just one female, good luck love!
Typically I drew the curtains to see what and how many were in the garden and typical luck, fog/mist. The Tits were darting back and forth and a Song Thrush in full song cheered me up.
I could see and hear one female Siskin calling away in the top of one of the Sycamores. I'm convinced it was a call to feed as it was soon joined by one of the male Siskin's and a couple of Goldfinch.
Typically by the time the must had vanished it was quite late before I headed out for my cycle. Typically I went along the Brampton Valley. Untypically it wasn't quiet. Nothing special but good numbers of common birds.
The fields still had plenty of water in them with huge flocks of gulls and geese. Only birds of prey of note was a Kestrel and a pair of Buzzards.
Tried for a Yellowhammer typically not brilliant.
 It had to be a short visit as I'm off to Crufts with my greyhounds tomorrow and Chelsea are playing, typically shit too.

Monday, 7 March 2016


The two Siskin's were at the feeders again on Sunday but all didn't go to plan.
The light in the morning was fantastic, sadly this due to garden layout means poking my lens directly into the sun, as you'll see.
Mid-afternoon was lunch around mum's, when's "SON's DAY"? By time I got to the  shed/hide it was grey skies. But I got to watch the pair especially the female, I was impressed by boldness and dominance of the female at the feeders.
The local birds beak's being put out of place.
Into the sun.
 Really didn't like any other bird on the feeders
No wonder one Siskin was hiding, enjoying the break from the nagging
A Blue Tit

A Great Tit with a case of wind.
More traditional pose
Both Siskins were on the feeders this morning and evening hopefully they'll be there Tuesday too.

Saturday, 5 March 2016


I haven't posted for a while and not from the lack of birding. Sadly a combination of lousy weather, distant birds, lack of anything of real note, work and lastly a laptop that keeps inexplicably blowing memory card readers.
Honestly in the last eleven days I've had to return (red faced) five different readers. I'd install the blasted thing, use it once then on the second use it keeps ejecting itself with a fault code "exceeding maximum power (voltage) recommended for the device being used" no one I know has a clue, it's fine downloading SD and MICRO-SD including massive video files from my helmet cam'.
So any images I'm having to directly download from he camera via a USB cable which takes forever.
I went for a cycle along the Brampton Valley today with a mixture of hail, sleet, bright sunshine and freezing wind. It was a bit quiet. Small flocks of Fieldfare were again distant. Running along the hedgerow going up Merry Tom lane/farm was an interesting flock of Blackbirds (15) and Redwing which kept getting flushed by something.
In the field at the top of the lane heading towards Pitsford I got to listen to and count 6 Skylarks.

A Kestrel, Buzzard and Redkite were the only birds of prey I saw yet annoyingly twice this week I've seen a Merlin chasing Tit flocks at our depot on Pineham industrial estate. Also on one cycle to work got unbelievable views of an Otter on the canal. Best views ever and sadly only the third I've ever seen in my lifetime.

So to the Siskin. Despite seeing plenty I've somehow never got any half decent images of this delightful winter visitor.
I've never had any visit my garden either, until today.
I got home after my cycle and went to top up the feeders ready for the regular Goldfinch pre-roost binge.
I spotted two Siskin on the nearly empty feeders. I know faced a dilemma, you see being the owner of three greyhounds and a newly rescued Whippet my feeders and nature area is a gated and fenced off separate bit of the garden as is my shed...I mean "DOUG'S HIDE" where if I  wanted photos I'd have to go to and flush them away in the process, the curse of the bogey bird.
So off I went as did the Siskin at least the Blue Tits stayed as I topped up the feeders and headed to the shed...I mean hide..and waited.

No surprise the Goldfinch were first back on the scene. I could hear the Siskins calling so knew they'd come back. I was getting excited to be honest they'd already been added to my garden list I now needed to get some photo's. Sadly the regular finches were hogging the better feeders so had to settle for the darker area of my nature reserve lol. But for once I don't care even though they're not a masterpiece in photography they're more importantly off the bogey list, yippee.

 Hopefully they will be back tomorrow though going on various sightings of Siskins locally today it could be them moving off/passing through, guess where I'll be tomorrow morning and I figure if I ride my bike to the top of the garden I can put them on my "bike year list" ;-)