Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Too cold for birding (in my humble opinion)

Many twitchers will go out in all weathers, I however prefer to enjoy our feathered friends when it isn't -9°C (with wind chill)!! Unfortunately I am forced to leave the house to walk our energetic pup, so do have to endure these horrible temperatures twice a day.

I put some more food out for the poor little birds, and in the process I nearly got frostbite! I hope they appreciated it!

Whilst hiding away indoors, I have been keeping myself busy. I am knitting mum a phone sock thing and also have several other projects on the go.

Pup also spends a lot of his time in the mornings looking cute and posing rather nicely, perfect photo opportunities!

Our resident robin also sat and posed briefly for me before fluttering off into the undergrowth.

Our lovely robin

Looking a bit dubious!

I'm amazed he actually stayed still while I took these close up photos! Aren't dog's noses incredible!!

Anyway, apologies for lack of interesting birds in this post! I am really hoping that the weather is going to get a bit warmer so I can get out and about!

This time last year I had just finished writing my dissertation and we were all outside drinking beer and it was about 25°C. So come on spring where on earth have you got to?!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Spring certainly hasn't sprung!

Well it seems that winter is hanging on just a little longer than everyone hoped, and freezing cold north-easterly winds and snow flurries have kept me very much confined to my house! I really wish that spring would hurry up! 
Lone cloud
Beautiful daffies
Even though it has been mighty chilly I have still been bird watching... just from the back door! I noticed the blue tits have been investigating the bird box which we put up again after its winter clean out. I am quite content watching the chaffinches while they barge each other off the feeders and the long tailed tits flitting around the garden like little mice with wings! 
Blue tit on the bird box

How many long tailed tits can fit on one bird feeder?!

LTT in flight

I often ponder whether there is a kind of hierarchy in the garden bird world, I think there probably is! The GSW is definitely top bird, probably followed by the starling then the great tit. Followed by the chaffinch and the house sparrow, the greenfinch, the goldfinch and then the blue tit and the long tailed tit. The little wren doesn't really fit in this category, but I definitely think it would give some of these birds a run for their money! Another thing I wondered was if there was some way I could work out how loud us humans would have to shout, to match how loud the wrens sing with regards to body size?! Any ideas?!
Chaffinch, house sparrow, great tit and goldfinch!

The back of a greenfinch

and.. it from the front

LTT and blue tit sharing the remaining fat ball
While I was watching the birdies, Bracken was sitting back, relaxing...with his legs crossed!

Hopefully spring will have sprung before I post again and there will have been some nice still days so I can go and find the bearded tits which have been seen/heard down the road from me!

Friday, 1 March 2013

A dedication and a mystery

First of all, I would like to dedicate this post to my Granny, she was a wonderful grandparent, and she died 7 years ago today. She loved birds, especially robins and today I was going to try and take a photo of our robin that visits our garden, but the weather is a bit iffy so the photo below is one I took back in the autumn. I always remember peering out of the window in the back door, trying to see which birds had visited the bird table. Usually there was a very naughty squirrel stealing the food my Granny had put out! I do believe she had a water pistol to squirt at them! Fond memories indeed x

Well in addition to the handsome robin, here are some other garden friends who are always a pleasure to watch flitting around in the trees, fighting over the food and trying to establish some dominance.

Blue tit

Blue tit

Great tit

Great tit

Collared doves in their nest (are these chicks?)

Charm of goldfinch

Wren (a bit blurry)

Great spotted woodpecker

Female house sparrow

Male house sparrow

I think I could watch the garden birds ALL day!

As you may know it is also St. David's day today and my mum always makes sure we have some lovely daffodils. This year accompanied by pussy willow.

We also seem to have a mystery on our hands....

Usually our fat ball feeder hangs nicely from a branch on our smaller tree. The starlings and the great spotted woodpecker make it swing about a bit, but they have never caused it to fall off the branch.

A couple of nights ago, I let the pup out for a final wee before bed and the fat ball feeder was still hanging as per. Came down in the morning and it wasn't there... I thought maybe it had been a bit windy in the night, but when I went out to put it back up it was too far away to have been blown down, and it was underneath the wildlife log pile mum created a while ago... I was a bit puzzled! Put it back up etc. only to find the next morning exactly the same thing had happened, and it was actually wedged underneath the logs and branches. I've been having a bit of a think about who the culprit could be but haven't come to any conclusions. I've never seen a squirrel in our garden so I doubt that could be our mystery creature. I don't think a cat would have done it, as there have always been cats around and the feeder has been up for quite a while without any trouble. So, I'm stumped!

Here are my 'crime scene' shots!

Usual hanging position

Normal visitor

GSW on feeder

Where has it gone? Who is responsible?!

Wedged under the logs and branches

If anyone has any idea what it could be, please do comment below :) Or maybe I should stay up all night and find out for myself! Or it could just be that I want it to be something other than a cat!!