Saturday, April 26, 2008

Viewings Now Available

Great excitement - I have a pair of blue-tits checking out the bird box. Over the last few days, one has been tantalising me by hopping around on the quince and even perching on the hole and having a peck round the outside. This time not only did he bring the missus but he or she popped inside to check it out. They flew off shortly afterwards. I think blue tits can have two or three potential nest sites and then choose one. Either that or blue tits aren't monogamous.

Friday, April 25, 2008

First Swallow

Spotted my first swallow of the summer - I was on the phone at the time and saw it flitting past the window and over the house. Not the earliest sighting of the year I'm sure but my first one.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Two By Two

A pair of greater spotted woodpeckers were out this morning. Only working out that it was a pair having seen the red patch on the back of the male's head and then a couple of minutes later the female appeared who doesn't have the red patch.

There was also a pair of nuthatches investigating the nuts and even on the ground at one point. Unusual to see two of these but it is Spring, so birds appearing in twos seem to be more common.

The male pheasant appeared for his breakfast, looking very smart with his bright red cheek patches, white collar and brightly breeding plumage. Having scoffed down his seed, he then limped across the lawn to pick up the outfall from the hanging feeders. An injury from fighting a rival for either territory or females but not successful as he wasn't part of a pair. He's certainly onto a good thing here - getting fed twice a day - when he turns up. The females tend to turn up later - when he's gone - although when they're all together he can get very amorous.

Three Robins, One Garden

A few minutes watching the feeders and I spotted half a dozen blue tits, a couple of great tits, a dozen or so chaffinches, several sparrows, greenfinches, dunnock, three robins, three wood pigeons and a yellow-hammer - an unusual visitor to garden feeders but very distinctive with the bright yellow-head. A greater spotted woodpecker also made a brief appearance.

Far more birds appearing at one sitting than I ever see in my garden and they're constantly flitting to and from the feeders. Disappearing into the beech hedge and then out again. The chaffinches are constantly chasing each other around the feeders and on the ground, also chasing other birds off the feeders.

The robins were all fairly close to each other on the top part of the lawn. Two are obviously a pair - I saw one (male) feeding the other (female). Whether the third one is another female - hence being tolerated in the pairs territory, I'm not sure. Robin's are usually very territorial and will chase off other robins. Is this one supporting two females?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Des Res

Delightful residence, close to local amenities, within easy flying distance of superb outdoor dining. Good view, friendly neighbours. Any takers?

Apparently not - my bird boxes are being ignored, yet again.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Trio of Goldfinches

Three goldfinches on the feeders today. I thought there were four at one point as one flew in one direction and then another appeared from a different direction but it had just done a loop. Two sat on the niger feeder for a while and one on the seed feeder before they flew off. Two in one direction, over the park and the other had a drink first before flying off southwards across the park.

A couple of hours later a blackcap (male) appeared on the pyracantha at the front, right by the window. The blue tits have been regular visitors there too for the last couple of weeks.

Monday, April 07, 2008

New Moon in April

There's a wonderful moon out tonight.

There was a new moon last night and as I drove back from Tai Chi in Lewes it's low in the West and just a sliver of moon and the faint glow of earth shine lighting up the dark side of the moon.

Pretty clear sky tonight with plenty of stars visible - as the moon's so dark.

Snow Still

The sun is out so it won't be long until the snow vanishes but it stayed around overnight and the wood pigeons are gobbling up the seed I put out on the ground.

The blue tits are flying to and from the feeder almost continuously and there's one that look as if either it's an obese blue tit or is very fluffed up. The robin still insists on feeding off the seed feeder rather than eating what's on the ground or on the table - perhaps it hasn't worked out that it's there yet.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Snow In April

An unexpected snowfall as not only had we just had one of the warmest days so far this week but either it doesn't make it this far or if it does, it doesn't usually hang around this far south. There's a little micro-climate down on the South Coast. The rest of the county can be covered in snow but along the coast there will be nothing.

However, after a clear and sunny start to the morning, the snow clouds came in and at around 10am it started snowing and didn't stop until the afternoon when it started to thaw rapidly.

I popped out briefly to take a few pics, top up the feeders and put food out on the bird table and pathway. In a cold snap like this they'll need feeding and there's no point in them wasting energy only to find the feeders empty. The blue tits and robin appeared almost instantly as did a blackbird and couple of starlings and of course the wood pigeon who was out having a bath in the sunshine yesterday!

Now that the temperature has dropped there's still quite a lot of snow left which will probably have disappeared by tomorrow.