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Author Topic: Wild Birds and all things to do with Nature  (Read 618341 times)

Taz2

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Wild Birds and all things to do with Nature
« on: June 13, 2009, 05:56:14 PM »

As we had a baby starlings topic going I thought we could put all things wildlife (not that sort of wild life ladies!!) in one place.

I will start with a starling update. This week, unfortunately, I have lost two babies to the cats and one to a baddie crow which has taken a liking to our garden. However, I still have upwards of 20 youngsters eating, fighting and bathing everyday in my small back garden. They are very funny and they cheer me up no end.

Taz x
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yogini

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Re: Wild Birds and all things to do with Nature
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2009, 09:28:29 PM »

Somebody was telling me that we have The Painted Lady Butterfly here this year, a browny sort of colour.  Has anyone spotted one yet?

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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Annika

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Re: Wild Birds and all things to do with Nature
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2009, 10:27:53 PM »

I planted butterfly attracting flowers this year but honestly I haven't seen hardly any or bees for that matter. I wonder whats going on? The price of honey is going through the roof, we usually buy from our local beekeepers (Orange blossom) its good for them and it tastes great. Annika xx
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Cazikins

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Re: Wild Birds and all things to do with Nature
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2009, 11:18:57 PM »

I saw a stag beetle last week Taz, honest I did. I thought it was a bat or something hovering over my head - but hubby pointed out to me that it was a stag beetle & when I had the courage to look up he was right..

We get to see them a lot at this time of the year, I don't really like them but I know they are becoming quite rare so thought I should log it on here.
xx
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CLKD

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Re: Wild Birds and all things to do with Nature
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2009, 01:55:25 PM »

Painted Ladies have been blown across The Channel in their 1000s, have seen a few in Northants.  Starlings have gone, only about 6 hanging around nagging the parents.  Blackbirds x 2 males, 1 robin and several sparrows still after meal worms, will need to ordermore tomorrow.

A blackbird flew into our utllity room this morning, I had to grab him by the tail in order to take him outside, did he swquark or what  ;D ........ have kept the doors shut since.

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Changes can be scarey, even when we want them!

Sleepless in London

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Re: Wild Birds and all things to do with Nature
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2009, 01:45:47 PM »

Don't know where all our birds have gone? We used to have masses of starlings that it was like a scene from The Birds, and all sorts of other birds visiting our garden.  Now we seem to be down to 2 blackbirds and a few wood pigeons despite there being an ample food supply.  The starlings just seemed to disappear overnight - just like the sparrows did some time ago.

Sleepless  :-\
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Adapt and Overcome!

Taz2

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Re: Wild Birds and all things to do with Nature
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2009, 06:25:04 AM »

How long ago did they disappear Sleepless and what food do they have?

We are just on our second wave of youngsters now. The "teenage" ones are always squabbling and as always there is one who is the big bully of the flock and wont let anyone else near the birdtable. He misses out on food though as he spends most of his time fighting everyone else off. The sparrows are great at nipping in while he is mid squawk!!

Taz x
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CLKD

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Re: Wild Birds and all things to do with Nature
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2009, 07:33:54 AM »

In the 1990s the birds ate their way through 2 and a half large sacks of peanuts and 2 of grain.  In recent years a whole sack of each lasts from Sept-March.  We do not have the numbers or variety of wild birds any longer.  We feed year round.  The squirrel has been on the nut feeders this week  >:(, starlings have fledged, topped up and left; there are 3 male blackbirds around and 2 robin families after meal-worms.  Yellow hammers and sparrows eat any grain I throw out and sparrows like meal worms too.  But not many of any.

However the Dawn Chorus begins around 4.00 a.m. and the birds sing all day  :)

Whether more people are feeding wild birds so there is a bigger spread along the gardens or whether there really are less .......... I've seen a few greenfinches back this week and saw a blue-tit on the other nut feeder yesterday.  I think there is a general drop in populations though, if you look on the NBO Site at Thetford you might find the results of recent surveys ...........
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Sleepless in London

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Re: Wild Birds and all things to do with Nature
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2009, 09:31:59 AM »

The starlings went about 2 months ago, also the tits and finches.  We have nut feeders in the apple tree and there was always comings and goings.  We also put out anything like bread, cake, biscuits, pastry when we have any thing left over, and fat balls.  The starlings would line up along the fence for about 30 ft of its length, chattering and sqawking.  Now ... it's all gone quiet.

Sleepless
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Taz2

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Re: Wild Birds and all things to do with Nature
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2009, 03:28:15 PM »

I feed a good seed mix from Jacobi Jayne - have a look at their website. They do mail order and are excellent. I feed Special Mix standard one. Every two weeks I order two 12.5kg sacks (yes it costs me a fortune but I never go to the hairdresser so that's where I like to spend my money!) plus a box of Robin Mix which the blackbirds also devour. The seed is in two large feeders with saucers on the bottom and are visited by wood pigeons, collared doves, bullfinches, greenfinches (they have not quite returned yet but always are away for most of June) chaffinches, Bluetits, great-tits, coal tits, sparrows, robins. I also have a niger seed feeder which empties every two days. This is quite a tall one and my goldfinches number around 15 at the minute. They have brought two lots of babies so far.

The starlings are fed a breakfast every day. This consists of breadcrumbs, digestive biscuit crumbs, grated cheese, sultanas and any table scraps. If I go away then I make up enough for each day away (makes your fingers ache all that crumbling) and leave it bagged up in the fridge for my feathered friends to be fed by a neighbour.

I spend far less on them during the winter months as the feeding day is very short - say from 8.30 am till 3.30 pm whereas this time of year they start around 4.30 and finish around 9!  As I type this the latest baby goldfinch is twittering in the apple tree fluttering its wings while the parent tries patiently to get it to come to the feeder.

I also have an old frying pan filled with water for them. I have a birdbath too but the frying pan is really popular with all the birds. It also attracts insects and, of course, my hedgie can get a much needed drink on his amble through the garden. I have a very small garden and we live on the edge of a small estate. I am known as "the bird woman"  ;D ;D

Taz x
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CLKD

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Re: Wild Birds and all things to do with Nature
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2009, 10:02:02 AM »

Better than 'the bag woman'  ;) - I would love to have gold-finches, they occasionally pass through in the Autumn if we have any seed heads around.  Very quiet bird wise this morning, think they are between broods!
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Taz2

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Re: Wild Birds and all things to do with Nature
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2009, 11:56:26 AM »

If you want goldfinches CLKD you need to feed Niger Seed or Sunflower Hearts - it will take them around three weeks to get used to the food being there but after that you should find you have a good "supply". They are resident birds so don't really "pass through". It's more that they visit if you have the seedheads available. Their singing is absolutely delightful - especially in the afternoons.

Taz x
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CLKD

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Re: Wild Birds and all things to do with Nature
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2009, 01:30:23 PM »

I tried niger a couple of years ago - none of the birds went near it  ::) any goldfinches ate other stuff but they all ignored niger ..... there are usually sunflower seeds, mixed grain, peanuts available year round .......
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Taz2

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Re: Wild Birds and all things to do with Nature
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2009, 03:35:26 PM »

It could have been that you had a bad batch or that the holes in your niger feeder were the wrong size and shape. I have found that it pays to buy the best niger feeder, the Droll Yankee ones are excellent. Also, Goldfinches are not able to access sunflower seeds as their beaks are too slender to break them open but they adore the sunflower hearts - as do the blackbirds who have a similar problem with the whole sunflower seeds. The only birds which can use the niger feeders are goldfinches and siskins - all other beaks are too large.

I would say give it another go if you really do want the goldfinches. They are a lovely addition to any garden - they are singing at the moment in the apple tree and the sound is so pure.

Taz x
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CLKD

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Re: Wild Birds and all things to do with Nature
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2009, 05:54:59 PM »

I will try.  Thanks for the info.  See Live and Learn  8) .. haven't seen robin since this morning, he's taking a break from his wife and brood  :-* .... Hubby saw him first thing absolutely soaking from the bird bath .......... new meal worms have arrived so will make sure that the neighbour leaves plenty out whilst we are away.  I can hear the thrush who sings all evening long can't see him yet but he's close by.
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Changes can be scarey, even when we want them!
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