Saturday, March 5

It's not that I'm ungrateful but ...

Every year we buy all our seeds and settle down to our planting plans at the beginning of the year - we want to get started with our gardening but it is just too early but at least we can plan and order all the seeds and plants that we want!

Orders duly dispatched we sit back and wait for seeds and plants to arrive and the conditions to be right to let us get gardening!

Then the gardening magazines move in on the act! They start adding free packets of seeds to each edition. Now it's not that I'm ungrateful but a little imagination would be welcome. Each year we are provided with more lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, beetroot and maybe just maybe some herbs. And guess what they always seem to choose varieties that we have already bought.
I know that much of this is to encourage new gardeners but something to tempt us to grow something just a little bit different would be most welcome. Or maybe as a compromise they could include the free seeds in earlier editions before we had bought our own.

Whinge over - now to change the tone. The siskins may have gone but we still have a variety of great birds to watch. Two that used to be infrequent visitors seem to more or less have taken up residence.
The goldfinches seem to adore sunflower hearts, the feeder seems to always have at least one or two perched on it. They even look in our window to pose for a photo. I couldn't get a photo of one with the sun shining on it which is a shame as its colours are really bright then.
The long tailed tits prefer fat based food - they were always on a fat coconut until we bought some buggy nibbles which they can't seem to get enough of. At times there have been four on the feeder at one time. They also seem to be going into a berberis quite a lot - an ideal prickly location for a nest? Hope so.
Not to neglect those birds who seem to have been around forever - the robins love the fat filled coconut - that is if they can beat the blackbirds and dunnocks to it.

And now for some exciting news - yesterday it was all go inside the nest box cam. Prospective tenants coming and going all day - one even brought its mate for a look around.

For more photos visit the link to nest box cam on the sidebar. It's not a live display but gives some idea of what happened yesterday. Things look promising again after a few days of none activity!

The images have been converted to black and white as they are clearer.

And I've now got 99 followers - how exciting is that - will you be number 100? Martyn is really really jealous!

Stop Press - Kalipso has beaten everyone to number 100!


  1. I share your views on the free seeds! Too late and too unimaginative.
    Great pictures of the birds though. I think that there are a lot more Goldfinches around this year. In the past I used to see one or two, but now they arrive in my garden in droves, queueing up for a turn at eating the sunflower seeds.

  2. Thank you for posting bird pictures that visit your garden. Rayyan will like this when I show him tomorrow. Such a serious face today maybe he feels a bit overwhelm. Thank you for the prayers.

  3. Oh Mark and I though it was just our feeding regime that had encouraged more goldfinches! We seem very short of greefinches though - hope the finch disease hasn't hit them hard.

    I hope Rayann feels well enough to enjoy the photos Diana. Give him a big hug from the robin!

  4. Meant to ask - How did you get a working webcam into the nest box! Love those photos. Miss robins having grown up with them...none here

  5. We bought the nest box complete with the web cam, Mrs Bok. You need to plug in to a power supply which we have outside to run the pump in the pond. Then the camera sends a wireless signal to a receiver indoors attached to the computer. Robins are great birds.

  6. Congratulations on your 100th follower!!

    I just love your bird pics. It's amazing the difference in the birds there compared to here. Your robin & goldfinch don't look anything like they do here!

  7. That amazes me too Robin. Apparently goldfinches were one of the birds that Victorians kept in cages and you can understand why as the colours are lovely. Just need a really sunny day so you can see how vibrant the colours are.

  8. I know what you mean about the seeds, I was a bit disappointed when I saw the beetroot fall out of my copy of Grow Your Own - I'm sure I had this from them last year. However, I think the great unmentioned here is just how many gardening magazines are you getting? ;>)

  9. We get three Ron, Gardeners' World Magazine, Grow Your Own and Kitchen Garden Magazine. How about you. I didn't even mention the free seeds that are often sent out with seed orders. We got another packet of carrot Yellowstone on top of the one we had bought - from a different company and two packets of annual chrysanthemums. I think next months Gardeners World are giving away a packet of sweet peas and one of sunflowers!

    How about you - how many do you get?

  10. Well, be happy. I have not seen any garden magazines with free seeds here. The only magazines that give anything free here are video game magazines and those not so much anymore.
    That would be nice. Love the webcam on the bird house. Going to have to look for one of those!

  11. You get three gardening magazines Sue? - You could be writing them!

    In a way, you do!

    Congrats to you and your 100 followers.

  12. Congrats on your 100th follower. Your bird photos are great!

  13. I'm with you on the free seeds would be nice to have somehitng different...and it may encourage more peopl to buy the magazines too.

    Glad you are still getting a nice variety of seem to have so many more than what visit my garden.

    I still haven't got around to getting my bird nesting boxes but will definitely do it and get them up this week...I won't be having any cameras in them but I might be able to get a few pics!!

    I'm on 99 followers would feel a great achievement to make 100.

    I really cherish my loyal followers though, you were the first person to ever comment on my blog!! :-)

  14. I like the seed packets :) But I am a real newbie so guess I am who they are aimed at.

    A work colleague brought his veg mag in yesterday and I hadn't heard of it before. It was called Grow It. His free packet consisted of 5 different packets which I though was a good freebie. any idea on how good the mag is though?

    congrats on the 100, I have 97 to go lol.

  15. It does always seem to be the same variety of seeds which are given away with magazines, even a more unusual variety would be good. Our goldfinches are still infrequent visitors, but it's nice to see them when they do show their face.

  16. Our LTTs always go for peanuts first, lovely to see yours on the nut feeder.

  17. Just done all my replies and Blogger failed to upload them!! So here goes again.

    The RSPB sell bird box cams Becky but I'm not sure they ship to the US There is a link to their website page on our web page here You have a similar organistion don't you so maybe they sell them - If you can go for the wired option as our wireless one is a but temperamental. Just hope after all the investigating a pair of birds actually nest in ours.

  18. I have had a mention in KG mag, Mal, as they featured my website once. I also had bits published during the manure problem and even had a 3 minute session of BBC Gardeners World - it lasted for three minutes after 4 hours filming. Also had an interview for our local Politics show on the BBC (to do with pesticides as it was the cause of our contamination)and have been on our local radio a few times. Some were live which was better (if nerve racking)as the editing often means that the points you want to make are lost!

    Glad you like thenm WIG as I love taking them!

    Was I really Tanya - I didn't know that - I'm glad I was as I enjoy reading your blog and you'll soon have 100+ followers. I think the secret to a variety of birds is a variety of food and a water supply. WE also get more now our feeders are among the trees and shrubs as the birds like to perch on branches waiting there turn and also they have a quick escape into hiding if they are spooked.

  19. Hi Chef UK I'm glad you enjoy the seeds - can't comment on Grow It as we don't buy it. Most seem to cover the same items.

    And what lovely little faces the goldfinches have Jo - ours come more now we have put out the sunflower hearts hanging in a tree - they are never away from them.

    At the moment the buggy nibbles are the LTT favourites BW - they do go on our peanuts too - must be hard work pecking at them with such tiny beaks. I suppose its anything fatty!

  20. I agree about the seeds. So boring - my heart sinks every time. And why so many tomato seeds when if you don't have a greenhouse you're going to have a hard time growing them, to say nothing of the pinching out and sensitive watering regime that's needed.

  21. Maybe we need a petition Linda!

  22. I love longtailed tits, so pretty, albeit not as flash as the goldfinch.

  23. It annoys me with magazines that they are so geared up to attracting new subscribers that they fail to reward/satisfy their regular readers, and the seeds are an example of this.
    Lovely photo's :) Mo

  24. Long Tailed Tits are lovely birds, Janet, when the sun is on their backs they are really pinky too - like little powder puffs.

    You are right Mo, Gardeners World on TV fell into this trap too. It's also annoying when they splurge all over the front that there are free plants for every reader which you then have to send off for and pay loads of postage. I know they can't include the plants in the magazine but I do wonder how many people actually send off for them?

  25. I'm always put off by the p&p which always seems out of proportion. Mo

  26. I'm with you there Mo.

    If magazines want to encourage loyal readers they could give vouchers in each issue that could be used against plant purchases at local nurseries. A bit like Boots advantage points.


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