Monday, April 29

They're coming into the garden two by two

The weather may not have quite made up it's mind that it is now spring but the birds have. They are busy foraging for nesting material and to help them create a cosy nest I have popped out some poodle wool. I've done this for a couple of years now and it has proved a popular nesting material.

Most of the birds we are seeing in the garden are now in pairs. We've had, blue tits, great tits, coal tits, robins, dunnocks, chaffinches, woodpigeons and collared doves arriving in couples with goldfinches and blackbirds several couples at a time. We have sparrows and starlings arriving in groups which no doubt include paired birds. These are all birds that we regularly see in the garden but this week we have also spotted rarer visitors.

First I spotted a female siskin which disappeared before I managed to grab my camera but then on Saturday I spotted a male siskin tucking in to the sunflower hearts. I grabbed my camera expecting to be too late but he was enjoying the tasty treats so much that he literally hung around. I daren't get too close to the window in case I spooked him but I did manage a few shots.
A female arrived to join him but she hid around the back of the feeder so I didn't manage to grab a photo of her.

That was exciting enough - a pair of siskins that may be nesting nearby! Then on Sunday as Martyn glanced out of the window during a break in our decorating he spotted a new bird to our garden. On the niger seed feeder were two redpolls. The niger feeder is further away from the house than the sunflower heart feeder and so it was a case of hoping my zoom would manage to capture a half decent photo. 
Whilst I was firing off my stills camera, Martyn took a video which you can see on his blog here. One redpoll was around the back of the feeder so we weren't sure whether this was a pair or two same sex birds but given the time of year we are hoping it was a pair and that they visit us again.

Unfortunately none of our couples have chosen to set up home in either of our web cam boxes! There's gratitude for months of feeding and watering!


Just one week to the deadline for entries
 Don't forget the competition to win a fire pit - more information here (I do hope you manage to take part as I am looking forward to reading your stories - I'm not judging so I can just enjoy!)



Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

25 comments:

  1. I have recently but Niger seed and feeder but now the finches seem to have disappeared from my garden and I don't think I have ever seen a siskin...I guess I will just enjoy your birds for now whilst waiting for mine to return!!

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    1. The first we saw siskins was during the winter of 2010/11, Tanya when we had two pairs visit fairly regularly for a short while. We didn't see any last year and then a couple this year. It's possible that we missed some of their visits as they're not regulars. It's a case of looking out of the window at the same time as they're about.

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  2. Really fantastic photos. Its great to see the birds busying themselves this time of year. Everywhere I go there seems to be a robin following.

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    1. It is Kelli. the blackbirds keep a watchful eye on us and wait each morning for Martyn to put out buggy nibbles on the bird table. As soon as he turns his back they swoop. I'm sure sometimes they peek in the window as if to chivvy him along!

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  3. Great photos. I've just watched the video on Martyn's blog. You do get a great variety of birds in the garden.

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    1. We do, Jo. I said to Martyn yesterday that we see far more in our garden than when we go sit in a hide at the RSPB reserves. Although we don't get water birds as they usually do!

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  4. Fantastic photos as usual Sue. You have a fabulous selection of birds there, I'm wondering what feed you put out for them?
    I put out fat balls, regular seed, various dried fruit, niger seed, sunflower seed, pinhead oatmeal and meal worms and I still cannot attract much more than Blue tits, great tits, sparrows and starlings. Oh yes and heaps of Rooks (rookery next door).
    I've noticed a couple of Pied wagtails recently but they don't go near the feeder and there's a strange looking bird at the top of our lane everyday - I think it's a warbler.
    There's a guy at the top of the lane that has a much more secluded tree filled garden and the birds he gets there are amazing!
    Thank you for sharing Sue

    Linda

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    1. We find the birds love sunflower hearts, Linda and we also put out buggy or fruity nibbles which are like bits of suet but with added extras. We akso have plenty of places where they can either drink or bathe. I think it also depends on you garden environment as we have lots of shrubs and trees near to the feeders where the birds can wait or take cover. We also have fields, mature trees and farmland fairly close by which may help. Maybe your birds just find lots to eat in the surrounding areas. I often think birds use gardens when natural food is scarce,

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    2. Thanks Sue. I think our garden is just still too exposed at the moment. I'll soon change that though.

      Linda

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  5. Great photos, Sue. If they are ones "hurriedly snapped off", I'd love to see some you took when you had plenty of time!

    I was just looking up the Redpoll in my books (I've only ever seen one, very briefly). It says that while both sexes have red foreheads only males have pink on the breast, so your photo is evidently of a female.

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    1. I did have to lighten the photos a little in Lightroom, Mark and I also cropped them so the photos have been tweaked a little.

      I wondered about whether it was a female too - I think from the glimpses I got of the other bird that may have had a pinkier breast.

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  6. I forgot to say: this morning I saw two Jays in my garden - presumably a pair, though I don't know how to tell them apart. In the past I have often tried to get a good photo of a Jay, but they are far too wary, and the slightest noise or movement scares them off.

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    1. A friend has jays in hos garden, Mark but we have never been lucky enough to be sure we have spotted one. I seem to remember occasional fleeting glimpses some time ago.

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  7. Wonderful photos Sue! You're so lucky to have such a variety of birds visit you. Those Siskins are just beautiful, I've never actually seen one before. I'm thinking of getting some niger seeds to put out to see if I can encourage some different birds in, we get a lot, but I'm greedy and would like more ;-)

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    1. The niger seed although it does attract occasional birds isn't the most popular food. A feeder full last for ages. Also we don't put it in a special feeder just a seed feeder.

      Sunflower hearts are the things the birds - especially goldfinches - queue u for!p

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  8. I love to see your photo's of the birds, as I never know the names of the birds I see and would love to learn them....so thank you for that

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    1. Hope you manage to learn a few, Lisa. IF you click on the goldfinch on my sidebar I have photos and names of the birds that come into our garden

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  9. Your post about nesting reminded me about an old superstition that our grandmothers were telling us about - that people shouldn't cut their hair outside because birds will use them to build their nests and then these people will suffer terrible headaches :)

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    1. Oh dear I hope Tivvy doesn't get headaches Dewberry, she hasn't complained yet.

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  10. WOW! You're so lucky to have these little visitors! How amazing! Another thing I've not had time for lately is doing a bit of 'twitching' I just don't know where my time goes! It's lovely to do some virtual twitching via your blog. Hope you have many more feathery visitors!

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    1. So do I Anna, we had a great spotted woodpecker drinking from the bird bath yesterday tea-time which my sister spotted. We haven't spent ages watching just been lucky to glance out when something exciting is about.

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  11. Those are cute little birds! Your palce must be so enviroment friendly to have them!

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    1. We provide lots of different food in different places, Malar and also have plenty of hiding places for them

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  12. I just love it when my robin hops in and out of my feet when I'm digging! Very bold this time of year and keeps me entertained on the allotment. Spring is here at last!

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    1. Robins are definitely a favourite, Matron

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