Author Topic: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings  (Read 124803 times)

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Offline Nobby

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #330 on: June 08, 2015, 11:54:48 pm »
Juvenile Jackdaw looks good to me. It's probably popped out of a nearby chimney-pot.
 

Offline Editor

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #331 on: June 09, 2015, 07:17:40 am »
Juvenile Jackdaw looks good to me. It's probably popped out of a nearby chimney-pot.

Thanks Nobby. It's very distressing working from home this time of the year. Last week there were three blue tit chicks in the flower bed. The parents successfully coaxed two towards the relative security of a laurel bush and they fluttered up into the branches. The smallest, who didn't look very well, was left behind and didn't survive. Pics of the two that did make it below. (blurred because taken with 800mm zoom on max)
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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #332 on: June 11, 2015, 06:02:09 pm »
Does anyone know what these guys are eating? They are busy on our lawn, but it doesn't seem to be damaged. Do Starlings eat bugs? I am sure Nobby will know.
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Offline Angel

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #333 on: June 11, 2015, 09:42:42 pm »
Does anyone know what these guys are eating? They are busy on our lawn, but it doesn't seem to be damaged. Do Starlings eat bugs? I am sure Nobby will know.

Ants?
 

Offline Angel

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #334 on: June 11, 2015, 09:46:05 pm »
 

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #335 on: June 11, 2015, 09:49:04 pm »
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Offline pinchefalise

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #336 on: June 12, 2015, 06:09:05 pm »
 They usually eat leatherjackets ie daddy-long-legs larva. Greatly to be encouraged I feel.
 

Offline Nobby

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #337 on: June 13, 2015, 08:21:39 pm »
Could be ants, but I would favour leather-jackets at the moment. There have been some very noisy youngsters visiting my fat feeder over the last 10 days.
 

Offline Editor

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #338 on: December 17, 2015, 08:41:44 pm »
Guess the caption should read "Oh boy he's put the nuts in the wrong feeder", but I did it on purpose. The tits take the nuts away to a nearby bush and hold the peanuts in their claws while pecking away at them under the safety of cover. Great to watch. The nuthatches like it, too, working in relay to take the nuts away. 
:)
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Offline Nobby

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #339 on: December 28, 2015, 11:59:07 am »
A raven flew over the railway station this morning at 8.55 - my first sighting of the species in the 20 years I've lived in the village. The raven was driven to extinction in Herts in the mid-19th century, but despite continued illegal persecution by game-shooting interests it has gradually spread back to the south-east, and was recorded again as a breeding species in the county in 2006 when a pair raised young near Whitwell. It's still rare in south Herts, and most claimed sightings are in fact Carrion Crows. It's best identified by its distinctive guttural cronking call, which can be found at http://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Corvus-corax
An exciting day for this birder - if not for most residents!
 
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Offline Mermaid

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #340 on: January 11, 2016, 11:23:27 am »
Just been watching a lone magpie in my garden taking food bit by bit, then hiding the chosen bits in the longer grass and carefully covering it over with leaves he'd collected from elsewhere in the garden. When he'd stashed all he wanted, he then went back to the remaining food and ate his fill. First time I've seen that behaviour!
 

Offline Aqila

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #341 on: January 15, 2016, 07:03:39 pm »
A raven flew over the railway station this morning at 8.55 - my first sighting of the species in the 20 years I've lived in the village.

Many thanks for telling us about this Nobby - very exciting!

We listened to the recordings and between Christmas and New Year thought we heard it in the Peplins area.  Then a few days ago it flew over the garden!!  Unfortunately I was not there to see it, but Webman rushed in and grabbed his camera and managed to get a shot of it disappearing into the distance!  He said it was huge, and you can see that it has a massive wingspan.  No way would anyone confuse this with a crow or rook!!
 

Offline Nobby

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #342 on: January 18, 2016, 10:36:55 pm »
Umm, the wings look brownish - the bird in the photo looks a bit like a Red Kite, although obviously I didn't see it myself.
The garden's been busy over the last week - we've had a couple of nice Bramblings, a dozen siskins and a redwing recently. Sadly our greenfinches are dying one-by-one from trichomoniasis.
 
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Offline Webman

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Possible mis-identification
« Reply #343 on: January 20, 2016, 06:38:57 pm »
No, no, Nobby. Nobby, no, no. No. Nobby; no! (I feel a pop song coming on).
I would recognise a kite or buzzard as they are regular visitors and quite distinctive. This large black bird suddenly appeared overhead and disappeared over the rooftop. By the time I grabbed a camera and got a shot it was a loong way off (assuming it was the same bird, of course!). However, having made an enlargement, and looked closely I must admit it looks a lot more like a heron than anything else. The legs appear to be trailing behind - a raven tucks them in, I think - and the chesty lump could be the folded neck. So I agree it is a miss-identification, but it is oddly dark; all heron shots I have show light coloured markings whatever the light conditions.
To get back on thread I include a couple of common or garden pictures. I love the way the chaffinches hover at the feeder and take food without landing but it is a hard shot to get. Earlier this week a sunbeam lit up the feeder for a short time just before sunset and I got a few shots in.
 
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Offline Webman

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...and...
« Reply #344 on: January 20, 2016, 06:57:21 pm »
The last one is just an example following the previous subject but the others are genuine garden shots
 
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Offline epiphany

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #345 on: January 20, 2016, 08:41:57 pm »
I must admit it looks a lot more like a heron than anything else.

I have seen a pair of Great White Egrets several times over the last few months in the Mimmshall Brook. Basically white herons!

Can you get black ones?
 

Offline Editor

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #346 on: January 21, 2016, 08:26:24 am »
The last one is just an example following the previous subject but the others are genuine garden shots

Hi Webman, how to you always manage to take such wonderful pictures? Amazing images. What camera are you using? I have a Canon PowerShot SX 30 IS but I don't get such great pictures. Do I need to invest in a better camera, or is it just that you are better at taking pictures? David   :-\
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Offline Webman

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #347 on: January 21, 2016, 09:27:00 am »
My camera is an all-rounder (Canon APS-C + 300mm cheap lens) designed to be able to take portraits, landscapes, macro, and snaps. It is a pretty poor choice for birding or sports so I depend on timing, practice, position, light and luck. Mainly luck.

Your camera has an equivalent max focal length of 840mm but a slightly smaller sensor which should balance out. Both cameras have similar ISO ranges etc. The camera is not so important - I was around 8 feet from the blackbird (above) in good light so I reckon either camera would have got a good shot.

If you buy an expensive typewriter will you be more able to write a best selling novel?
Will a formula 1 sports car improve your parallel parking?

A better camera merely removes technological obstacles to getting the photo you want but you still need to get it to the right place at the right time (and remember to press the shutter).

As Ansel Adams said: "The single most important component
of a camera is the twelve inches behind it."

After saying that, don't forget that I didn't publish any of the dozens of duff shots I took at the same time!  ;D
 
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Offline Editor

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #348 on: January 21, 2016, 09:29:29 am »
After saying that, don't forget that I didn't publish any of the dozens of duff shots I took at the same time!  ;D

 ;D
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Offline Nobby

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #349 on: January 21, 2016, 08:01:01 pm »
Hi Webman - now I've seen the enlargement I would concur with your heron identification. The wings are grey and the legs are trailing and it's chest is bulging. Some very good shots from your garden - you're lucky to get a Song Thrush. They are all too infrequent visitors to mine.
The egrets I've seen along Mimmshall Brook have all been of the Little species. The Great White has a thick yellow bill, is heron size and is a rare visitor to England, while the Little Egret is considerably smaller, has a much thinner black bill and breeds locally in the Lee valley.
 

Offline Susa

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #350 on: June 21, 2016, 07:25:14 am »
Is there a nightingale singing in Georges Wood Road?
We are not sure but after watching BBC Springwatch the other day where they were searching for an elusive nightingale, we are wondering if we have a nightingale in Georges Wood Road.  We heard it the first time on Sunday night at around 10pm and again Monday night at around the same time (might even have been two).
I have uploaded a video on YouTube (not very good quality I am afraid) if anybody would like to listen and could confirm our suspicion, please?
https://youtu.be/C-sUtqTbudc
Actually,  I can hear it singing now :-)
 

Offline chicken legs

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #351 on: June 21, 2016, 12:44:16 pm »
I think it's a Song Thrush, Susa.  They are the ones who always repeat their phrases.
 

Offline Susa

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #352 on: June 21, 2016, 09:33:59 pm »
Thank you.
And here we thought we had something special in our front garden  ;)
 

Offline Nobby

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #353 on: June 21, 2016, 11:03:26 pm »
There's a good site where you can check bird-song at:
http://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Luscinia-megarhynchos

Sadly, Nightingale is a rare bird in Herts these days - the nearest ones are in the Lee Valley near Fishers Green
 

Offline Susa

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #354 on: June 22, 2016, 06:38:46 am »
Thank you,  Nobby.
Very interesting site.
 

Offline Aqila

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #355 on: June 22, 2016, 11:06:58 pm »
A very unexpected sighting yesterday - from the upstairs back room window yesterday evening at about 8pm I saw a kingfisher flying the length of my neighbours back garden.  I have frequently watched kingfishers zipping across water,  and the speed/pattern of flight  together with the unmistakable irridescent blue of yesterday's bird means I am 100% sure this was a kingfisher.

However I believe the only pond in the local gardens (Peplins) is our own, and that is very small and currently covered in netting to protect against seeds from trees above!  Why would a kingfisher have been in a garden?

 

Offline Pixel Crazy

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #356 on: June 23, 2016, 09:39:39 pm »
The territory of the Kingfisher is pretty big and it may have young somewhere. They often fly there territory to maintain it and a garden pond or small stream could attract them.  A very short distance for a Kingfisher to go from Peplins to Mymmshall Brook.
 

Offline Webman

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #357 on: December 18, 2016, 06:15:28 pm »
We had a winter whitewash feeding in the garden recently. Or is it an Arctic canary?
 

Offline Nobby

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #358 on: December 18, 2016, 08:56:59 pm »
Hi Webman,
Strange bird! I'd go for an albinistic goldfinch
I've referred this to the BTO Garden Birdwatch team for their views. I'll let you know.
 

Offline Editor

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #359 on: December 19, 2016, 07:08:53 am »
One of the collared doves that frequent our garden died over the weekend. I am pretty sure it was one of the older ones in a flock that's been visiting twice a day. It was just sitting on the patio and didn't move when I went out. Later, it tried to fly into the magnolia tree but fell off the branch. Then it staggered on to the lawn and the next thing I know it had been attacked and killed by something. The RSPCA has an article about a disease the can kill collared doves. It's called Trichomoniasis. I have no idea whether that is what was wrong with the lethargic bird, but the RSPCA recommends not putting seed out for a while in case the parasite is still around and might infect others. Thought it worth sharing in case others notice sick collared doves in their gardens.
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