Author Topic: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings  (Read 117073 times)

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Offline sasquartch

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Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« on: January 03, 2010, 03:41:28 pm »
Does anyone know what sort of bird this is ?

Spotted several times right outside our back door. Picture taken through a double glazed window so a little blurred  :)

 

Offline stableman

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2010, 04:16:25 pm »
That looks like a Pied Wagtail if Im not mistaken.
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2010, 02:47:54 pm »
It is a Pied Wagtail.

We have had them in our garden but have not seen them recently.  So that is where they have gone!

They seem to like bowling greens and I have seen them running around on the greens at Welham Green and the George V (?) green near the QE2 hospital.

Offline Nobby

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2010, 06:42:46 pm »
On New Years Day I encountered a group of 11 near Water End. At this time of year they congregate in communal roosts at night-time. I suspect it may be in the vicinity of the Vet College, where the livestock attract their favoured food items - small insects.
 

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2010, 07:39:43 pm »
There is a large flock of redwings or fieldfares in a field on walk one in this site's collection of walks. I think they are redwing, but can't be certain. Must be two dozen.
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Offline Tailspin

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2010, 05:27:04 pm »
Not having seen Pied Waggies in our garden, we now have one that "moved in" 2 weeks ago.  Also, a Moorhen has decided to take up residence.  Lets see what else decides to arrive,
 

Offline Ferdie

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2010, 09:28:28 pm »
Don't forget the birds in the garden (the feathered variety  ;D) need water and food which at times of freezing weather is often hidden under the snow or frozen. Suggest visit http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/helpingbirds/feeding/ for further advice. 
 

Offline Nobby

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2010, 10:05:19 pm »
Tawny Owls are quite vocal as well on these cold still nights. I've just heard one calling from the direction of the Golf Club, and my partner heard a pair early this morning on Kentish Lane.
 

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2010, 06:42:35 am »
Don't forget the birds in the garden (the feathered variety  ;D) need water and food which at times of freezing weather is often hidden under the snow or frozen. Suggest visit http://www.rspb.org.uk/advice/helpingbirds/feeding/ for further advice. 

Thanks for the reminder, Ferdie, will get on the case in our garden when it gets light.

Dave
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Offline PS

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2010, 06:59:31 am »
One question - any advice on how to supply water to the Birds ? My wife informs me that the Water Feeder we usually have to provide water for them, cracked the other day - probably due to the the ice expansion resulting from the freezing weather.

Putting water in a bowl would only freeze overnight as well.

Grateful for ideas !!
 

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2010, 08:24:05 am »
I've just put out three plastic containers with warm water in. I guess it will freeze later, but might help for now.

I've six seed balls and they are already on one of them.

David
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Offline stevea

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2010, 11:34:02 am »
PS - There's not much you can do about the water except keep changing it, but I do remember a gamekeeper telling me that if birds have a good food source they will reluctantly eat the snow...and it's best to keep throwing lots of food out, even scraps from your plate.
 

Offline PS

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2010, 11:55:23 am »
Stevea, David - thanks. I will e-mail my wife and suggest she does just that. Anything better than nothing !!
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2010, 02:46:07 pm »
By memory, cold water takes longer to freeze than hot water for some strange reason.  If correct, it is better to put out cold water.  A plastic container will flex thereby allowing the water to expand as it freezes.

It is now so long ago that I studied chemistry but I feel it has something to do with latent heat or evaporation.  Does anyone know the true explanation?

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2010, 02:55:27 pm »
By memory, cold water takes longer to freeze than hot water for some strange reason.  If correct, it is better to put out cold water.  A plastic container will flex thereby allowing the water to expand as it freezes.

It is now so long ago that I studied chemistry but I feel it has something to do with latent heat or evaporation.  Does anyone know the true explanation?

It's a bit of a mystery by all accounts but the following gives an explanation. However, it's unlikely to be the case that a warm bowl of water will freeze quicker under these conditions outside at the moment

http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/General/hot_water.html
 

Offline PS

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2010, 02:58:38 pm »
Quote
Does anyone know the true explanation?

Its a complex subject very dependent upon numerous conditions. Sometimes known as the "Mpemba" effect 
 

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2010, 03:51:35 pm »
It's all too complicated - just make regular visits to the garden to change the water!  8)
 

Offline Ferdie

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2010, 09:16:50 pm »
It's all too complicated - just make regular visits to the garden to change the water!  8)

Thank you!!! I can't believe my original post about putting water out for the birds can create such a fuss.. Water freezes... I think this is stating the b******g obvious and it needed Buster to say it, well done! ::)
 

Offline Little Miss Elaine Moffat

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2010, 10:30:36 pm »
Ferdie, I always found anti freeze works well!!







Only Joking, before you start picking on me ;D
 

Offline naomi

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2010, 05:29:24 am »
It's all too complicated - just make regular visits to the garden to change the water!  8)

Thank you!!! I can't believe my original post about putting water out for the birds can create such a fuss.. Water freezes... I think this is stating the b******g obvious and it needed Buster to say it, well done! ::)

I take it you got out of the wrong side of your b******g bed this am! People are just being helpful....
 

Offline PS

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2010, 05:36:37 am »
Quote
Don't forget the birds in the garden (the feathered variety  ) need water and food which at times of freezing weather is often hidden under the snow or frozen

Thank you!!! I can't believe my original post about putting water out for the birds can create such a fuss.. Water freezes... I think this is stating the b******g obvious


Well then Ferdie, you shouldn't have posted the word "water" [see your words above] in the first place should you ? You know how pernickety some people are !!

Just stick a bowl of shallow water under a hot water bottle overnight - that may work.
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2010, 12:25:13 pm »
I can't believe my original post about putting water out for the birds can create such a fuss

Sorry to upset you Ferdie.  I thought it was akin to a group of friends in a pub discussing something other than MPs expenses, the election, and all the other things that get up noses.

My thanks to Sasquartch for his research.  Mind boggling stuff and way beyond my 'O' level chemistry.

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2010, 11:24:42 am »
I think I may have found a way of beating the squirrels. I have hung nuts and seeds from an old basket ball stand. So far so good, although I am now feeling guilty about leaving the squirrels hungry, but they seem to be happy picking up the seeds and nuts that fall to the ground.

By the way, just read a piece on the RSPB site advising not to put turkey fat out for the birds, apparently it could kill them.

http://www.rspb.org.uk/news/266511-big-fat-no-for-birds
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Offline epiphany

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2010, 12:29:39 pm »
David

My balls are freezing!

That is fat balls in case you were wondering, I thaw them out and then they just freeze again and the poor birds peck away to no avail.
You made a wise choice with your nuts (no pun intended) and seeds.
 

Offline Nobby

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2010, 02:06:29 pm »
For the highest calorific value, black sunflower seeds are about the best food you can buy as far as seed-eaters are concerned. Sunflower seeds without the husks are excellent, even if they are a little more expensive, and they don't leave a mess. Beef, pork and lamb fat is also very nutritious.

Our feeders have been extremely busy since it started snowing this morning, with goldfinches, greenfinches and blue tits in good numbers, with one or two siskins, coal tits and nuthatch. Also around 20 chaffinches feeding on spilt seed.
 

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #25 on: December 18, 2010, 02:13:47 pm »
Our feeders have been extremely busy since it started snowing this morning, with goldfinches, greenfinches and blue tits in good numbers, with one or two siskins, coal tits and nuthatch. Also around 20 chaffinches feeding on spilt seed.

Hi Nobby,

How do you stop the squirrels taking over?

David
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Offline Nobby

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #26 on: December 18, 2010, 07:51:36 pm »
Occasionally I throw something at them, but otherwise I let them gorge themselves.
The feeders encased in squirrel-proof wire cages are pretty effective.
 

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #27 on: December 18, 2010, 09:20:16 pm »
The feeders encased in squirrel-proof wire cages are pretty effective.

Until they learn to detach them, send them crashing to the ground and then eat all the food. Clever creatures.
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Offline Helen

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #28 on: December 18, 2010, 11:32:55 pm »
I've heard that sprinkling a little tabasco sauce deters the squirrels rather effectively, whilst the birds aren't bothered by it. Haven't tried it ourselves as we don't seem to have a squirrel problem in our garden this year but I guess it's worth a go.
 

Offline PS

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Re: Garden birds - regular and unusual sightings
« Reply #29 on: December 27, 2010, 02:02:05 pm »
I have a gripe - not being wanted to be classed as a Scrooge, but can anyone suggest a cheap way of feeding these birds ? I have noticed over the last few days that the nuts they go through are phenomenal - 2 bags of quality nuts you buy for a Fiver at a local supermarket goes in a day, or two at most !!

I fill up the feeders practically daily and by the following day / evening they are all gone. Its costing me approx equivalent 80 - 90 pounds per month at this rate. I do not wish to starve them, and upset the wife at the same time by rationing them, but by the same token cannot continue feeding what appears to be the whole bird community of South Herts either.
 
Any ideas ??
 

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