Saturday, 18 October 2008

Regular visitors

At this time of year as the leaves begin to fall from the shrubs and trees we are once again able to see the birds that almost live in secret throughout the summer months. I do love to see this transformation of the garden almost as much as I do seeing the new buds and fresh leaves appear in the spring.

Garden bird feeders and tables are now being put up in gardens all around the world where winter approaches. Here in the UK the RSPB are highlighting this with a ‘Feed the Birds Day’ and lots of fun events have been arranged throughout the country next weekend.

Feeding garden birds now will encourage them to regularly visit. In the cases of blue and great tits they may even stay around until spring and nest in the nestboxes that may also be going up at the moment too. If you see birds looking at your nestboxes now (as we have) they could be considering using them to roost in over the cold winter months ahead. All great activity to see!

For my regular blog visitors, that particularly enjoy seeing garden birds, I have decided to try regular posting on Saturdays to track the progress of the activity in my garden in the coming winter months. I think this will be an interesting exercise.

It was through Joe asking me if I was interested in joining him with a regular bird posting (updates from the week etc) that I considered this. I think it is a great idea and time pending this may be weekly or every second week. Short postings are what we agreed on. However, as this has been more of an introduction it has grown a little! Of course, this posting would have to begin with the robin and the one below is rather special as it is a juvenile.


Watching videos from gardens is a great way to share what is going but only they only work on dry days. The video footage that I have spread throughout this posting is mostly of blackbirds and dunnocks who, although will go to bird tables, do enjoy feeding from the ground. I really love to see them running around.

The partial albino blackbirds (blackbirds with white feathers usually on heads but sometimes in tails) are being seen visiting regularly again too. We have quite a few now and I really must try and get some photo/video ID’s of them all to show how quite different they all are. They must nest nearby as we saw juveniles visit during the summer.



A birds eye view of feeding birds I thought would be fun. I added some sultanas and crushed peanuts to the ground feeder that had sunflower hearts already in it and scattered some more on the ground around it. I left the camera outside on a mini tripod and hit record. Of course now that the camera was outside I had the wonderful background chatter of the morning birds. How great is that to be able to share the sounds of the garden too!



The hanging bird feeders were also very busy with great, blue and coal tits buzzing around and finches fighting amongst themselves for space. Sunny spots at the top of my garden, like my arbour seat, are also popular – but not by the birds! Neighbour’s cats are sitting in the distance watching the activity at the feeders. Of course they don’t always stay there…

I haven’t been sitting at my PC these last few days for many reasons including my monitor ending its days on Blog Action Day. I intended promoting community gardens in the fight against poverty. However, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of so many Bloggers who did – especially the garden, birding and wildlife ones.

Finally, if you do visit Joe's blog the first thing you will notice is the completely different mornings we had. His looks quite bright and mine was dark and windy which are not ideal conditions for successful video uploads. This was fun to compare both visitors and weather conditions too. I will look forward to the next time!


All videos shown above were taken, through a window except for the last one, on October 18th 2008.

7 comments:

garden girl said...

Hi Shirl! I enjoyed your videos! The little robin is so sweet.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Shirl,

I thought it was about time I told you how much I love your blog I have been visiting it for over twelve months now and thoroughly enjoy it particularly the bird posts.
After reading of your success with attracting birds to the garden with sunflower hearts I introduced them to my garden back in the winter and ever since the increase in visitors has been amazing. So many people report a fall in bird activity in the garden in summer but there has been no such decline in ours, indeed, I was getting through huge sacks of sunflower hearts on a monthly basis in addition to other bird food! That is until just recently when a Sparrow Hawk found us! He is a beautiful creature and was a thrill to see....the first time! However, after successfully taking prey on a daily basis for the last couple of weeks the other birds have become increasingly wary and not much food at all is being taken.
As I said in a comment to Trish on Bird Table News (under my real name Jan) I do wonder if nature sorts things out in it's own way as recently I had seen signs of Trichomoniasis, the deadly Finch disease, which I know you have seen yourself. I now wonder if the Hawk has in the main been taking sickly birds, scaring the others away, which in turn will cause the birds to distribute themselves over a wider area thus reducing the spread of disease. However, I hope not to see too much of the Sparrow Hawk in the future, I find washing flapping on the line seems to deter him to some extent!
Thank you so much for your lovely blog Shirl it is a pleasure to share your beautiful garden and it's visitors.

Cheryl said...

Hello Shirl....very very entertaining post.....that robin is so beautiful......

Joe said...

Hi Shirl,

Very nice post and enjoyed it thoroughly. Interesting to see what birds you saw yesterday morning. We don't have any albino Blackbirds in our garden.

Nice videos too. We have quite a few dunnocks in our garden too. That Robin looks like its about to be blown away by the wind! I soon have a very interesting story to tell about a Robin soon.

shirl said...

Hi again garden girl, Cheryl & Joe and hello shysongbird :-)

garden girl – Great, I am glad. Yes that robin is a great little character too – I swear it was watching me watching it :-D

shysongbird – Thank-you, for your very generous comment and for visiting my blog for so long :-D I am delighted you brought up going through twice as much bird food in the summer. I was planning to mention that it my next post – I wonder if you were lucky enough to see any juveniles being fed with it. It is amazing how many sunflower hearts the starlings and blackbirds can get in their beaks! Ah… the Sparrowhawk – I think one did a fly by my garden a few weeks ago. I am not surprised though as some days the birds don’t stop chattering in my neighbour’s hedge. Yes, you may have something in your theory regarding tricho. Thanks once again for visiting my blog which will ‘be two’ next month! I do hope I can continue to share stories from my garden that visitors are still interested in reading :-D

Cheryl – Excellent, I am glad you enjoyed it! I did have much more interesting transitions etc in my videos but with the movement caused by the wind the processing was not kind to it at all so I had to alter it :-( Oh.. the young robin was lovely but I was most surprised to see it breathing so heavily. It certainly knew this ‘sheltered place’ to stand but it ended up being the only bird around. Garden birds are so entertaining to watch aren’t they :-D

Joe – Sorry I was late in joining you. Yes, I thought it was excellent our posting showed different garden birds. I love to see the albino blackbirds and I suppose I take their visits for granted now. Ah… the videos had a number of issues especially the degree of wind along the ground – tonight it is much, much worse. LOL – yes I was surprised the young robin stayed so long when the wind did keep catching it. Looking forward to hearing your robin story :-D

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Hi Shirl, I am surprised that there is such a young Robin in your garden this time of year. It must be from a late clutch. Our robins are finished breeding at this time of year. It would be very unusual to find such a young bird in our garden at this time.

I will try to do a post about garden birds on saturdays now too if you and Joe don't mind. I will begin next saturday since I wasn't home this saturday to take any pictures.

I do enjoy your videos. It really makes me feel I was in your garden watching the birds with you.

shirl said...

Hi there Lisa :-)

Yes I agree, although I don’t think this young robin has just fledged as I have been seeing it a little while. It almost sits on guard duty under the small Acer tree where it is rather feisty when it comes to other birds trying to get at the food in the ground feeder. Hope it’s extra careful today as swooping around with the strong winds is the Sparrowhawk!!

Excellent! It would be great if you join us with a bird posting from your very different garden in SW Indiana, USA. I do enjoy seeing the birds that visit you too :-D

I’m really glad you enjoy the videos, I know what you mean about being there – it takes me back to that moment too.

I noticed in your comment to Joe that you don’t know how to do videos – if you ever wanted to give it a try it is a lot easier than you might think and although I edit mine there are simpler ways to do that too. I do like to make hard work of things ;-) Mail me if you are interested.

Once again I would like to wish you a belated Happy 1st Blogiversary! I am looking forward to another year at Greenbow :-D