Friday, 8 May 2009

The lunchtime rush

Frantic rushing about to beat the queues… Fridays can be a bit mad. No, I’m not referring to the mass exodus out of company car parks heralding the end of the working week (for some). I’m talking about the busy lunch hour and picking up something to eat.

Do you go for the busy area with a selection of options to suit all tastes? Queues are likely… do you have time to wait? Just how hungry are you by lunchtime? Perhaps you need a quick takeaway for the kids…

Like this Blackbird male picking up some crushed peanuts for its young still in the nest.


Maybe the kids are out looking for lunch by themselves! I wonder if they will know where to look. Hope they don’t go hungry….

The first juvenile blackbirds have been spotted in the garden. This is one of three that have appeared today from under my Leylandii hedge along the edge I recently trimmed.


Maybe, there is just too much choice…

This new feeding station is working very well. It is very popular with the Finches although the Starlings do attempt to take over. It was very windy and the feeders were moving about quite a bit.


Maybe, there are unsociable diners that you just wish would go somewhere else…

The Siskins are almost taking ownership of this feeding station and don’t seem intimidated by the increasing numbers of greedy Starlings.


Maybe, that corner table just isn’t in your reach….


The Woodpigeon tried in vane to get to the peanuts in the basket feeder.

Later on in the evening a Jackdaw failed too although it was more creative in its attempts...





Maybe, you'll discover a quiet eating place just a short distance from the crowds. Mm… now do you tell anyone or keep this to yourself?


"What do you think?" say the Siskins this would be easy pickings for the Jackdaw here. They could stand on the Pine tree branches quite easily as they are way taller than us! We have to grip on the feeder itself. We need to keep an eye out here!


Now, what about the Friday drink? How about a spot tucked away but yet easily accessible. Landscaped surroundings, simple and rustic…

A large grey plastic plant pot saucer with some blue/grey pebbles and a few mossy sandstone rocks placed in a border surrounded by ground cover plants like Saxifrage, Geum, Grasses, Alliums (plus recently planted Snowflakes).

This has really attracted the birds. Spot the male Siskin so well camouflaged in the centre of the photo above and the female in the photo below. This was a popular spot with the siskins today...



Maybe, you’ll find a spot a little out in the open where you might even catch a little sun… and some company too...





This watering hole has always been popular since first introduced a few years ago. Above you can see the black cap on the male Siskin and a male House Sparrow with a female Siskin waiting patiently.

It’s also a popular spot for the Blackbirds who bathed here today. Blue tits and Dunnocks have also been spotted bathing here too. This bird bath was a fraction of the cost of my much loved stone one. Yes, it does get used too but not in the same way as this very simple and inexpensive dish. Although I have a small pond a frog has also visited this dish too.

Perhaps your lunchtime wasn’t as frantic as my garden was on this very windy Friday lunchtime with its sunshine and showers. There was a serious buzz in my garden and as I sat inside looking out through my window and I really didn’t know in which direction to look. Funnily enough it’s always very busy on such strong windy days.

It was wonderful to see the first of the young ‘uns arrive in the garden. Juvenile Blackbirds have been the first and I do believe I spotted another juvenile pecking hopelessly on the leaf of an ornamental grass. That one had to be a Starling as only they would do that! It was hard to see hidden in my plants. I’ll be watching (camera nearby) over the weekend to see what other juvenile birds wander around my garden. I expect I’ll hear them before I see them though!

Do enjoy your garden this weekend… and look out for any juvenile birds visiting too!

All photos above were taken (through a window) of my garden on May 8th 2009.

9 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a delightful story told with your pictures Shirl. There are some young house sparrows here. I haven't seen any out of the nest yet. The Carolina Wrens have fledged but I haven't seen them yet. We have Mourning dove, American Robins, House Wrens all on nests in our garden and there is a pair of Brown Thrashers parading around the garden. I figure they are looking for a good nesting spot. An exciting time of year in the garden.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

What a clever feeding station! Looks like the birds are enjoying it. One of these days I hope to build a small pond for the birds in the backyard.

Midmarsh John said...

Terrific illustrated read, Shirl.
Love the Siskin photos. You have a beautiful variety of bird visitors.
I agree that the Jackdaws are very resourceful - intelligent birds.
Reading about the watering hole reminded me to change the pond filters. The scenic plant pot saucer looks a great idea. The birds certainly think it is.
At the rate my local Starlings are grabbing food to take away I think I will soon be invaded by young ones.

Tatyana said...

Thanks for this post, it made me smile!

Joe said...

Hi Shirl,

Great to see your first youngster. We have another young bird in the garden at the moment too! I like the feeding station. Those pigeons look quite silly trying to take food from the feeders.

We currently have starlings flying away with food from our garden to feed young, so hopefully we will see some starling fledglings soon too.

Great post and thanks for sharing!

shirl said...

Hi again Lisa, Robin, John, Tatyana and Joe :-) Lisa – Thank-you, you can guess I had fun with it! Ah.. wonderful to hear you may get so many sightings of young birds in your garden. What a variety of nesting birds you have. I agree it is an exciting time in the garden :-D

Robin – Thank-you, I’m hoping it will look quite different when the plants grow up it too giving the birds more cover at the same time. Oh… I am certain you would enjoy a small pond :-D

John – Thank-you! Yes, I was please with the siskin shots especially as they are buzzing about my garden so much at the moment. Ah… yes I don’t have a pond filter but I guess you need one with a bigger pond. It’s not only the birds that have been enjoying the watering hole, I spotted a hedgehog at it last night and a cat just now too! Yep… I’ve too many adult Starlings visiting at the moment so I suspect we too will see an invasion of young ‘uns yet ;-)

Tatyana – Excellent :-D

Joe – Yes, it is isn’t it. Great stuff. Yep the pigeons look even more silly when you see the varied attempts the Jackdaws make to get at the peanuts! Ah… so far we have only seen the Blackbirds take away food. No doubt the Stallings will be doing the same at some point. Thanks, glad you enjoyed it :-D

ShySongbird said...

Great stuff Shirl, beautifully written as always. The photos of the Blue Tit are delightful, maybe there will be more developments to come on that story, and the plant pot saucer just proves how simple ideas are often the best.

The bully boy Starlings are being rather a nuisance here at the moment also, so we could well be invaded with juveniles before too long as we were last year!

ShySongbird said...

Sorry Shirl, I got part way down your newest post and followed your 'if you missed it, click here' link, which obviously led me to this post and when I commented just now I forgot the Blue Tit sequence was part of the other post, hence my remarks. Hope you can make sense of this!!

shirl said...

Hi again ShySongbird :-)

Thank-you, I do love playing around with the storytelling. The blue tit was a treat to get pics of. Yes, goodness knows what’s going on in that nestbox ;-) Yep… I’m going through a lot of sunflower hearts at the moment and numbers of Starlings are increasing… hate to think what it will be like when they bring their young!!! LOL… easy mistake to make, I got what happened okay ;-) Enjoy the rest of your week :-D