Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Baby its wild out there!

You could easily get knocked off your feet like the ducklings and Mum Mallard in the video below. Thanks go to my daughter for passing me on the link last night. As she says… don't worry, there is a happy ending :-)


Source: YouTube Channel Derbydanx


Looking out the window to my small Scottish garden this morning, it's wild out there too. I see large leaves spinning around the ground and my first thoughts went to those tiny ducklings seen rolling and spinning along the ground in gusts of wind.

Today garden birds are venturing into my garden but with feeders being blown about and branches of trees and shrubs being battered by the wind getting to them is another matter. The regulars will know there are some sheltered areas and ground feeders so will find food there.

It’s been pretty quiet with garden birds at the feeders this last week. The feeders were due to be cleaned before refilling but after seeing a possible fat finch (with tricho disease which ends in death usually after 5 days) I delayed the refilling. My plan was that visiting groups of mixed finches (lots of goldfinches) would disperse a little and so perhaps halt the spread of trichomonosis. Clean feeders and birdbaths are the first line of defence.

The feeders were only unavailable for a few days but since then the birds really have not returned in any significant numbers. We’re only seeing odd numbers and visits. Even blackbirds have been pretty thin on the ground. That has surprised me.

Mm… don’t know who got the surprise though when I was hanging my newly cleaned and refilled feeders of sunflower hearts on my feeder Arch. There is a large bamboo planted beside the Arch. I never saw the Saprrowhawk and it clearly only saw my hand as it flew close over my head!

Since then, I’ve seen quite a few Sparowhawk flights through the garden. Guessing there could be more than one visiting and I did see one successful snatch from a feeder pre cleaning and refilling too.

On this wild, windy Wednesday I am expecting to see a Sparrowhawk visit. Not just a fly through either. I’ve noticed that on wild, windy days they will sit on a perch (usually my Arch feeder) and wait for the birds to come to it.

You can see Sparrowhawks listening hard for any bird chattering above wind noise. They also appear on very wet days without wind too. I caught video of a wet day visit earlier this year where the male hawk waited patiently for some time before giving up and flying away. I’ve already posted it but here’s it again for anyone that missed it.




After five years of regularly feeding birds my garden when they don’t it just isn’t the same place. However, I am absolutely confident that when the temps drop and there is snow and ice on the ground my garden will come alive again. Then, I feel happy that my food can help keep them alive on cold nights.

Ah… as I am about to post this some brave birdies are coming out from their hiding places and hanging on branches en route to the feeders. It really looks a struggle for them today. Oh… but thinking of those poor little ducklings again – what a moment that was for them. A great video capture too!

Finally for anyone interested in the date for the annual RSPB Big Garden Birdcount it’s Sat/Sun the 28th & 29th of January 2012. If you’ve never taken part before I’d suggest now would be a good time to put up a bird feeder (or two) so the birds find your garden in plenty of time for your garden to get some regular visitors :-)


This post was written by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in December 2012.

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6 comments:

gwirrel said...

Hi Shirl,

Has it regularly been windy there? There's nothing birds hate more (other than Sprawks); wind.
So if it's been gusty and windy for the past few days then this may well be contributing to your lack of birds. I doubt the Sprawk will put in an appearance also due to high winds, but it may well be desperate enough to try.

I do hope your birds begin to return around; of course if it's been mild there as it has here it may well be that the birds are thinking about breeding again! I've heard mine singing here and not just the typical alarm or contact calls but true songs.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Hang on to your hat Shirley. The weather is going to turn cold now. We had our regular bird feeder count the past two months and had hardly anything but House Sparrows to tally. The weather has been so mild here. I hate to ask for colder weather but I would like to see something other than House Sparrows at the feeders. Something like your Sparrow Hawk would do. It could thin the ranks of the HS.

Little Brown Job said...

I've seen precious few bird in our garden this winter so far with it being so mild. It's got to be a good thing if they are finding plenty of natural food but it'll be nice to see them return.

naturestimeline said...

Very entertaining. I feel for those ducklings though. At least they appeared to be unharmed.

Good blog.

Kind Regards

Tony Powell

Janet said...

Been a lot of visitors especially goldfinches at our feeders, although the numbers have been down a bit today with the wind. I've noted the info about trichomonosis and will clean our feeders more often. Hope you enjoy the New Year and 2012 is good for you all.

Emily Clark said...

Really windy here too Shirl! I really feel for the poor birds, my friendly robin looked dreadful today, he just hates getting his feathers wet.

I've started up my blog again. Whether or not I'll stick with it, that's another matter! ;-) Hope you had a great Christmas & you will have an equally brilliant New Year :)