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jethro

Caught The Twitching Bug?

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I think I'm succumbing to the Twitching bug.....

I've never bothered with a bird table before, put out the odd bit of food if it's been particularly cold but that's about it. My old cat was a demon for the birds so it seemed rather cruel enticing them into the garden only for him to loiter in the bushes waiting to pounce; he died back in the summer so it seemed a good idea to get a bird table and make more of an effort. So, a few weeks back I bought a feeding station with hangers for peanuts, fat balls, grain and niger seed. I've been absolutely stunned by the number of birds and different species that now feast daily, I had no idea just how many birds there are around here. The list so far is:

Blue Tits

Coal Tits

Great Tits

Long tailed Tits

Green Finch

Chaffinch

Goldfinch

Bull Finch

Siskin

Dunnock

Sparrows

Robins

Nuthatch

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Starlings

Collared Doves

Wood Pigeons

Clearing up all the dropped bits on the ground around are

Blackbirds

Wrens

Magpies

Ducks

Pheasants

Is it normal to get stupidly excited when you spot a new species turning up? Any other equally daft folk out there or am I the only one to be seen doing a passable Bill Oddie impersonation most mornings?

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Fear not Jethro! I too get overly excited from any new bird species that fly into the garden lol. :D

We have 3 feeding stations, 4 nest boxes and 5 roosting pouchess. I am still awaiting a bird to roost in one of my nest boxes with a newly installed cam which was placed in there in December, but sadly not one bird yet.

At present we have:

Two robins

Four Blackbirds

Lots of Goldfinches

Loads of bluetits and great tits

The redwings are starting to make an appearance in the fields behind

Two Dunnocks

Long tailed tits

Chaffinches

Collard doves

Great spotted woodpecker

No starlings lol

A few fieldfare

Two nuthatches that feed on the feeder right next to our window

A couple of greenfinches now and then.

Pheasants out back

A small wren

Sparrows

And a couple buzzards flying around the field.

I can't wait to see the yellowhammer, siskins, bullfinch and redpolls.

You could say I'm addicted. :D and it's perfectly normal to get excited. :lol:

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A fellow nutter. Hooray!

Looking at your array of tables/boxes it seems I may have stepped onto a slippery slope....

We had Redwings in the garden last year but that's the first time I'd seen them around here; they stripped every berry then moved on. The garden backs onto open countryside, all pasture land which is often uncut/ungrazed; we've got an enormous Sycamore in the boundary line so hoping to install a big Owl box to tempt the Barn Owls we hear screeching at night. If they nest, I'll be beside myself!!!

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In addition, there is another one, here. :air_kiss:

Our selection of species over the years has grown to more than 60, if you were to include the odd flyover such as Grey Heron, Swallows and Swifts, to name but a few.

I would certainly not call it twitching though, because that truly is obsessive. Mind you, being a proud observer of nature's ways, was it not, Sir Peter Scott who once proclaimed.

"If you build a nature reserve, the birds will come"

It is important for us to remember, the same is true of our gardens. Assuming, you are one of the lucky ones in the first place, who has a decent sized garden.

Kind Regards

gottolovethisweather

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Unfortunately the magpies and rooks have gained ascendance in our area of Watford to the detriment of the other birds of the area.

However when we go France our area there is a magnet for the house martins, swallows and suchlike - I have a problem telling them apart when they are in the air but some must be house martins from their mud nests under the eaves of houses , so we use the collective French name for them - 'Les Hirondelles' but it is wonderful to see their aerobatic displays against the backdrop of an azure sky.

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I was a bit dubious about the Magpies which live in the garden (they're currently very confused and nest building), I thought they would either deter the smaller birds or bully them - they do neither. The feeding station can be full of Tits, Sparrows etc with the Magpies hopping about beneath clearing up the fallen stuff, no trouble what so ever - guessing there's enough food to go round so no need to get into a scrap.

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Good luck with the owl box Jethro! I too would be over the moon if an owl started nesting in it. :D

I love springtime when the young fledglings are fed by the parent birds. Last year I was in awe just watching them.I videoed bluetits , Blackbirds, starlings and the robin feeding their young .Such a pleasure to watch.

One bird I have missed seeing this winter is the pied wagtail, I think they tend to hang around the farms down the road rather then come into the garden.

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I was a bit dubious about the Magpies which live in the garden (they're currently very confused and nest building), I thought they would either deter the smaller birds or bully them - they do neither. The feeding station can be full of Tits, Sparrows etc with the Magpies hopping about beneath clearing up the fallen stuff, no trouble what so ever - guessing there's enough food to go round so no need to get into a scrap.

I had heard that they take eggs and the young - perhaps you will know better than I - I am no ornetholigst.

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Magpies do rob nests and take young fledglings when they can, but they have far less effect on numbers than cats and grey squirrels.

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Magpies do rob nests and take young fledglings when they can, but they have far less effect on numbers than cats and grey squirrels.

So with the cats, magpies, grey squirrels and urban foxes we have round here no wonder bird populations have dropped around here.

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Magpies do rob nests and take young fledglings when they can, but they have far less effect on numbers than cats and grey squirrels.

My cat was a real menace with birds, once he'd found a nest of fledglings he'd keep going back until he'd emptied it. Oddly, haven't seen a Squirrel for months, there used to be loads about but they seem to have disappeared, not even tempted by the peanuts - miss them scampering along the fence.

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I'm another one who enjoys watching and feeding birds! Our garden list:

Great Tit

Blue Tit

Coal Tit

Long tailed Tit

Marsh Tit

Starling

House Sparrow

Chaffinch

Greenfinch

Goldfinch

Bullfinch

Siskin

Lesser Redpoll

Nuthatch

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Blackbird

Song Thrush

Mistle Thrush

Robin

Redwing

Waxwing

Collared Dove

Wood Pigeon

Jackdaw

Magpie

Rook

Carrion Crow

Jay

Dunnock

Wren

Mallard

Black-headed Gull

House Martin

Sparrowhawk

Tawny Owl

Goldcrest

As for Magpies, I don't think they have that much affect on bird numbers, not around here anyway there seems to be a balance. People always seem to have a problem with Magpies as they're loud and brash, but many birds take chicks and eggs even Woodpeckers do and most people would be happy to have them in the garden.

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Even in urban west central London, I get long-tailed tit, blackbird, blackcap, fieldfare and redwing (last two winters but not this one so far), great tit, blue tit, dunnock, house sparrow, wood pigeon, feral pigeon, collared dove, magpie, goldcrest, wren, jackdaw, carrion crow, ring-necked parakeet and chaffinch, plus black-headed gull, house martins, swallows, common cormorant and a (doubtful) peregine in flight but not in the garden, but my best spot from the window has to be a common tern. No starlings for years.

There may well be more, but I can't identify them.

Anyone wants to take part in the RSPB big garden bird count at the end of the month, there's still time to register:

http://www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch/

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I think I'm succumbing to the Twitching bug.....

I thought the thread would be about some new form of twitter but this is 'real world stuff'

Birds are back to my bird table this months first time since the summer.

I bought bird fruit stuff last summer that just encouraged 500 wasps and the birds all seem to go for good.

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Due to the warmth many birds are still able to source 'natural food' so they may well have been absent from tables up to present. As for being 'normal' , it's a passion I've had since childhood. I am so fortunate to live where I do for the sheer numbers of species we can claim having ( esp. over summer with our 'upland waders').

Spring twilight with the lone call of a travelling Oystercatcher with the Curlews 'whippering' over the Moors above........ glass of Red and a Pipe whilst ligged out in my Hammock......Bliss!

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I love bird watching, i am in no way a twitcher though. As was covered in an earlier post thats a bit more obsessive with a penchant for box ticking. I am lucky to live in a fantastic area for birds, but i actually get a relativly small variety of birds on the garden feeders, as compared to some of the lists on here. I live on a farm and I am surrounded by common and moor land so there are plenty of natural / alternative food sources for the birds, most of which fit in to the 'liittle brown jobs' category. Of which my identification skills are limited. The catttle sheds are regularly full of starlings and sparrows feeding on the animal feed, the noise they make can be deafening. Plenty of magpies around, i find them very annoying, they have a nest next to my caravan. Through the summer they regularly wake me up around 5am tap dancing all over the roof. I get grumpy when woken early too often and it can invariably lead to war.

The Raptors are what really shines here. This is not specific to my garden, but certainly seen from home. I have had a pair of Hen harriers regularly feeding in the fields in front of the van. I see Marsh harriers in the area 5 /6 times a year, Perigrines 2 / 3 times a year, the Buzzards are like vermin and the sparrowhawk makes a regular appearance at the bird feeders when the farm cat aint hanging out there. Last summer i even saw a grouop of 10 Red Kites, which is most unusual here.

There are plenty of Owls, but i rarely see them, i just know other bird watchers who tell me so. You certainly hear the twit twit twit......twooooooo. Damn thats loud if your near them.

I do try to keep increasing the number of birds i can identify, Reed Bunting is my most recent. But so many look so similar.

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I've now taken down a few of the nestboxes.I only have two up for now. I'm not even sure any bird will nest in them due to there being plenty of hideouts, bushes and trees that backs onto farmland. I've seen two robins pairing up and I also have the joys of two nuthatches on the feeding station. Also the male blackbirds seem to tolerate each other side by side which I find strange.I thought they were meant to be very territorial!

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Loving the cold at the moment. In the past couple of days I've actually had a blue tit visit my nestbox with the webcam in.I was so pleased and happy Lol. It hasen't roosted yet it's only checked it out.But I'm so excited :D

The redwings have visited again this morning so chopped up a few apples in hope they fly into the garden. :D

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The cold weather has finally brought some redwings into urban west London: there have been a couple enjoying the ivy for the last 10 minutes or so. They've now moved onto the cotoneaster.

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had black cap in the garden today made a change from the normal birds

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I've had a bit of a whoopsie on the bird front....

Things like the Dunnocks, Chaffinches and Wrens appear to be happier feeding from the ground rather than the feeders so I put a tray of food on the ground, all was going well until some Ducks appeared. Spaniels and Ducks really isn't a good combination and sure enough, I was duly presented with one by a very happy, ever so pleased with himself doggy. The Duck was slightly dishevelled but the only thing wounded was it's pride, it did look terribly confused as it was dutifully dropped at my feet - ten minutes to catch it's breath and it flew off, I imagine never to be seen again around here. The guilty party is the Black & White one in my avatar.

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I've had a bit of a whoopsie on the bird front....

i hope you cleaned it up then....

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I had the same problem here jethro

Im by no way a Bird expert of this kind... But i noticed Robins and Blackbirds could not feed on my hangers, they would just sit there looking at all the other birds scoffing there faces hopeing to catch the odd fallen seed. So i put a tray under the feeder to for the ground feeders, only to wake up the next morning to find around 15/20 rooks piging on all the food. Dont get me wrong they are wild birds that need food like any other, but they seem to pig everything even to the point of when they have cleared the tray off they would then fly into the hangers to knock seed onto the floor for them to eat also. And they would also scare all the other birds off, so the way round this was to put a chicken mesh dome over the feed tray and this has worked up to now. It was funny to wake up to them all sitting on the wall looking at it, but eventualy they gave up, and have not been back since (touch wood)

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be aware that after dark you will more than likely have other visitors to your feeding stations= RATS

It won`t take long for the rodents to find any left over feed, never leave any feeding trays with food in on the ground overnight you will soon be over run with them.

Trust me a duck is nothing compared to a proud springer with a live rat in it`s gob, sat at your feet!!

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