Thursday, 31 December 2009

Happy New Year

Just simply want to wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Despite the ice and snow and rain

We had a bit of a quick session before lunchtime with a stop at Newcastle Business Park to see Dunlin, Shelduck, Teal, Redshank, Curlew, Black-backed Gull, Cormorant, Black headed Gull, then after we saw that Shibdon Pond was fully frozen these beauties were grazing next to the road.
There were loads of these Canada Geese-

Two of these Barnacle Geese -

and one of these ?????? a cross between ?? and ?? , with pink feet, any ideas?

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Following my previous post we had about five days where there was not a bird to be seen in the back garden but we were then pleased to see a newly arrived female Blackbird take up residence. A further surprise was the arrival of a second pair of Blackbirds.
Today they were all feeding well together with Robin, Long-tailed Tits, Starling.

I think Dunnock must have been another Sparrowhawk casualty.
As soon as I lifted the ice chunk out and refilled the water bath, the Robin and Blackbirds were straight in.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Help or Hindrance?

I just cannot convince myself that my back garden feeder station is of help to the few birds we have in our area.
The local Sparrowhawk has had another successful hit.

Unfortunately this time it was the female Blackbird which I had, in my last post, said was improving nicely after being in poor condition.
After the last Sparrowhawk kill I had restricted table feeding to the front garden where the feeder is almost totally enclosed by twiggy bushes, but restarted the back garden feeder when the weather recently turned poor.
I know that the view is that the kill is what happens in the wild, but I'm now feeling that I was simply tipping the advantage toward the Sparrowhawk by attracting its prey into one predictable area.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

More Garden Crew

When the female Blackbird arrived on the scene about eight weeks ago she was in a bit of a state with an almost bald head and few feathers on her breast. She has been very secretive and scarce since then but has gradually got back into a much better condition. She is now seen on a more regular basis at the feeder.
The male regularly sits in the tree in the back garden often singing in the dark and also at other times sings in a very quiet and melodic manner. The bird may only be eight to ten feet away but its song is hardly audible.

Two very welcome guests

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Starling Spectacular

Its not until you get in close that you appreciate the striking markings of the Starling.

We are currently getting regular visits, into the garden, from a group of half a dozen. This mornings plan was to get down to St. Mary's Island by about 9.30am but got trapped waiting for the gas engineer to come and restart the boiler. As it happened, I managed to do the boiler business and was then presented with the opportunity to capture these beauties.
So it all worked out fine.