Yarn, Yorkshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Posts tagged ‘birds’

Great British Bird Watch.

Like many of us Brits I topped up the bird feeders and sat back for an hour this weekend and watched paper and pen in hand , counting birds who stopped by. I have a feeling that only in the UK are we slightly peculiar enough to do such a thing.

Counting birds for an hour across the country on the same weekend helps the RSPB estimate how well the various species of birds are doing year on year and provides information on our general environment. Starlings and sparrows have declined in numbers over the years since I was little. I didn’t see a single starling , whereas when I was a child they dominated the bird feeders. And as I lived then within 1 minutes walk from here, something has clearly happened.

It’s also odd that come the Spring the hedge in our garden is full of nesting starlings, so where are they going in the winter now?

I am pleased though that the same hedge is a brilliant habitat for the sparrows. I had trouble counting this year because we have a lot and they fly off within in seconds. I got to nine on several occasions but think there were more, I just couldn’t keep track of them from feeder to hedge to tree to ground to feeder to hedge.

I had 6 blackbirds in my hour, but I know that there are 8 hereabouts, but the other two must have been in some other garden. Fred my lovely blackbird with the white feathers is still very much with us.

This picture was taken last May. He first appeared in 2016, then a feisty bird who would challenge all the other male blackbirds in the garden . Last year he had clearly matured, he had his nest in the ivy behind the lilac tree and just got on with raising I think a female chick, who may have inherited a few white feathers of her own. He is more subdued now and has retreated to life near the hedges and is avoiding the younger males. Hopefully he will be with us through 2018. Having a very distinctive bird in the garden has provided me with hours of entertainment as well as let me see the behaviour of an individual bird.

As to the rest, the pigeons have cause me the greatest complexity of identification. For the first time we have got feral pigeons in the garden, and less wood pigeons. I spent a long time looking at my bird books and realised that one was actually a stock dove and not a pigeon at all. And we have three very odd looking pigeons who are white with black feathers and I can only conclude that somewhere¬† the white doves or maybe even racing pigeons have mated with the feral pigeons. Anyway I counted them as feral pigeons as clearly they aren’t anything else.

We have two resident robins but only one turned up. The long-tailed tit also failed to put in an appearance.

But it was an enjoyable experience, and I hope all our findings help the RSPB and the bird populations as a whole.

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June Garden.

June has been an odd month weather wise. Hot and sunny, then cold and dreary for a fortnight, then sunny and warm and now we have sunshine and showers. Plants flower and then are over quickly, not like the winter when the snowdrops are around for 6 weeks. And don’t the weeds just love it!

So gardening time has been about weeding and planting and enjoying the flowers as they come.

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The irises and poppies

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both of which needed dead heading today.

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These lovely Lupins which were a gift from my son Mr T. He grew them from seed a couple of years ago. These too have been dead headed and more flowers are now on their way.

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I gave this mock orange to Mr E 14 years ago. It was one of his Mums’ favourites. I have picked several branches and had them in the house where they smelled delicious. Yesterday was a warm day so the windows were open and on the breeze came their wonderful fragrance.

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The tadpoles are doing so well this year.We must have hundreds. I have tried taking a picture of them but I’m not certain that either me or the camera is up to the task, hope you can see some of them.

Just after I wrote last time the blue tits fledged, and then we watched the robins in and out of their nest, which was in the ivy on the garage wall- see Lupins picture. They fledged this week. When the blackbirds hatched sometime in the middle of the month we were treated to no less than three Mum birds taking a well earned bath in our bird bath. They really looked as if they were enjoying it! They too have fledged now. I also have a water bowl on the grass for the birds to drink from.

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And here’s a picture of the Head Gardener at work by the rose arch!

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Now to get back to planting out the dahlias so beloved of Mr E.

Hope you have a great time outside this month.

Bad News from the Big Garden Bird Watch

The results are now in from the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch and the results show an alarming decline in bird numbers with Starlings faring the worst. Read all about it here and how we can all help wildlife in our own back gardens.

Big Garden Bird Watch-uk

26-27 January 2013 is a date to put in the diary for anyone who loves birds, and wants to take part in annual exercise to see how well the birds have fared in the last year. All you have to do is to spend an hour over this weekend, in your garden or a park and count the maximum number of one type of bird you can see at anyone time! Couldn’t be simpler- all you need is a basic guide book to garden birds- I have a number of pretty comprehensive books,but for this exercise one that just shows the most common species is enough- I use a free guide book my Dad passed onto me from the Daily Telegraph.

For more information and to register go to http://www.rspb.org.uk

Once all the information is collated you will be sent details of the results. The information is used by the RSPB to help our birds.

Do take part- the children will love it. I’ll post my results at the end of January.In the meantime do let me know if you will take part and also if you don’t live in the UK if anything similar happens where you are.

Get counting and Good Luck!

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