Tuesday, 15 February 2011

So much action at night

Hia Everyone,

Last night I stayed up late doing work & I love a good night time experience especially here because of the wildlife that go bump in the night.
I noticed over the road there were a few Rabbits so I took some winter bird seed mix & an apple that no one in the house seemed to want to eat over to where they were. I have loved them pop over to the front garden but didn't want to take the chance on encouraging them to get run over even if the street is always quiet at night from traffic.
Within minutes the apple was gone and the bird seed was tempting them back to the spot :) So now I know I have another bill when I go for my shopping (apples/carrots/bananas and anything else they enjoy eating).
Once I know something is there I just cant not put something out and help them in case they need it.
Jordan my little boy thinks I'm cute and calls me Miss sunshine because I'm always smiling out the windows. I dont know if he is just humoring me or not but whatever....makes him smile too anyway!

I knew we had Owls around here because Id heard them at night but was never sure which ones so I did some listening then identifying and it turns out we have Little Owls & Tawny Owls.
You should here them, one makes a high pitch screaming noise and the other makes the sound of twit twoo.
I think I will put some nest boxes up for them and see if any take to them, wish me luck!

This morning I woke to find the beautiful Leucistic Chaffinch female on the feeders with a Siskin so I was well chuffed at that. No Redwings have came to the garden today as far as I know though, the food is on show in case they do.

There is plenty more day left so there may be some more bits added if I spot anything excited to report back on.
Until then,

Zoom zoom!

Monday, 14 February 2011

Getting old Nikon out the cupboard

Hia Everyone,

I have to admit I have been put off posting for a while because of the lack of photos to accompany my writing. So I have decided to forget about waiting for the amazing super duper shot camera and just dust my old Nikon off to see how well I can capture what I see for you all.

I have so many birds coming to my garden now that it would be a shame not to have some great shots of them for you all & my blog was beginning to look bare and boring without them.

There has been a flock of Goldfinch playing up high in the trees for a while but before now they hadn't really ventured to my garden so I waited patiently and what do you know?? I have 10 + on a daily/regular basis. I am utterly over the moon and love watching them.
It seems to be that at any given time I can glance at the garden and see not only my regular Blue tits/Great tits/Coal tits & Robins but so many Chaffinches, Bullfinches, Greenfinches & now Goldfinches. I can not believe that these are now there nearly every time I look....I feel so happy.

I love watching them squabble & squabble they do! I noticed that they like to eat together so I bought a 6 pole Nyjer seed feeder so they could all fit on but there are too many Goldfinches now & so I need to buy another.
My other feeders are just too small for them now which contain the sunflower hearts which they love more then nyjer (to be honest) So I will be getting a couple of 6 or 10 pole feeders so they and all the other birds can get a look in.

I did however have my first visit from a Siskin the other day & true to form it came back again today bringing a friend with it. Ive not worked out if they are male/female or both same sex, I just know they are Siskins :) By the way, these little ones only just arrived as the big Nyjer seed feeders got hung so its nice to know what you put out can attract new birds.

On Saturday 12th Feb I had a visit from an unusual looking bird which I ended up identifying as a Leucistic Chaffinch female. She was beautiful and stood out like a saw thumb in the tree with all the usual chaffinch markings but where she would be tan/buff colour, this one was white with little patches on her head.
I filmed her and will upload the video for you all to see hopefully with my next post.

Back to today's findings, I was looking around when I noticed a not so regular bird fly up in to the tree followed by another. I ran and grabbed my binoculars from upstairs and checked them out. They were Redwings and it was my first time to see one of these. I done some identifying on the RSPB website and sure enough it was definitely them which I find remarkable as these are red status birds and a winter visitor. Well I felt special to think they were in the trees at the back of my garden and here's hoping they come down for lunch tomorrow with the rest of the guests :)

That's all from me for today but I will dust off my camera and get some shots as best I can so there is at least something nice to look at on my blog. Reading can get boring :)

Zoom zoom!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

2 grey squirrels together today

Morning or Afternoon everyone,

I am sat with my coffee in the garden watching 2 grey squirrels munching on monkey nuts & peanuts from the hanging baskets.
Sometimes I look and I'm blown away at how close they let me get. Part of me does not want to make them too used to humans because one day it might back fire on them if they come up to the wrong person. Maybe its a good thing that they keep their distance with a dubious look upon their faces.

I still have a fantasy that one day I will have all the wildlife eating happily out of my hands like you see in the Disney films.

I heard something screaming last night really loud. It was coming from the woods and I am sure it was a fox as Id heard their screams can sound disturbing. Is it the right time of year for the female to be screaming like that? or could it have been male territory problems?

No Owls though and i was in the garden at 4am this morning, (I'm a night owl) and usually lots of work keeps me up that late.

Ive decided how I would like my garden designed once I can afford to go for it and it warms up a little...say Spring time maybe. I'm having hedging all around the back garden & front but at the back I am having a medium sized pond with running water feature that will run the water down in to a smaller sized pond. All of this will be absolutely covered around with conifers of some sort so lots of privacy for bathing birds and what not. (Ooooh I cant wait!)

I should have some video footage and some good photos for you all next time I blog :)

Take care,

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Hope they come back?

Hia everyone,

Every morning I stick the kettle on and make myself a strong cup of coffee to take in to the garden.
Today it has been beautiful and sunny out there with vibrant rays of sunshine striking down at the bird's favourite tree. Ive still not worked out what type of tree it is but they all love playing in it so that suits me.
Usually I leave the feeders alone until around noon then top up with sunflower hearts, this way everything gets eaten.

Today the Bullfinch came back twice so far followed by a pair of Goldfinches. I heard for the first time the Bullfinch call, what a lovely sound from a beautiful bird. The Nuthatch made an appearance around the same time the Great spotted woodpecker arrived. I love the sound of the woodpecker in the trees, trying to spot them up there is hard though.

I might start getting nyjer seed again for the Goldfinches, either that or plant some thistles for them so they become regular. I still can not get over how gorgeous these birds are.

I started with one Gray Squirrel and now have two chasing each other around the garden. My mission is to get at least one to eat monkey nuts out of my hand (wishful thinking?)

The Great spotted woodpecker loves the peanuts & everything else just seem to be indulging right now on sunflower hearts so another huge bag is on order.

I dont understand why some people are not keen on Pigeons? I think they are brilliant and I end up having around 10 at a time walking around my garden cleaning up all the little leftovers from the smaller birds. They are so good at it that I am calling them mini dysons ;)

Wonder what tomorrow will bring?


Monday, 17 January 2011

My first wildlife posting

I haven't long moved in to Chester Le Street but from what I've seen I am loving so far.  Ive only been here just short of two months and I seemed to have bagged a twitchers paradise garden.

Before moving here I lived in Jarrow near Primrose nature reserve and there id take the dogs walking and enjoy the little bit of wildlife that would grace the place.
Ive been passionate about wildlife since being young when my parents used to take me to Chopwell Woods and go on long walks in the most beautiful forests.

I have lovely memories of those days when I was young and I am sure that I used to hear more birds singing back then but to be honest wonder now if that was just because when we are young everything seems much bigger, brighter and better?

Living in Jarrow is where my interest in birds came in to full swing because there was all sorts of birds id not even seen before. Id previously lived in South Shields where you were very lucky to see Pigeons never mind a house sparrow.

In my new garden there are Robins, Dunnocks, Black birds, Song thrush, Blue tits, Long tailed tits, Great tits, Coal tits, Chaffinch, wood pigeon daily. My regular but not daily visitors are Great spotted woodpecker, Nuthatch & 2 gray squirrels. Also at night I hear owls, probably little own by the sounds of it.

I am happy to report that today I got my first Bullfinch and Goldfinch. Its freezing at the moment and my garden looks like a wildlife sanctuary. I cant imagine how busy it will get in the spring/summer time.

Im looking in to planting new trees/hedgerow and plants that will provide food and extra habitat for my new friends all year round. Ive done a bit of research on what attracts what but if anyone can shed some extra light on which shrubs etc they have been lucky with, Id love to know?

I need help on getting the best camera for still shots, I've heard Canon mentioned a lot on bird forums but if any one can give advice to get the crispest of quality id be over the moon?

There will be lots of pictures and video content of my garden birds and what ever else I can find in the bushes plus I plan on venturing out and about to get used to the area and enjoy the walks it has to offer.

Thanks for reading.