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taxi4ballet

Any cuckoos out there? ... and other BirdWatch news

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House martins returned this weekend and started to repair their nests. Also a robin fledgling spent all day yesterday on the wall being feed by his very busy parents.

 

We always have pheasants in our garden but had noticed an increase of them roosting in trees this yea, they look comical trying to balance. Then last week we spotted two very dark feathered females pheasants. They hang around with their normally feathered friends but are notably a different colour. Don't know if the tree roosting is related to the darker colouring but they certainly are not camouflaged in the undergrowth.

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I know they are not birds but was pleased to watch the bats swooping over the garden yesterday evening. Some years we only spot a couple but yesterday there was lots, obviously the mild winter has helped them and their food stuff prosper.

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I wouldn't be pleased to see bats. Dunno why, but they give me the creeps.

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We have a really sweet little robin coming into our garden to feed several times a day - he (somehow I'm sure it's a 'he') has no tail feathers, must have been a close shave with one of the local cats, and he managed to get free from its clutches  :)

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I wouldn't be pleased to see bats. Dunno why, but they give me the creeps.

Many years ago I was rehearsing students for a show when bats flew in from a vent high up in the ceiling. The students had just completed their final,finishing pose. Intent on my job I said "don't worry it's only a couple of bats!" Well you never saw a room empty so quickly and noisily!

(I myself made a quick exit when I felt one brush past my hair!)

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I've just seen a pair of goldfinches outside my window, something I've never seen before in my life in south east London.  At one time the only birds I used to see locally were pigeons and sparrows.  The sparrows have disappeared to be replaced by magpies, but I now  hear the cooing of wood pigeons, see a jay occasionally and far more rarely. tits.  One rare event was when a pheasant sat in next door's garden for half an hour.

 

Foxes proliferate locally and I wonder if more wildlife is moving into town.

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It's suddenly got very noisy in the garden as all the local starling chicks seemed to have fledged in the last few days!! We counted 22 birds in our tallest tree this morning!! Not all were starlings but they are non stop squawk machines at the moment!!

 

Usually when they've been fledged about a week they are perfectly capable of feeding themselves and we watch them doing this but as soon as an adult arrives the beaks open up and the feed me feed me squawk begins!!

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Those baby starlings, my garden is also full of them today, I had to go shopping today to buy more bread to feed all the birds, also have a baby blackbird who is a real star and is becoming a pet bird, although in the end the adults get their territory back and it's bye, bye, blackbird.

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Other people get cute fluffy chicks, I get these hideous crow squatters in my owl box... Mind you, every parent will recognise the behaviour!

 

 

IMG_1381.jpg

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Good job their parents love them Quintus!

Shame no owls making use of box. We have a barn owl that flies through the garden early evening at the moment. Always on same route at roughly same time. Have heard the tawny but not seen him recently but do find his deposits under the willow.

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I took Chunkydog out for an evening constitutional when I got home from my fab day out at The Hepworth.

 

We spent some happy minutes watching swifts and martins swooping over the smaller lake at Crosby Lakeside.  Happy days...

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We've been holidaying in Skye and the Outer Hebrides and it feels like the same one has been following us around the islands because we can hear the call wherever we go :-)

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Oh Quintus they are gorgeous ......what a great photo!! I love crows anyway....even these weirdo looking babies.

 

At last a welcome sight over the alottment tonight .....lots of swirling singing swifts.....thought they'd never arrive this year.

 

Alls well with the world.....well until tomorrow!

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By the way how did you manage to post that Piccie of the crows to Balletco forum site?

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By the way how did you manage to post that Piccie of the crows to Balletco forum site?

 

You simply click on the little icon of a picture in the message box lower row tool bar, and paste in the url of your picture.  The picture needs to be hosted somewhere on the 'net; I happen to use Photobucket.  The pic itself is not stored on balletcoforum - just the link to it.

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I love crows anyway....even these weirdo looking babies.

 

You think they're weird - have you ever seen pigeon chicks?! :wacko:

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You think they're weird - have you ever seen pigeon chicks?! :wacko:

No and I've often wondered why not when we have masses of wood pigeons in our garden!

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Me neither.....they're always pretty mature before we see them here

 

Though one year one daft one tried to build a nest on top of the local bus stop!!

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Progress on the beasts...  Given that this is an owl box rather than an open nest, the usual had happened when I just look, and they had grown to a size where they could not get out, and one was dead.  Given the other one, let's call it Crowbart, would have gone the same way, I had to take it out and set it at the bottom of a tree to take its chances.  It is well feathered so can't be far off fledging age. There are currently lots of crows buzzing round the tree, so they are aware of Crowbart's situation....   In other news, this morning we had three buzzards overhead and behind them someone doing aeronautics in a small plane - busy skies in Suffolk!

image.jpeg

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Aah fingers crossed for little Crowbart!!

Hopefully the parents will find him/her and lead him up into a tree and keep feeding for a while...they are so vulnerable on the ground as well. Especially round here as apart from the usual cats etc the seagulls could take a very young crow like this.

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Well we saw what could have developed into a rather dramatic aerial dogfight today...

 

We were at an agricultural show standing watching the show jumping and from nowhere, a very large hawk appeared, flew around the arena, and then swooped back round the grandstand to where it was (presumably) being flown in a falconry display.

 

We then noticed that it had been aggressively dive-bombed and chased out of the sky by one of the local resident red kites, which had taken extreme exception to another raptor on its patch. The red kite flew back and forth over the arena for a good 5 minutes looking very determined and treating us all to a free, wild aerial display - we think that the falconer took the rather wise decision to retire his bird from the fray!

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Many years ago, I worked at a Sussex country house as a sort of meet and greeter. In the spring, they held a fair with various displays and demonstrations of rural amusements. I remember the guy who turned up with his birds of prey, perhaps unwisely started by telling us what had happened at the previous show, when his prized bird decided it didn't want to play and flew off into the tree tops, where it remained for several hours. The man said, rather tempting fate, that he hoped the bird would co - operate this time. The bird was released and off it went into the tree tops, where it remained for several hours. We could see it up there, looking down at us. He tried so hard to get it to come back but it wouldn't budge. If a bird could 'flip the bird' that bird did! :D

In the end, night fell and we went home, leaving him to it. 

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I've often thought that there must be the odd occasion when they do fly off and not come back. Though not sure whether the birds from these shows can survive in the wild.

 

A bit like budgies who talk and those who won't!!

 

Back in the 50's when it was thought okay to have a budgie we had several over the years that never talked no matter how much we tried to talk to them ....not one " I'm a pretty boy"

 

Where's my nan had one in particular which never stopped and used to tell people to "bu---r off will you" " where's my cup of tea" and the lot!

The interesting thing is ours were blue and hers were green( for whatever reason) don't know whether there's anything in this.

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Well after a couple of fraught days at work I came home late tonight to find two little owls on the drive. They are so comical when when they take flight it did raise my spirits.

 

Lin we used to be frequent visitors to the local birds of prey centre. Occasionally a raptor would fly off as either spooked, air currents or being wilful. The handlers said they normally managed to bring them back in within a few days as hunger got the better of them.

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I've often thought that there must be the odd occasion when they do fly off and not come back. Though not sure whether the birds from these shows can survive in the wild.

 

A bit like budgies who talk and those who won't!!

 

Back in the 50's when it was thought okay to have a budgie we had several over the years that never talked no matter how much we tried to talk to them ....not one " I'm a pretty boy"

 

Where's my nan had one in particular which never stopped and used to tell people to "bu---r off will you" " where's my cup of tea" and the lot!

The interesting thing is ours were blue and hers were green( for whatever reason) don't know whether there's anything in this.

Someone told me that male budgies are the better talkers so maybe yours were all female?

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Greater spotted woodpecker currently feeding from half coconut in garden.

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http://parrotfeather.com/budgie/talking/

 

 

Well here is Charlie talking ......and he's blue!!

 

Apparently females do talk too but males do tend to be better talkers because of their naturally courting females and so are much clearer apparently.

 

It's important to get a very young bird apparently as if they have mixed with other budgies too much they lose that interest to communicate with humans.

And you must talk to them every day ...a lot...and have only ONE bird.

 

My uncle used to breed budgies and had a huge aviary....hence the supply but I'll never forget my nans bird who also used to sit on her shoulder a lot and would come to your hand ....he was so tame and a very clear speaker.

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Had to stop the car on way home from work this morning whilst mother duck wandered down a busy village road followed by her 9 ducklings. She caused quite a traffic jam as she found the perfect place for herself to get onto the pavement and safety. Seven of the ducklings, with a lot of effort managed to join her but the last two had to run down the road until they found the lowered kerb. Hopefully she will keep them on that side of the road (gardens) until they can fly and not take them back into the vast field opposite.

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I was sitting the lounge this afternoon, and had the patio door open. I heard an odd noise - a sort of scuffling - so I went out side and was showered with grit. I looked up, and there were two sparrows having a dustbath in my guttering :D

 

(note to self - must get dh out there with a ladder to clear the gutters out)

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Yesterday evening there was a terrible racquet from some crows it was so loud and urgent I thought one must be trapped or something so I rushed outside and over my roof they were yelling and swooping. I thought at first they were having a fight ....some territorial thing though these cries are quite specific and I should have known as have heard on the alottment before.

I realised they weren't fighting each other but acting in unison and diving down the front of my roof( I was out the back) I was just about to go round to,the front when I saw what all the fuss was about. There was a fox on my roof just about to jump onto the neighbours! The crows were really dive bombing it. Luckily it jumped off the neighbours roof into their garden and started making off down the hill taking the crow noise with it!! Talk about tenacious.

 

Some very good news today was a nest of sparrows in one of our boxes has finally fledged.

We have a holly tree at the front and they were all in there chirping around. I counted at least five but there may have been a couple more.

The parents you'd think would now like to have a bit of a rest .....but no. They were out there this afternoon "at it" like no tomorrow ....so can probably expect another noisy brood very soon!

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