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Garden Birdwatch 2018

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Sad about the Blackbirds and Robins.

Blackbirds are one of my favourites.

When I grew up here, many years back, our cottage was thronged with house sparrows, but after a few decades of cat-loving neighbours and hedge-hating farmers they all disappeared.
A couple of years ago a pair nested under the eaves and now we have a happy, bustling family of about a dozen flying in and out of the pyracantha pillars.
The blackbirds used to nest in the same place, facing a large rookery. Their fledglings were regularly picked off by rooks who flew them screaming to feed their rooklets, a horrible time here. They now nest in more secret places on the other side of the studio; I hope the baby sparrows won't seem so attractive.

I'm really happy to hear you have house sparrows. I keep trying to feed the birds and discourage the cats.
wellington womble

They survive our plague of cats, probably because they nest in our loft. I rescued two fledglings from our chickens last year.
Mistress Rose

We only have one robin, we think, that comes to beg for food in the garden, but have loads in the woods. In fact wherever of whatever you are doing there, there is a robin supervising. Sparrows seem to be erratic; don't see any then pass a bush that is twittering with them.

Next door to us has a huge Laurel bush, which we think the blackbirds nest in.
The jackdaws are trying to get back in his roof - he has roofing felt tiles over wood, and in his eaves..they are most annoyed that the holes were closed up when the house was wrapped.
Next door the other side has starlings nesting under the tiles Shocked
Otherwise we have a pair of doves, two pairs of crows that sit on the telegraph pole at the end of the garden ,a few sparrows and three flocks of racing pigeons nearby.
We're just on the edge of the scheme, so see more than most..a bit of a bird desert really Sad

however on Hannahston woodland 5 minutes walk away its thankfully a lot different
Mistress Rose

We have a peregrine falcon who uses a pylon near us. Not sure if it is nesting, as it doesn't seem to be there all the time. Have had a couple of pigeons it dropped, and found another that it must have killed. The rooks come and pull bits off our birch tree, but they have moved to the next pylon in the line. Have greenfinches, chaffinches, thrushes, blackbirds, pigeons and have seen a greater spotted woodpecker and a goldcrest. Don't see all of them all at once, and we would be hard pushed to get very many for the birdwatch, as I am sure half the birds hide for it.

Not just us with Birdwatch then, its always an unusually quiet time here, but there are birds everywhere a couple of days later.

Out on the bike yesterday, heard a woodpecker hammering and curlews calling.
(and saw a hare love2 )

We are 2.8 miles from Derby city centre we always have over a dozen blackbirds in the garden plus sparrows all types of tits, field fares, goldfinch and crows so we were looking forward to the big bird count. Then on the day of the count bang a juvenile sparrowhawk picks up a blackbird smashes it against the patio window and then eats it on the lawn. We are only now having the birds back to the garden but on reflection a sparrow hawk has to eat.
Mistress Rose

They do, but they can cause chaos among the birds and elsewhere doing it. I came across one who made a kill and decided to eat it in the middle of a fairly busy local road. The look in its eye discouraged any cars from coming near it. Very Happy

I was also surprised to see the blackbird and robin standings as we have at least 8 bolshie blackbirds chasing each other round at times, and 4 robins - we like others have seen a big increase in goldfinches and long tailed tits. As I type this our first 'confirmed' common reed bunting is inside one of the bird feeders about 4 feet from the window - we were thrilled!!!

Rooky racket at sunset yesterday - our rookery has had about a dozen birds through the winter, but there was so much din I went out to look. Great excitement as about 150 rooks were flying round the trees, showing off with acrobatics and checking the nests. The sounds weren't hostile, more thrilled to meet again, insofar as you can tell with their range of sound.
Must just be a wandering band touring the area, as the visitors had left by this morning. Just ten birds mooching about in the beech trees.
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