My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
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Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Here and there......

Well, it's been a funny few days. Signs of autumn are definitely in the air and fellow bloggers are also making the same comment. For the first time today, a short-sleeved T-shirt wasn't sufficient to keep me warm.

Another indication of Autumn is the spider I found when I came down into the kitchen!! It was a very very large one - about 3 feet in diameter!!! (well - a slight exaggeration perhaps ;) )

The bird numbers in the garden are still up, with about 15+birds visiting at one time. Mostly Green and Goldfinches and still many young around. Yesterday three robins were competing with their "tick ticking" alarm call and today one stayed around singing. I do hope it's "my regular" robin. He didn't seem at all fazed by my being in the garden so that's a good sign. I heard a Green Woodpecker but couldn't see it amongst the still green leaves on all the oak trees. A couple of days ago, the two Nuthatches visited and one came back again this morning.

My feeders are mostly hanging from the old apple tree or on feeding posts underneath that. My neighbour has now severely pruned some of the shrubs on his side of the garden and this has now opened up the area quite considerably. This has the advantage of allowing considerably more light through - good for the garden and taking pictures, but, at the same time, has removed a great deal of cover for the birds.

A couple of days ago, I had a Sparrowhawk visiting - first for a long time, and now the Magpies and a Crow (although always around the garden) have found their way to the feeders. I'm hoping this is coincidence and their visits will not be regular.

A crow dropped in for a meal of peanuts, but

after it had left, I had a visit from about 7 Long-tailed tits - great! (Not a brilliant picture,'s Long-tailed Tits!)

Today, I managed only a quick visit and short walk to and in Bushy Park. It was grey, dull and windy and the rain threatened. Fortunately it stayed away until I got back into the car.

Canada Geese are very evident and increased in numbers.

One of the 7 cygnets - now showing adult colouring in it's beak and wing feathers.

The male mallard was preening, what I can only presume, his new feathers.

and further along a female mallard was similarly engaged!

Black headed Gulls were also increasing in numbers - a sure sign of winter being on it's way

They were using the wind as they flew above the pond's water

Jackdaws abounded and occasionally stopped for a rest..

On one of the small islands, a lone Cormorant was drying its wings - nice to see one there again.

And finally, this Black-headed Gull was playing games with its left leg...

Now you see it......

Now you don't.....

And just as I type this, the Sparrowhawk has swooped throught the garden again - it got away with nothing!

I shall have to think about re-siting the feeders now they've become more exposed :(


mick said...

Very interesting how just pruning shrubs changes the habitat so much for little birds. Nice that all those little Long-tailed Tits came in for a feed.

Chris said...

Hi Tricia,
Interesting post with a lot of pictures. I think I might one day used a feeder as northern wheather and meadow pipit are turning around the garden these days, but I think it is too early yet. I love the long-tailed tits shots, this is one of my favorite bird.

Lynmiranda said...

I am still hoping that the Long-tailed tits will come to visit my feeders.

karen said...

More lovely pics Tricia! LOVE the long tailed tits, i can only dream!!! Those crows are quite agile, ive had some on my feeders too! Love the water bird pics too x

holdingmoments said...

I can't wait for the LTT's to come back and visit here. Great to see them.
That Mallard has got some lovely new feathers; a real sheen on his head.
Seems like the birds are becoming more visible with each day that passes. :)

Midmarsh John said...

Great to see your LTTs return. Haven't spotted any here yet, not in the garden anyway. I must keep the peanut feeder topped up.
Lovely selection of birdy photos as always, Tricia.
In the second Cormorant picture it really looks as though it is giving you the evil eye for daring to take a photo.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tricia, yes I am seeing more geese activity now and will look forward to some flight shot practice. (but no giant spiders)

Nature As Is said...

Morning Tricia!!

What a wonderful variety of birds in your post today. The crow on the bird feeder made me laugh...I have a few here that try to do the same thing!
Beautiful :)

oldcrow61 said...

You get to see such a variety of birds. It's wonderful.

Tricia said...

Mick - I didn't expect so much of a change and so quickly. Might be a flash in the pan but time will tell!

Chris - Long tailed Tits are such pretty birds. I will be interested to see what birds you get if you put up some feeders.

Lyn - you never know.....

Karen - Amazing how the Crows are such good contortionists

Keith - hope they'll be with you soon. He was a lovely shiny Mallard! And fingersd crossed we'll have some migrants soon.

John - they do seem to favour peanuts so may be worth keeping your feeders topped up!

Roy - I can promise you no giant spiders!

Nature As Is - and a good morning to you to! Thank you for your kind comments. And yes, those crow's are acrobtats!

OC - There will be a shift in the variety now that fall's on its way. Hopefully we'll start to see Mandarin ducks again soon.

Warren Baker said...

It's been a long time since I've had LTT's visit my feeders, i'm very envious!

Those Sparrowhawks are a bit annoying after their novelty wares off! I had one plague my feeders for 5 years, now its gone (probably died of old age, or greenfinch poisoning!) i'm geting loads of birds in!

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