This morning, the usual bird species around and on the balcony feeders.
Like blue tits.
Many great tits. Some of them, the radio said, may have come all the way from Russia. There is unusually big great tit migration from eastern Europe to western Europe now.
A wood pigeon. A couple of magpies. A jackdaw.
Then, a first for the balcony. A male great spotted woodpecker!
This video is about an adult great spotted woodpecker feeding its young in a garden.
A bit later, a male chaffinch looks for seeds on the balcony floor. Only the second time that I saw this species here.
- How to attract birds into your garden this winter (telegraph.co.uk)
- Ecologists preparing for boom in urban wildlife ‘invaders’ (guardian.co.uk)
- A Visitor at Dawn (amras888.wordpress.com)
- Nuts (ja2da.com)
- 20 October 2013 (cotswoldwaterpark.wordpress.com)
- Great tit on my balcony (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- 24 October 2013 (cotswoldwaterpark.wordpress.com)
- Woodpecker stories (lathallaneco.wordpress.com)
- Collared doves on my balcony (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- A Greater Spotted Woodpecker and Continental Blackbirds (parrotletsuk.typepad.com)
How utterly charming – I could watch this all day! My Mum lives in a house that backs on to a nature reserve, and so she’s used to seeing Woodpeckers and various other species in her garden (I’m pretending not to be utterly jealous here, heheh).
We get our fair share of lovely birds in our garden though. At the moment we have eight Collard Doves, several Wood Pigeons, Starlings, a pair of Blue Tits, a pair of Great Tits, a Robin, Dunnocks, Blackbirds, plus the occasional Chaffinch pair and some Goldfinches. We get a Sparrowhawk sometimes too, as I’ve mentioned before.
This late in the year we’re draining off all the fat we can from food and mixing in food leftovers and seeds to make “fatty cakes” for any passing feathered friend who needs the energy and a bit more weight to protect it from the cold. We’re always very careful about salt content, so gammon scraps are definitely off the menu – even though I know the Woodies would hoover them up because they don’t care!
Hi Missus Tribble, thanks for your extensive comment!
The balcony is not really near a nature reserve; a forest is about a kilometer away. I have also seen a great spotted woodpecker on a relatively small group of big trees on my way to the railway station. Great spotted woodpeckers do not need as big forests as middle spotted woodpeckers or black woodpeckers.
Collared doves are on the other side of the house, but I haven’t seen them on the balcony yet. Dunnocks were on the balcony last winter; they may come back this winter.
All the best for you and “your” birds!
We think that “our” Dunnocks are actually living in next door’s garden, as they never seem to *not* be here! I had to laugh when my husband was researching them online one afternoon; he was just reading me the part about how they’re shy and they stick to borders for camouflage as one bounced merrily across the lawn without a care in the world!
We only had three Collared Doves last year – and then just two when the adolescent flew the coop. They must have been quite bored this year for us to end up with eight!
I think that dunnocks are not really shy, rather inconspicuous. Many people don’t note them. Usually, they do stick close to the ground and to shrubs.
Someone should tell that to our Dunnocks – they’re cheeky as all get-out! Having said that, it’s not just them; we’ve had a Woodie come and inspect our hallway and our previous Robin (sadly found dead this summer) was in the living room all the time.
We’ve also witnessed a furious female Greenfinch chasing a terrified Magpie from the garden. I think she must have had a nest nearby.
Birds do make me smile with their often unexpected antics 🙂
We have seen a greenfinch once; in a tree on the side where there is no balcony. They are more common in the cemetery, 15 minutes walking away (where, as I blogged, I also saw hawfinches and bullfinches).
There is nothing funnier than an enormous Magpie fleeing in fear with a little angry green bullet almost up its backside! We like how Magpies look, but we do try to deter them as we know that they are egg eaters and there are often a lot of nests in this area.
I think I’ve only seen a Bullfinch once or twice in my life, and never a Hawfinch. With that said, I’ve been lucky enough to spot unusual or rare birds in areas that they shouldn’t be in (a Golden Eagle above the service station near Swindon, and a bird in my Mum’s garden that shouldn’t even have been that far south) and I’ve been cuddled by a very large duck at Prinknash Abbey, just outside of Cheltenham (my home town).
Yes, magpies are beautiful, but they should not be too close to smaller birds’ nests.
Hawfinches are a bit rare, but not that rare. Though they are the biggest finch species of western Europe, they are often overlooked, as they are often behind leaves in big trees, and they don’t call loudly.
There’s a nature reserve a short drive from our house, but there doesn’t seem to be anywhere to park – otherwise I’d love to go there and see what I can see. Years ago I visited Cley Marsh reserve in north Norfolk and saw all kinds of amazing birds, including a Marsh Harrier, and I’ve been to the farm in Wales that feeds Red Kites daily (such amazing birds).
I miss doing real “birding” these days! 🙂
An unusual marsh harrier story is at
I think I heard about this on the news, but I’ll certainly be checking your link – thank you!
Beautiful birds, aren’t they 🙂
Yes; marsh harriers are not rare on the Dutch Wadden Sea islands. And I have seen hen harriers there as well.
Herre in England the RSPB has listed Marsh Harriers on the Red List. They are under protection now.
I’ll never understand why people steal the eggs of raptors or shoot them down. 😦
Yes, recently there was news of a policeman stealing eggs:
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