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Wednesday, 9 April 2014

The Great Outdoors : watch the birdie!

While I've been working on this, I've found every season of Bones is on Sky on demand, as is Criminal Minds - oh yes, I'm a sucker for the US drama stuff!  When I have managed to move my eyes from the screen I've been watching the birds visiting our bird feeders - even though the big trees just past the end of the garden are gone, there are still plenty around ...



Definite fans of the suet block, this pair of tiny long tailed tits are seriously loud.  They flit back and forth from the jasmine to the feeder several times and then fly off, still chattering away.  From the RSPB bird identifier it looks like these might be juveniles - we saw the pink coloured adults in the autumn, so I've decided these are their offspring.  Yep.  I've decided.

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This is the bigger of two robins that visit regularly - very partial to the suet block apparently!  The mixed seeds seem to appeal too, though the feeder causes problems - the robins tend to perch on the metal arms of the 'feeding station' (stupid name, but you know what I mean, I hope) and stretch to the hanging feeder from there!

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Another very noisy one, and very keen on the mixed seeds, this sparrow is a bit of a loner, and won't come near if any of the others are around (especially the bigger of the two Robbins - he seems to be a bit of a bully).

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This is one of two blue tits that we see, and although I don't think it's the food that primarily attracts them, they do snack on the peanuts now and again.  Thanks to Eli, we have an easy supply of soft fluff that appeals to the nest builders!  The great tit nest we found last year had loads of Eli's hair in, and we figured it would be worth providing some for others to use, so when he has a trim we clear out the mesh dish and put the fresh stuff in - it has been incredibly popular!

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There's plenty of dried out bits of shrub that we were too lazy to prune out thoughtfully left for the birds to use for building materials - this is one of a pair of gold finches that have been gathering sticks and stalks and taking somewhere nearby.  They occasionally have a bit of a peck at the food, but their focus right now is definitely house building!  What I think is sweet is that they stick together - they arrive together, and leave at the same time - all together now : ahhhh!

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We see Marsh Tits too, and it was Great Tits that moved into our nesting box last spring.  Petal has been checking our (tiny) pond every day for frogspawn, and I think the plan remains the same as last year - if none appears, we'll adopt some from Ashton Court and then watch it develop here.  The teeny tiny little frogs were one of the highlights of last year, along with the hedgehog - fingers crossed for this year too!

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