Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Sunday walk and last week's birds

A lovely winter's day - the Taw estuary on the Tarka trail...
Liked this image with the line of footprints.

Pretty sure these are redshanks - I'm not great on waders but these are common and the most likely.
Always lots of curlews on the estuary.
The snow brought a lot of birds into the garden. Loads of blackbirds, all chasing each other off whilst the thrush nipped in and got the food and then these lovely redwings appeared. Unfortunately all my photos were blurry - I think they were actually too close and I had the zoom lens on max. Went through loads of suet pellets , mealworms and sultanas but worth it for these visitors.

Got a new feeder for the wall outside the kitchen window so I can see the birds from there and get better pics like this starling on the wall next to it.

This little chap was hiding sunflower hearts all over the place.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Odd looking birds.

Tried to get some pictures of the blue tit I noticed over a week ago now which seems to have a deformed beak. I thought it might have something wedged through it's beak or have injured it, in which case there wasn't much hope for it's survival but it's been back several times since I first saw it and has been feeding normally.

Not easy to see but the beak on this one is very long and curved upward and to the side. It's still displaying very blue tit like behaviour of pecking at the suet block and cakes and taking a piece of food to a branch to hold it while it eats. Also it's been cleaning it off on a branch as the regular tits do with their beaks after feeding, so it seems to be fully functional!

Here's a regular blue tit drying off after a bath.

Here's a few pics I took several weeks ago of an unusual looking feral pigeon, which I thought must be a youngster. It has a dark eye and a pink beak, with no white at the base, also it's feathers are very 'frilly'!

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Great Tit came back.

Having never seen a great tit in all the ten years I've been here in this house, I was beginning to think there was some sort of local blackspot for them. Then this little charmer appeared last week and came back again yesterday. Hopefull he'll stay around (I think it's a male, seems to have a broad black line but I can't remember since it's been so long).

Very pleased that the great tit has returned. Not a great pic but he's a real cutie.

Pretty picture of a blue tit with two goldfinches behind.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Latest attempt to stop soggy seed.

This is my latest attempt to prevent a build up of seed porridge in the tray when it rains. Since this is the worst feeder for seed being spilt into the tray, I thought I'd try out a dome shelter on it. Having seen the price of them in the garden centre (more than the feeder), I went looking for something that I could adapt and found this mixing bowl in Wilkinsons for 79p. It has a lip, which I've drilled holes in but I might cut it off if it doesn't work. I put two small holes in the top to thread the wire hanging loop through. Here's hoping it works! Shouldn't have to wait long to find out -rain is forcast for tomorrow.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Return of some birds

Had a few computer problems recently and couldn't do a lot. We seem to have resolved the problems by adding extra RAM and a new hard drive. It was mainly with image editing and speed problems but now it's OK the OH has been hogging it so I'm not getting much chance to post!

Cleared all the ivy off the tree trunk as it was looking really choked up and I was so glad I did because I was rewarded almost immediately with the Blue Tit and then the Coal Tit returning to peck insects off the trunk. It's so much easier to photograph them too without the ivy confusing the autofocussing behind.

The lovely sparrows - they've had a really successful season and trebled their numbers. I've got a great little flock now. The youngsters are moulting into adult plumage and look like unfinished versions of the adults!

Actually managed to get some pictures of the coal tit. Not an easy task when they flit about so much.!
Got a new feeder as the sparrows' favourite one lost another piece when I was cleaning it and added a tray (actually plant saucer secured with wire ties) and good job I did because the starlings decided to pull out all the seed mix to get at the suet pellets in there! It's a really good mix from the pet store that the birds love but flows a bit too freely from this new feeder.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Bank Holiday weekend

We had visitors for the bank holiday weekend so did the tourist bit for a couple of days and went to Minehead in Somerset on the Monday, via Exmoor, Lymouth and Porlock.

The pretty cottages near the harbour. We walked down there but it got windier and windier till we could hardly stand up!

View towards the the harbour area.

View towards Butlins of the sea front.

The steam railway - one of the engines awaiting the demo of the new turntable that was built since we were last there.

Lovely brooding moor. It was blowing a gale of course as the clouds started to come in off the sea behind us.

Stopped briefly to take some pictures on the way home. I was really glad of the chance as we usually just zoom past everywhere!

Exmoor ponies - very beautiful and hardy.

I love moorland.

This was taken from the car as we headed towards Lynton and Lynmouth.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

A few new pics from the last few weeks

It's been such a hectic last few weeks that I've hardly had any time to do anything except top up the feeders. The garden has gotten into a bit of a mess and needs a tidy up but the weather has been so wet I haven't had chance to do anything about it. I haven't taken many pictures either as the battery charger has gone on the blink (the second one to break on me) and wasn't charging them up fully. Still got the odd snap now and then but missed quite a few, especially of the baby goldies, which was disappointing.

Got this lovely picture of a Dunnock in the tree very close to me. Felt almost guilty at being in the garden as it was giving constant warning calls to frighten me away from it's nest which was close by.

I'm starting to attract the feral pigeons now - previously they stayed on the rooftops and such. I really don't mind them - these are very healthy looking and really quite handsome birds and not too aggressive towards the smaller ones.

Even the Herring gulls are coming in now! I was surprised to hear that they are declining in number, there seem to be plenty here still.

Seem to be having a bit of a big bird invasion at the moment, especially with the young Jackdaws adding to the racket.

All the goldies lined up on the wire.

Harvey in the garden with the goldfiches. They seem to quite happy to feed in the tree while he's there - it's the ground feeders that have to watch out.

My first pic of a baby goldfinch! I've had the whole family of 3 chicks and parents since but haven't gotten pictures of them all.