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    Birds

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    Jan1
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    Re: Birds

    Post by Jan1 on Mon Mar 26 2018, 18:31

    I'm sure I spotted a robin on the bird table ... I took a second look and he wasn't there !!!
    Was I mistaken? Probably !

    But I did see a lovely butterfly, a creamy/yellow colour flitting about Smile

    What with today's blue sky and sunshine, it really seemed that Spring was here.

    All the best Jan

    Long birder
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    Re: Birds

    Post by Long birder on Tue Mar 27 2018, 19:47

    Hi Jan,
    Yes you will get Robins on a bird table.
    I think your butterfly will be a Brimstone.
    regards
    Derek
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    Jan1
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    Re: Birds

    Post by Jan1 on Tue Mar 27 2018, 23:23

    @Long birder wrote:Hi Jan,
    Yes you will get Robins on a bird table.
    I think your butterfly will be a Brimstone.
    regards
    Derek

    Many thanks Derek, and I think you are right ...
    I looked up Brimstone here
    http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species.php?species=rhamni
    and it certainly was that colour.

    It was a first for me seeing a robin on a bird table  - I hope he may visit again and stay a little longer ...

    Thanks again

    All the best Jan
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    chris c
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Thu Mar 29 2018, 00:20

    Robins love mealworms. The live wriggly ones are best but they will also come for the dried ones. Not so keen on seeds though. Paleo robins.

    So far I haven't seen any butterflies but other people have reported several different types so far. A few more big fat queen bumble bees though. And the adders have been coming out of hibernation at Minsmere and elsewhere, something else I recall from the New Forest.
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    Jan1
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    Re: Birds

    Post by Jan1 on Thu Mar 29 2018, 19:58

    " And the adders have been coming out of hibernation at Minsmere and elsewhere, something else I recall from the New Forest."

    Exclamation Exclamation I'll keep a close watch when out walking.


    It rained quite hard earlier to day, it seemed to keep the birds in the trees - can't say I blame them Smile

    All the best Jan
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    chris c
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Fri Mar 30 2018, 23:44

    Normally the snakes will slither off as soon as they hear you, which is long before you see them, but this time of year they may still be a bit slow.

    I managed two walks yesterday, one on a common with a lot of, er, common birds singing away, and the other along the lane across the fields, again with nothing out of the ordinary. A Goldcrest in my friends' garden and a few more Fieldfares over the fields, usually common from October throughout the winter but this year scarce here until the last month or two. Got back to the car just as the drizzle started. Oh well, I had Gloucester Old Spot sausages and the last of the purple sprouting.
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    Jan1
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    Re: Birds

    Post by Jan1 on Tue Apr 03 2018, 18:49

    Great excitement Smile

    It was Eddie that first spotted two jays ... we looked it up to make sure ... but yes, definitely Jays with the blue tipped wing.

    I'm now keeping a close eye open for them and hoping they may visit again. sunny

    All the best Jan

    https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/jay
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    chris c
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Wed Apr 04 2018, 17:16

    Make a nice change from Magpies! They will rob other birds' nests. I once watched a pair working a hedge, one made itself very visible and audible and as the Blackbirds and others slipped off their nests, the second, quieter, Jay moved in and gobbled the eggs. I assume after a while they swapped roles.

    Best seen in autumn as they fly high carrying acorns from the oaks to where they bury them for use in winter.

    I walked along by the river and into the nearby woods. Heard my second Chiffchaff and this one was singing. There were none of the expected Siskins in the alders, they've been scarce here all winter and are still scarce.

    Today I heard the first Blackcap of the year singing in someone's garden as I drove by. I also heard some turkeys which obviously survived Christmas.
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Fri Apr 06 2018, 22:01

    First Bittern heard booming in the reedbeds. A couple of Dartford warblers on another common, one singing, and accompanied by a Stonechat, and finally a small flock of Siskins singing in the treetops, judging by the calls accompanied by Redpolls but I couldn't see them very well as I was looking directly towards the sun, which was out for most of the day.

    I heard and saw a Woodlark but it wasn't singing.

    Pleased that the Darties had survived the cold spell and there was a Kestrel up and hovering but a lack of Buzzards and Sparrowhawks of late.
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    Jan1
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    Re: Birds

    Post by Jan1 on Sun Apr 08 2018, 18:29

    Pleased to see the Jays are still around ...

    The blossom has not yet bloomed on the flowering cherries (I think that's what they are) but the numerous tits that have visited the tree and feeder is lovely to watch.

    Apparently In the UK, six species of tits breed. They are social, often in mixed flocks, but territorial when nesting. They are among the most persistent and successful visitors to garden feeders.
    Read more at https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/types-of-tit#Ewccx5MIasqKl6dQ.99

    All the best Jan
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    chris c
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Sun Apr 08 2018, 21:34

    You won't see Crested Tits outside of Scotland, and Willow Tits have become very rare in recent years but you may well see the others. Ironically you used to find Marsh Tits in willows and Willow Tits in Marshes, probably a mix-up from when they were first identified as they are very similar except for some details and their calls.

    They missed out Long Tailed Tits

    https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/long-tailed-tit-family/

    which aren't true tits but will probably be nest-building about now, and Bearded Tits

    https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/bearded-tit/

    which are strictly Bearded Reedlings

    I remember when I was young and first put the peanut feeder out in autumn it was a toss up between a Great Tit and a Blue Tit as to who found it first.
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    chris c
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Wed Apr 11 2018, 23:26

    The sun finally broke through the mists yesterday evening so I walked up the lane and sat for a while looking over the farmland to see if I could spot any Swallows yet. No luck, and no Buzzards either, again, but a Kestrel and several Skylarks singing along with the usual tits and finches and Robins and Blackbirds. I thought I heard a Whitethroat in the hedge but only once, more likely it was a Blackcap.

    Today I walked over some fields and past the sewage works where there must have been at least a dozen Swallows wheeling about presumably catching bugs with extra flavour.
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    Jan1
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    Re: Birds

    Post by Jan1 on Thu Apr 12 2018, 18:27

    It was lovely late yesterday afternoon ... no rain!

    Looking out of the window the Great Tits were still quite active on a nearby blossom tree, the buds are plentiful but it is yet to flower ...
    Isn't it amazing how many minutes pass by when you bird watch.

    All the best Jan
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    Re: Birds

    Post by graham64 on Thu Apr 12 2018, 22:27

    Had a visit from a pair of bullfinch's could be nesting locally, apart from a couple of wrens and the odd blackbird and bluetits the magpies and woodpigeons are the most prevalent  Sad 

    In a Preston church steeple a pair of returning peregrine falcons are creating a lot of interest with bird watchers 

    https://www.lep.co.uk/news/st-walburge-s-opened-armed-welcome-back-for-resident-peregrine-falcons-1-9079591


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    chris c
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Fri Apr 13 2018, 22:15

    Peregrines were almost nonexistent when I was young. There were a pair in a quarry behind a friend's house in Cumbria, and I used to watch them out over the sea from the cliffs in West Wales.

    They moved into Bristol after I left, I think in the eighties, and there was a pair in Brighton in the nineties.

    Here they were mostly winter visitors around the estuaries until this century when they bred on the Orwell bridge near Ipswich and Norwich cathedral. Now there are several pairs mostly nesting on industrial buildings and old churches, the man made equivalent of cliffs. I see them most years, sometimes from my back window but briefly, they are FAST!
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    chris c
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Tue Apr 17 2018, 23:19

    I just checked and the breeding population of Peregrines is now north of 1500 pairs.

    Didn't see any today as I walked round part of Minsmere but there were several March Harriers and a Buzzard, the latter something I haven't seen many of elsewhere since the hard weather.

    Said weather has badly affected the Cetti's Warblers, I never heard one all day. They are one of our only resident warblers - the other, Dartford Warblers - doesn't seem to have been affected so badly.

    There were several Chiffchaffs singing in the sunshine, one of my favourite spring-is-here occurrences, and a few Blackcaps too, some of them ticking loudly and chasing one another around. Sedge Warblers have also been heard but not by me. There were a goodly flock of Sand Martins and a few Swallows, and a couple of Sandwich Terns just to add to the migrant count.

    Despite the sun the wind was fierce, and dire on the coast, and for that and other reasons I missed out part of the reserve which I will return to in due course.

    I was still burning off yesterday's liver, bacon, mushroom and PSB and later fried Halloumi, and my breakfast oatcake with smoked salmon, and after I got back I treated myself to bacon, mushrooms, peppers, chillies, garlic and olives fried in EVOO then simmered with some paprika, oregano and thyme and toasted sesame oil, served with ordinary broccoli and a microdose of basmati rice, followed by a lie down.

    Long birder
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    Re: Birds

    Post by Long birder on Wed Apr 18 2018, 10:57

    Hi Chris, I missed out on the three species of Skuas passing through the Solway yesterday, but saw a number of Red-throated Divers, Great C Grebes and Mergs. I find it difficult sitting or standing nowadays peering into a telescope in wind and rain for three hours. I must be getting old.
    regards
    Derek
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Fri Apr 20 2018, 22:51

    Yes I was never a great fan of seawatching even when I was young and fit.

    Lots more summer visitors coming thick and fast now. I heard and saw an actual Whitethroat in a hedge, not just a Blackcap doing imitations which I think the previous one was. Loads of Chiffchaffs and several more Blackcaps, and a Willow Warbler on a common that hadn't read the handbook properly because it was in a birch. They were rare to nonexistent last year though I heard they were still in their normal numbers outside of the east and south. No Nightingales there yet a couple of days ago.

    Today I walked on a different common and there were a couple of Dartford Warblers singing and flitting about, and eventually a couple of Nightingales. Someone told me there were three in the villages which must have arrived since I was last there. I also walked on some marshes and heard another Nightingale, a Cetti's Warbler that had survived the winter, and finally a decent number of Siskins chuntering away in the tops of some alders.

    Buzzards have reappeared all over the place, evidently they were not affected by the weather, they were just hiding from me.
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Wed Apr 25 2018, 23:05

    Willow Warbler still there singing it's little heart out and accompanied by one of the Nightingales and a Woodlark, plus all the common things like especially Linnets.

    There's been a very pale Buzzard at Minsmere for a while and today I saw it fly over the common, doing aerobatics along with a normal-coloured one. Over they years and mainly in the west and north I've seen them almost all colours from nearly white to nearly black. Mostly here they are the normal Buzzard colour. Yesterday I saw one on the edge of a wood where I've seen them before, only this time it was low and flew in between the trees, probably nesting away from the path.

    Garden Blackbird now feeding young.
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    Jan1
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    Re: Birds

    Post by Jan1 on Fri Apr 27 2018, 17:22

    "Garden Blackbird now feeding young."  ah, that's nice.

    We actually had what I call House Sparrows in the garden! (although it may have been a tree sparrow - similar markings) They sat quite happily with a couple of pigeons pecking at the grass Smile

    https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/house-sparrow

    All the best Jan

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    Re: Birds

    Post by Long birder on Sun Apr 29 2018, 16:51

    Hi, Sent a letter to my MP today.
    Government intends to remove protected site status from all Wildlife local reserves by May 10th.
    What is Mr Gove the champion of the environment up to?
    Derek
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Sun Apr 29 2018, 23:25

    @Jan1 wrote:"Garden Blackbird now feeding young."  ah, that's nice.

    We actually had what I call House Sparrows in the garden! (although it may have been a tree sparrow - similar markings) They sat quite happily with a couple of pigeons pecking at the grass Smile

    https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/house-sparrow

    All the best Jan

    Probably House Sparrows, they have become much scarcer than they were especially in London and the south east.

    Male and female have different plumages.

    Tree Sparrows have become even less common, pretty much nonexistent in the south east since I was a child, though they are still around in the north and west. We get them occasionally and they bred a few years back I think on a nieghbour's ivy covered oak. One brought two of the babies into my garden where they fed on the ground under the seed feeder and the other parents brought the other two babies to a neighbour's garden where they fed in his chicken pen.

    The adults are identical and resemble a cock House Sparrow in a Italian suit, very smart with a different head pattern and some different chirps. Something I'd forgotten until I saw them again, the young resemble young or female House Sparrows but have delightful ginger eyebrows as opposed to cream.

    When you are used to not seeing them you forget the different calls, once I identified them I realised they had been around for years and I'd written off the calls as a local House Sparrow dialect. Since then I've heard and seen them in a few other local places but not in any quantity, and a friend in a nearby villages has also had them breed.

    Not sure of their status in Hampshire

    https://blx1.bto.org/mapstore/StoreServlet?id=461
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    chris c
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Sun Apr 29 2018, 23:30

    @Long birder wrote:Hi, Sent a letter to my MP today.
    Government intends to remove protected site status from all Wildlife local reserves by May 10th.
    What is Mr Gove the champion of the environment up to?
    Derek


    ???

    Does that mean they are going to build houses on them?

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    Re: Birds

    Post by Long birder on Mon Apr 30 2018, 07:38

    I would think it means anything from HS2 to Fracking!
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    Jan1
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    Re: Birds

    Post by Jan1 on Thu May 03 2018, 19:21

    @Long birder wrote:Hi, Sent a letter to my MP today.
    Government intends to remove protected site status from all Wildlife local reserves by May 10th.
    What is Mr Gove the champion of the environment up to?
    Derek

    Oh dear, I'd not heard about this.

    Well done on writing to your MP - is the RSPB or other body raising objections do you know?
    I feel sure they are ...

    All the best Jan

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