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    Birds

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    Jan1
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    Re: Birds

    Post by Jan1 on Thu May 03 2018, 19:24

    @chris c wrote:
    @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

    Looking at the map it doesn't look too good for Hampshire Sad
    I've not seen any today ... not to say they were not around.

    However, both Eddie and I spotted a jay (I previously wrote about on this thread) flying past a few trees.
    It's colour plumage was lovely.

    All the best Jan
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    chris c
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Fri May 04 2018, 21:12

    More migrants incoming, lots of Whitethroats now including one back in the garden, and I heard my first Lesser Whitethroat and Garden Warbler too, and a Reed Warbler in the reedbeds. I also spotted a Hobby and was told earlier there had been three pairs hawking over the reedbeds and nearby woods.

    House Martins are back the other end of the road, where they nest on the houses. I saw a couple of dozen circling over the fields accompanied by a couple of Swifts.

    No Nightingales in a couple of their regular haunts though they may just be late arriving as they were a couple of years back. Hopefully the promised fine weather might bring more migrants into the country.

    Long birder
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    Re: Birds

    Post by Long birder on Fri May 04 2018, 21:33

    Saw a flock of 19 Pomarine Skua on passage across the narrows of Northern England yesterday.
     Also Bonxie and Eider.
    D.
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    chris c
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Fri May 04 2018, 21:55

    We sometimes get Skuas here in winter, and Eiders too out on the sea in among the Scoters. I used to love the Eiders up on the Farnes. St Cuthbert's chickens. They have such a cute call.

    19 Poms is a bit many, can you not give some of them back? <G>
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    chris c
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Tue May 08 2018, 21:40

    A Buzzard was back on the edge of the same wood, and later one was soaring overhead. A pair was soaring over a nearby wood where they have been regular for a few years now, a Crow was harassing one of them. A while back I saw five soaring over the same wood, almost certainly a pair with three young. Elsewhere there were two pairs soaring together with a few arguments before they drifted away in opposite directions.

    Down on the river I spotted my first baby Moorhens. Only their mothers could love them

    https://dadirridreaming.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/img_0777.jpg

    Every hedge and shrub had Whitethroats singing and making song flights, and several had set up territories in the rape crop. They were common when I was young, then in 1968 (I think) the population crashed due to the opening up of the Sahel Desert south of the Sahara which destroyed their ability to migrate across it. Numbers built back up in the eighties and now I'm not sure they aren't even more common than when I was young.

    One or two Lesser Whitethroats too. Someone I was talking to reckoned he had seen more Lesser than Common Whitethroats, but he was from further south so that may be true there but not so much here. Likewise last year or the previous year I stated that Sparrowhawks had become the commonest raptor here, with Buzzards second. Someone from further west claimed they had more Buzzards than Sparrowhawks. Kestrels took a nose dive - when I was young they were pretty much the only common bird of prey - but in the last few years they have had a resurgence.

    I sat on a field bank in the sun for a long time listening also to the Skylarks and Linnets. Also heard another Willow Warbler, I think the third this year so three times as many as last year. Always interesting to see how the populations of common species vary. I wonder how much this is affected by the neonicotinoids as well as the glyphosate.

    Mr Blackbird has taken to sitting in the TV aerial to sing and the song comes down the chimney and emerges in the kitchen.
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Tue May 15 2018, 22:47

    Nothing out of the ordinary to report, just lots of common stuff where I've been walking on the farmland and,er, the commons. Heard another Nightingale in a semi-regular spot which made up for the missing one elsewhere. Swifts and House Martins are back around the town and over the fields, and Jan will be pleased to know I've seen several Jays, they seem to be doing well this year.
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    Re: Birds

    Post by Jan1 on Mon May 21 2018, 10:59

    Hi Chris ... pleased to read you have seen some Jays, they do have wonderful colouring.

    You (and other readers) may be aware that Eddie and I have been away for a short break ... and what a wonderful time we had.

    Our weather from start to finish was wonderful. It was so lovely to spend time with family, and so enjoyable meeting up with good friend Graham. Our final few days were spent in the wonderful Lake District.

    https://thelowcarbdiabetic.blogspot.co.uk/2018/05/a-wonderful-week.html

    We saw some amazing scenery and wild-life. Birds, ducks, sheep, Shetland ponies and the scenery was just wonderful.

    We walked, drove, boated and sat ... a wonderful mix.

    The birds were full of song, it was quite magical at times.

    Back home now and still in relaxed mode Smile

    All the best Jan
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    chris c
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Mon May 21 2018, 21:53

    Sounds great and you missed the holiday hordes.

    The most spectacular thing about Jays is the white rump as they fly away from you, but yes they are cute.

    Currently we have baby Blackbirds hidden around the garden. I found a Grey Wagtail in the tunnel where the stream goes under the railway line - he was using it as an echo chamber.
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    chris c
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    Re: Birds

    Post by chris c on Wed May 23 2018, 21:59

    The Nightingale was back on the common, originally singing near the layby where I park my car, then while I sat on the seat in the sunshine, overlooking the pond, it turned up in the bushes just behind me. Usually masters of concealment this time it was singing in the open and flitting around quite a lot.

    A Sparrowhawk soared over, chased by a Mistle Thrush, descended into a tree, hopped through to the other side and then shot into the bushes where the Nightingale had been. Fortunately it had moved on by then and was back near the layby by the time I left.

    Lots of yellow flag irises in the pond, and the first hornet I've seen this year buzzing around.
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    graham64
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    Re: Birds

    Post by graham64 Yesterday at 22:22

    An interesting couple of days watching the woodpigeon's doing battle over territory a lot of posturing, wing flapping and the occasional peck but today as two were going at it a couple of magpies swooped down and attacked them they flew off since then there's been no sight of them  Cool seeing there was two nesting pairs plus the interlopers that can only be good news though I'm no fan of magpies the don't crap on my car as much  Sad

    Sat out after tea enjoying the evening sunshine the only sounds were the blackbirds singing away and no cooing from the fat bastards hopefully they have relocated to someone else's garden cheers


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