Valentine’s and Holidays

With the start of National Nest Box week, David helped me yesterday put up three of my nest pockets. I also put one up with bird food in to entice the birds, though as yet we haven’t seen anyone attempt to go inside.

Valentine’s day was filled with lots of surprises, poems and a tasty curry in the evening from our favourite Liverpool take-away Saffron! David got me a card with a poem he wrote about me and the birds and also got me a little cuddly mammoth! I hope he liked his Olly Murs CD?

I am still awaiting delivery of my Insect House, but it is out for delivery today, so hopefully it will arrive soon. 🙂

With not being home much this week, I haven’t seen as many birds in the garden. I did get up extra early today, on my day off to see the Dunnock, but he didn’t show until 9am! He must have been having a lie in too! He came into the yard twice before we went out and we heard his lovely singing voice as he sat at the top of our tree 🙂

Today, David also had a day off, so we went to the cinema to see ‘The Woman in Black’. We have seen the stage-play and I must say the film is a tad different to it! Though we enjoyed it enough 🙂 There were lots of jumpy parts and screams! We went to the 10.30am showing and we were the only ones in the theatre, it was like having our own private showing 🙂

Later on, we went to a few garden centres looking for yet more bird supplies. I spied about 10 finches in a cage singing and snuggled up together, waiting to be sold. They were so small and colourful. It makes me want to get some 😛 With our sixth year anniversary coming up, it makes me wonder what to get present wise? Should I get two new additions to the family? 😛

Bird Roost Nests Arrive!

I haven’t been at home for much of the day due to work 😦 I did have a long conversation with my student, Rachel about cats and dogs and the benefit to your health of having a pet 🙂

David today was off work as he had to take the car in for a service, so he was lazing about while I wished I was out with him sightseeing somewhere.

Thankfully David picked me up from work which nicely finished at 2.30pm, I made a quick trip home as earlier, Mum had text me in work to say a big box from Amazon had arrived for me. It was my roost nests! All six of them!

I had a quick look at them when I got home for a quick change of clothing as I hate wearing trousers all day. The nest boxes are so cute, and two look like they could house a Dunnock.

Speaking of the Dunnock, the little fellow has been evading me somewhat over the weekend, but today at 7am I head him singing sweetly as I was snoozing before I got the cats and had to get up. He was singing for about half an hour and when I went down to make breakfast, there he was sitting in the cage eating 🙂 I was overjoyed to see him 🙂

Also when I was inspecting the roost nests, I spied the Dunnock again in the cage eating his fill of Bill Oddies Mealworm Munch 🙂 I’m glad he is still visiting, though it is a shame his lady friend hasn’t visited again. I so hope the Dunnock is an alpha male and not a beta!

My Winning Competition Entry!

AND THE WINNERS ARE…..

Congratulations to Christine Lucas, Maria Devoy and Lisa Ellerbrock. You’ve all scored yourselves the One Day DVD & Book prize! Thanks to all our competition entrants – so many great way’s to enjoy in Edinburgh!!

My response:  If I had just one day in Edinburgh… I would walk to Calton Hill and just sit and look at Arthur’s Seat. (I could sit and watch the light and the dark on the hill for hours) There is something about that mass of green and rock that inspires me and calls to my heart. Even at night I am pulled to the darkness that Arthur’s Seat exudes. I could even take a walk up to the top of Arthur’s Seat and look down upon Edinburgh, the Castle, Holyrood Palace and Dynamic Earth. Since first visiting Edinburgh in 2005, there has always been something that has drawn me to Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Park. Maybe I was Queen Victoria in a former life? All I can say is that my heart is for Edinburgh and it always want’s to go back.

So chuffed I was at being chosen 🙂

http://www.edinburgh-inspiringcapital.com/visit/edinburgh_itineraries/one_day_in_edinburgh_film.aspx

Competitions and Birdsong!

Just after I uploaded Friday’s blog I got confirmation from Edinburgh Inspiring Capital on Facebook about a competition I had entered the night before. It was to win a DVD and book of David Nicholls ‘One Day’ and all you had to do to enter was just say what you would do in Edinburgh if you had just one day. Hence to say I wrote about my love of Arthur’s Seat and also walking up to the top to overlook the city.

And guess what? I was one of the lucky three to be picked 🙂 I was overjoyed! I can’t wait for my prize to arrive, hope it comes for Valentine’s day so I can watch it with David. We had tried to watch ‘One Day’ online, but the copy I had was in German lol 😮

On Saturday David and I went to Chester Zoo and spent an hour with the Giant Otters in their new underwater viewing enclosure 🙂 It was great! We got to the zoo at 10am and we were the only ones at the Otters for a good 30 minutes 🙂 They were so vocal and kept coming up to us, calling for food. I had to say ‘ I have no salmon’!’

We also saw the new Sloths but one was asleep and the other had escaped onto a ledge and the keepers were waiting for it to wake up lol

We also met five other zoo members and it was nice to see them all 🙂

On our way to the zoo through the Birkenhead tunnel I got a text off my Mum saying ‘there are two brown birds in the cage feeder’ I asked where they Dunnock or Wren size and the reply was Dunnock size! I was overjoyed! Mr. Dunnock has found himself a mate!  That was why I hadn’t seen him the day before, he was too busy with love on his mind! All that singing has paid off! I was so jealous of my Mum, trust her to see them together and not I lol

In the evening David and I attempted to make a kidney bean curry, we followed the method and it turned out well. I really enjoyed it. The chilli made it quite hot!

On Sunday I got up at 9.30am to see if the Dunnock and his lady had visited again, but all I saw was a Blue Tit and the Robin 😦 I joked that the female Dunnock probably didn’t like the cuisine the male had shared with her and that’s why they hadn’t come back again lol Though I do hope they come back soon 🙂

We had lots of Pigeons again, though not in the cage thankfully and at one point up to about eight Starlings! There was one bachelor Blue Tit just singing for about an hour this morning. I do hope he attracts a female soon, there is a Blue Tit sized property to let in the area close to amenities. 🙂

With Valentine’s Day on Tuesday I have asked David if he would buy me an insect habitat tower instead of flowers or chocolates, he said yes, so it’s now ordered, hope it arrives for the day.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B003OVI2TS/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_asp_W0yBD.0JV8TWP

Impulse Buy Regrets and a Grey Wagtail

Last night I went a bit mad on internet shopping. I went on Amazon and bought six, yes six roosting nest pockets. I calculated that one would be about £4 and times three to make £12 which is what I paid for six, so I figured that six was definitely better than three! 😀 Though six will probably be too much for the small yard that I have, some will have to go in storage 🙂 This spur of spending is all because I saw the little Wren dive under the shelter of our little shrub under the kitchen window. If he or even the Dunnock is resting under the shade of the evergreen branches then some nest pockets would be welcome, I assume?

Now with the cold light of day, I am wondering whether my impulse buy was worth it? I shall have to  find out when I receive the nest pockets and start strategically placing them under foliage.

I also registered my yard/garden and nest box (I’ve a Blue Tit box up on a wall) for the Nest Box Challenge. The National Nest Box week also starts this February 14th to 21st. I have already had a Blue Tit looking at the nest box, not going inside it but just circling it. I don’t know if this is the proper activity of an interested Blue Tit to a perspective nest box so I’m just going with it for now, until someone tells me otherwise 🙂

http://www.bto.org/nnbw/index.htm

http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/nbc

Today was another day off work, I’ve had more days off work this week than in 😦

I haven’t been successful at seeing the Dunnock today, though the weather wasn’t as cold, I hope that he is ok?

I was once again inundated with Pigeons, about 10 of them at one stage. They managed to get inside my ‘adapted’ ground cage! I even had to save a Pigeon that had got caught under the cage, I talked softly and released the cage for him/her to fly away. As I was in the yard re-fixing the wire on the ground cage, I was chuckling to myself as a Blue Tit couple kept flying into the big tree of ours to see what I was doing and to tell me to go back in lol. One was brave and just helped itself to a Sunflower heart while I was retying the wire. I was calmly talking to them but they kept flying away with any sudden movement.

Though I haven’t seen the Dunnock in the cage today, I did see two Starlings in it.

I was also lucky enough today to spot a Grey Wagtail flying around my back yard and flitting into the neighbours yards too. He/she had a lovely yellow underbelly. Quite beautiful, but far away from water which is their usual habitat.

So today I have seen five species of bird: Blue Tits, Starlings, Pigeons, Grey Wagtail and a Magpie whom was walking along our wall looking for food but didn’t come into the yard.

Winter Grumps and a New Visitor

With work cancelled, I had an additional day off work. ‘Great you may say’, but I’ve got a case of the winter blues and coupled with the dreary, overcast and damp weather today made for a very heavy heart.

I thought that with the drizzly weather, there would be lots of bird action in my yard today, how wrong I was. In the afternoon there was about two hours that had no birds at all!

Despite the lack of action, I did have a few Blue Tits visiting and two Starlings. Of course the Pigeons were around again, but I am trying to feed them less and to deter them coming into the yard.

The faithful Dunnock visited a few times, and I saw him eating lots of ground peanuts which seem to be his favourite. 😀

I went shopping today for David’s Valentines presents and I also got some Bill Oddie’s Mealworm Munch which should benefit the Dunnock and the Robin who also visited the yard today. 🙂

While shopping, to cheer myself up, I went a bit mad and bought my Border Collie, Riley two squeaky toys. He is now terrorising the whole family by squeaking loudly lol 😀

Image

I was amazed to see a new species of bird in the back yard today, a Wren! How sweet and small they are! At first I thought it was the Dunnock as I saw him from the kitchen window under a little bush, hopping about pecking at the wet soil. Then he came out into clear sight and I noticed the size of him and his little rectangular tail. I was dumbfounded as I thought I would never see him. My mum had seen ‘a small bird like the Dunnock’ a while back but she couldn’t identify him properly. Today it was final!

The Wren came back after 4.30pm, he was sitting in our medium sized tree with all the bird feeders around him, but he looked like he didn’t know what to do. The last time I saw him, he dived under the little bush by the kitchen window. I wonder if he is resident there? 😀

Not so very good video I took of the Wren: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9DLn3-RJeg

So today we have had six bird species in our yard:

Blue Tits, Dunnock, Pigeons, Starlings, Robin and the Wren! I would also love to see some Finches visiting, but they seem to have bypassed me. 😦

Bird Song Alarm Clock

Today was a beautiful, bright, crisp winters morning and I was awoken at 9.30am by the song of the Dunnock. He must have been singing for about 10 minutes.  I had my head out of the window again, but  couldn’t see him, he may have been standing right above me on the roof!

I got a report from my Mum that she saw the Dunnock at 8.30am today, sitting in our big tree just singing while she was tootling about in the yard. The Dunnock is getting braver! It sounds like he is definitely setting claim to his territory or seeking a mate. 🙂

It was very cold outside today and the bird activity reflected that, especially in the afternoon!

The Robin popped in a couple of times as did lots of Blue Tit couples. It was nice watching the Tits as they flew like bullets into the tree and onto the black Sunflower seeds. The Dunnock made an afternoon appearance not just once but three times! Once at 2pm where I watched him eating for a while, then at 3pm and again at 4.30pm! He must have been really hungry today, I hope I have given him enough food to make it through the cold night ahead.

There was a maximum of four hungry Starlings, all converging on my fat balls. The noises they make are so funny 🙂

Following the Starlings come the Pigeons, up to about six of them! One was a lovely white Pigeon, who my Mum  says was ringed, so he/she must have belonged to someone! The Pigeons are still trying to get into the ground cage, but the wire deters them now and they walk off disappointed. They have now adapted to my window feeder and today I filmed one sitting on it while pecking at the seed. They are really too heavy for the feeder and I guess it will fall off the door again tomorrow.

http://youtu.be/54K1fpP3QQE

Rockin’ Robin

Not many bird sightings today. I thought that with the icy mornings there would be a flock of birds coming to my feeders, but no. All I saw was a bachelor and one couple of Blue Tits, four Pigeons foraging for scraps as two Starlings attacked my fat balls.

The star of the show today was the Robin, whom I watched eating from my domed feeder that only had black sunflower seeds and then onto the little hanging house that has ground nuts and small seeds especially left for him and the Dunnock. He must have been hungry as he was eating for a while. He looked in good health, though I have to say that for all the visitors as their feathers look lovely and silky.

I had to leave for work early again this morning and I did hear the Dunnock’s little song, though when I put my head out of the window I couldn’t see him, so he may have been passing through.

Im off work tomorrow, so I hope maybe to see the Dunnock visiting my yard to feed. 🙂

Serenaded to work :)

I didn’t think I would see the Dunnock today, but as I left early for work, I spotted him sitting on a TV aerial in my road. He was singing loudly and proudly and even through the drizzle of a grey morning he was a bright light for me. I travelled to work with a smile on my face 🙂

With the brighter nights approaching, I saw around 5pm, a Blue Tit couple eating sunflower seeds and then playing in the tree opposite. It was a nice end to a tiring day.

No Snow and a Tomato Curry!

After spending all day yesterday in anticipation of the coming snow, Liverpool was sadly overshot and all we received as precipitation was frozen ice that made icicles and froze David’s car as we went shopping. He wasn’t impressed when he had to scrape the car twice lol 

Yesterday I bought a washing line, it was only a pound so didn’t break the bank. David and I wound it around my ground cage defender and today (Sunday) it looks like it is deterring the Pigeons who are looking at the cage and you can tell from their behaviour that they are thinking ‘I was able to get in yesterday, but it looks a bit smaller today.’ 🙂

I also bought a fat block and a half filled coconut yesterday, an impulsive buy, but the Starlings love the fat blocks 🙂

Last night, David and I tried our hand at making a curry from scratch. We made a Jalfrezi, but with a tin of tomatoes in it, it tasted more of tomatoes and needed more spices, my opinion anyway!

Today, I caught sight of the Dunnock, he had survived the cold of last week and he was happily sitting in the adjusted cage feeder, safely eating all he wanted 🙂 Later on he was seen again, sitting, singing his sweet song in our big tree 🙂 I was happy to see him, and David thought I was crazy as I jumped around the room happily! 🙂

Again, I have seen many or the same Blue Tit couple (s), they are liking the black Sunflower seeds, and I was surprised to see the Robin eating from a fat-ball feeder!

I probably won’t see many birds tomorrow as I have a long day at work, not looking forward to it, I’d rather be sitting with my head out of the window looking at the birds go ‘wild’ for the food I have left out for them. 🙂