Madness at the Bird Feeders!

This afternoon, I was out in the garden as planned with my Mum, planting my 72 petunias which were my mystery plant from Jersey Plants Direct, to say I was slightly disappointed in their arrival is an understatement!

I don’t know if it was because the sun was out and it felt so nice and warm, but the birds at the feeders has multiplied! At one stage there was a Great Tit, two Blue Tits and four! Yes four Goldfinches all flying to and from the sunflower hearts!

The Blues were decimating the live mealworms I left out for them. The Great Tit was seen later on in the afternoon with his partner. 🙂

But the sight of four Goldfinches at the sunflower hearts and nyjer seed warmed my heart. I thought I was seeing double, quadruple! lol 😀 The Goldfinch couple must have put out the call to other finches that there is food on offer in the area. lol 😀

The Dunnock was spotted on the wall singing his sweet song, but I did not see him eating, maybe he dislikes the quality of food I have put out for him. 😦

The Magpie has visited a few times today, and was once spotted sitting, sun bathing on the wall.

I have not known so much wild bird activity in my back yard not since the last visitation of the hoard of Starlings last year.

It makes me smile that the food I leave out for the birds are so readily being snapped up. I must be doing something right! 😀

A Weekend of Birds

This weekend has been relatively quiet not like last weekend with the giant marionettes visiting the city.

The weather has been atrocious this Sunday with driving cold rain seemingly keeping the wild garden birds at bay. I saw earlier a couple of  Great Tits and Goldfinches, both looking bedraggled and soaking wet!

This footage is the only footage I have been able to get of the visiting newcomers, the Goldfinches, as they seem very timid.

I was happy to see the Blue Tit couple visit yesterday and they seemed to love the live mealworms I had bought, gobbling a few up each every time they visited the feeders!

The only bird I haven’t seen much of over the weekend has been the Dunnock, I saw him in the big tree opposite, but not at the feeders, I bought the live mealworms especially for him, but he’s missed out. 😦

David yesterday was happily coaxing the pigeons, all seven of them into the yard with food. I am trying to not feed them as much and he goes and attracts them more! lol 😀

Another intelligent bird that has been visiting the garden is the Magpie and he has been spotted perched precariously on top of my cup feeder.

It looks like the weather is supposed to be nice tomorrow, so hopefully I will be able to potter about the yard and plant some flowers and also put the remainder of the mealworms out.  🙂

More Couples!

Well, today was a short day at work. So being back home by 11am, I had plenty of time to watch the various winged visitors to my back yard.

The Dunnock couple visited so many times today that I can’t even remember! Every time I looked out of the window, there was at least one Dunnock, sometimes two! When I was getting ready for work this morning, I saw the couple hopping about the soil and later on they were hopping about the yard and got so close to the door. They do seem very relaxed with their surroundings!

Another couple that has started visiting more regularly now is the Great Tit couple. I saw them at least twice today. One time they were on the sunflower feeders in both trees, they are looking so plump, almost as plump as the Blue Tit couple that visits.

Talking of the Blue Tits, this morning I heard the one that sounds like a children’s toy gun calling out, though later on in the evening I didn’t see nor hear them visiting. I do hope they are both okay and that the horrible wet weather we are having has not upset their activities.

One couple that did visit today, made me so overjoyed at seeing them again! It was the Goldfinch couple and they were both sharing the sunflower hearts from a feeder in the big tree, getting at least some shelter from the horrible driving rain. I do have some Nyjer seed for them, but they don’t seem to have found them as yet! I still think they are a little nervous at visiting! I did go to get my camcorder but they both flew off as I lifted the lens towards them. 😦 They both seemed so hungry, again, I hope that if they continue to visit, they will grow as plump and glossy as the Dunnock, Great and Blue Tits. 🙂

I am slightly worried for the Blue Tits, I hope they have visited when I was just not looking! I don’t think my back yard will be the same without their presence!

Our Society Finches are still sitting on their eggs. It seems like forever since Chocolate (I’m saying it’s her as she is so much bigger than Caramel!) started laying her eggs. David sent me a link saying it could be up to another two weeks before they hatch or we clean the eggs from the nest. That’s not a job I am looking forward to, lets all keep our fingers crossed that we have a male and female Finch and they have given us fertile eggs. 😀

New Visitors!

Yesterday, I sadly disturbed both Dunnocks as they foraged around the soil for worms. I didn’t even know they were about until I heard the loud flicker of wings and the male calling in surprise. 😦

Our Society Finches are still sitting on their eggs. I have noticed Chocolate has hardly left the nest, though Caramel seems to be staying out more. It has been over two weeks now, we may wait another week before we take a closer look at the nest. I am dreading if the eggs don’t hatch, I think it will be very sad to see the little eggs sitting on the bottom of the nest. 😦

Today, my eyes alighted on a wonderful vision as I peered out of the back window and saw a flash of red!

I was sure I saw one of these little birds last Friday but I couldn’t identify properly, now today, it is official! There are two Goldfinches visiting the sunflower hearts! 😀 I was overjoyed!

This morning, there were lots of twittering and flapping of wings as the visiting birds seemed to be doing relays back and forth from the feeders. I saw the Great Tits with their lovely black heads and the Blue Tits chirriped angrily at the volume of feathered activity! Then I noticed the newcomers! One was flying from a feeder and the other was eating hungrily at the sunflower hearts. I went to work with a lighter heart for seeing a new species at my inner city back yard!

I was entertained later in the evening as I saw a Magpie come into the back yard after I had put out the left overs of curried rice. He must have a taste for spices as I saw him gobbling up the cooked rice and also fly off with a beak-full. I just hope that if the Magpies’ do have nestlings that they like curry, because they will be getting lots of it looking at the mound of rice. lol 🙂

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants!

This weekend was a weekend much like David and I used to have before my Father passed. Maybe life is slowly getting back to how it used to be?

It was the weekend of Liverpool’s ‘Sea Odyssey‘ where the streets were given over to the puppetry of French company Royal de Luxe.

On Friday as David was in work all day with a headache, I followed, in anticipation online the progress of the Little Girl Giant as she walked through the city to King’s Dock and the ‘Uncle’, diver coming from the sea to walk the streets towards Stanley Park, Anfield. David being so kind later in the evening took myself, Daniel, his girlfriend Jo and my Mum around the city, to see the sleeping giants.

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On Saturday, David and I got up early to head into town before the crowds, so we could get a good spot to see the Little Girl Giant and Xolo leaving King’s Dock. I got some lovely footage of the girl in her boat and she even looked like she gazed straight into the camera lens. I sometimes forgot they were puppets and not real giants! I got very emotional while watching the girl and her dog, whom I have fallen in love with, what wonderful artistic design and execution! I kept feeling that I was like the giant girl as I had lost my Dad also. 😦

After we had seen Little Girl Giant and Xolo leaving the dock we rushed to Anfield, David’s area and waited for an hour for the Diver to come down. I was disappointed as he was sitting on a box and not walking, though he was still very tall!

I would have loved to have seen the little girl on her scooter but the crowds put David and I off going back into town.

Later on Saturday evening David and I went into town to see the little girl on the divers knee, so sweet. 🙂 It would have been so lovely to have seen them being reunited.

Sunday, and David decided we go and see the marionettes all together early in the morning. So we were up again at 7.30am and waited for over an hour to see Xolo, then the Little Girl Giant and then the Diver walking down the Strand. We were positioned even better than Saturday and I got some great footage of Xolo, who came close to us. I would have given anything to have hugged him! 🙂

The Sea odyssey event in Liverpool has been simply fantastic, far superior than the 2008 Spider! I am very glad that David and I have witnessed this. I hope that Liverpool do something this big again in the near future!

The Finches have seriously increased the time they have been sitting on their eggs. It has been almost two weeks since we first saw eggs in their nest and I am hoping that they will hatch, otherwise it will have been hard work for Chocolate and Caramel with no end result. It feels a little sad thinking of that scenario. Let’s keep fingers and toes crossed that we have a male and female and not just two females and empty eggs 😦

Wild bird wise, the Great Tits have been spotted visiting. The Blue Tit couple have been here many times and the Dunnock has I believe, been enjoying the mini mealworms left out for them. Over the weekend a large Magpie was spotted sitting on my cup feeder helping himself/herself to the worms on offer! Cheeky!! 🙂

It’s oh so Quiet!

Just a short note today, just to say I am a little disappointed with the wild bird action in the back yard recently. Since the Bird of Prey sighting, the Great Tits have stayed clear of the yard. 😦

We have had the faithful Blue Tit couple visiting and for the past two days I have seen not just one Dunnock, but two! I am wondering whether their eggs have hatched and they are now both looking for food for the nestlings. I do hope so! I so can’t wait to see a baby Dunnock!

I bought some mini mealworms yesterday, but they don’t seem as readily picked up as the normal ones!

I thought that with this being the nesting season, that the bird activity would increase, but on Bill Oddies food blog he states that June/July are the busiest, so I am looking forward to early Summer to see if other birds visit!

Regarding the Finches, they are both sitting on the eggs, but because we can’t see the eggs, we can’t test to see if they are fertile or not. My gut instinct says they are not, which after all this time, is very sad. We will find out early next week if any hatchlings appear!

A Disappointing Time.

Things have been very quiet on the wild bird front. I have not seen the Great Tits since the bird of prey visit which must have frightened them away. 😦 I miss their clashes with the Blue Tits and their silly little antics. I hope they come back soon. They would have loved the live mealworms that the Blue Tits and Dunnocks decimated in 3 days!

I saw three Wood Pigeons walking up the road on Saturday, they were so cute! It is nice that I can see many different species even in an inner city area. 🙂

We may have up to seven Society Finch eggs! We shall see next week if they hatch! 🙂 I do hope so! 🙂

It’s back to work for me tomorrow, though I don’t want to as I have had no holiday so to speak of. 😦 Rachel, my student is understanding so that will make thing easier, I hope the working day goes fast for me. 🙂

Just a short blog as been feeling a bit hormonal and sad today. Hope the mood lifts soon.

Worms, worms Everywhere!

Yesterday, Wednesday David took a day off work to be with me and my family after the funeral. I must say David has been wonderful over the weeks of upset. I thank him from all my heart 🙂

We went to Pets at Home and bought some half price mealworms for the wild birds in the back yard. They only cost me £1.24! We brought them home and put them in the ground cage feeder for the Dunnock and also the domed feeder for the Blue Tits.

Today, Thursday, I have seen the Dunnock eating the worms and also carrying one in its mouth and flying over the wall to next doors yard. This makes me really hopeful that they do have a nest in the Laurel bush and that the male is catching the worms to feed the female? I don’t think they will have young yet.

We also bought from Pets at Home, some dried egg food for the Finches. At last count there were three white eggs in the nest, both Chocolate and Caramel are sitting on them, keeping them warm. I have been unable to see inside the nest today so there may be a fourth egg???

I have been pottering about the yard this afternoon in the lovely bright but cool sunshine. My Achillea has spread out in its new pot and the Aquilegia has some flowers on so I’m hoping they bloom soon. 🙂 My Foxglove is really coming along and even my Honeysuckle seems to have grown since I bought it last week.

Only a short blog today. Hope the nice sunshine will last for the rest of the weekend. 😀

Goodbye Dad!

Today was a day of firsts!

It was the first funeral I had gone to for one of my parents. It was the day of my Father’s funeral.

The ceremony was at 10.30am at Springwood Crematorium and I must say the half an hour before the hearse and limo arrived at our door was the longest half an hour I have ever witnessed! I was expecting myself and Mum to break down when the hearse arrived but I was in control and even took a picture of the coffin and the flowers in the form of ‘DAD’. The coffin we had chosen was lovely and everything went smoothly. I even thought the drive from Wavertree to Spingwood went fast as it’s usually a good 20 minutes drive! I just kept looking at my Dad as he went ahead of us on the road.

The service itself was more of a celebration than a mournful ceremony. Michael Fry the vicar was jovial and kind and made everyone laugh as he mentioned my Penguin and our beloved Riley! He really got to the character of my Dad, tormented by depression but brave, its a shame that he never saw this in himself.

 Mum stayed strong, she said she was smiling all through the service and looked at my Dad’s picture on the coffin. I too was looking at the coffin and the picture, but I blubbed loudly as the curtains closed. ‘Goodbye Dad!’ Mum said he loved me very much, I just wish he had showed it more 😦

We had some of Dad’s favourite music playing at the service, Phil Collins ‘In the Air Tonight’, Petshop Boys ‘West End Girls’ and Kate Bush’s ‘Running up that Hill’. It all seemed very him!

You probably think I am awful, but I didn’t donate the flowers to a nursing home or charity, I took them all back and now they are filling the house with colour and scent! Why pay over £100 for someone else to enjoy them?

The ‘wake’ afterwards was noisy as there were so many people present, it was nice that Dad touched so many people. Most of them left after 1pm. Later on Mum, David and I had a ‘Saffron‘ curry to sort of celebrate Dad’s passing 🙂 I think he would have liked the funeral and that so many people came to see his ‘send off’!

The second first today was the fact that the Finches, Chocolate and Caramel are parents, or one at least is a female and is laying eggs!! There are two eggs at present! They are small white, smooth eggs, and given the size of the Finches they seem quite big! So David and I are wondering do we have a male and female or two females, though we thought we had two males?! LOL! 😀

The last first today was a shocker!!! I was getting ready first thing this morning for the funeral, after noticing the Finches’ two eggs (as there was only one egg yesterday!) I looked out of my bedroom window to see the Blue Tits calling their alarm call and I saw what I thought at first was a Blackbird, circling and then sitting on the roof opposite! Then I noticed its curved beak, the jagged wings and tail and the white and black spots on its chest! I cried ‘it’s a bird of prey!’ but only I saw it as it swooped away! I was flabbergasted! Was it a Kestrel? I really couldn’t identify the mystery bird. I want it to come back so I can identify properly but on the other hand I don’t as the little birds were a bit freaked out at it’s presence. I shall have to count the visiting birds tomorrow and see if it didn’t take any of them! I hope not, I don’t want any more upset!

‘Plant’ Friday. :)

Waking up today to grey skies I tried not to let the weather and the fact that I never got to Twycross Zoo get me down.

While sipping my morning coffee I was entertained thoroughly by the Blue and Great Tit couples that were flying in and out of the yard. I think maybe it was the males of the two species that were chasing each other. First the Blue chased the Great into the big tree and then the Great would ‘turn the tables’ and chase the Blue into a small apple tree we have by the patio doors. I was laughing with glee as I saw the Blue Tit sort of ‘bob’ up and down as he flew to safety. It was like he was flying in slow motion. I wish I had my camera at the time, I can’t really describe how cute the Blues flying was 😀

Later on that afternoon, my Mum suggested we  go to a garden centre to get a yellow rose in memory of my Dad. So David kindly drove us to Lady Green Garden Centre and there we proceeded to spend over £30 each!

I actually got a Honeysuckle that was good for wildlife, good for bees, butterflies and moths, and hopefully the berries will be liked by birds. I am so happy with my purchase! I also bought an Oregano for butterflies and an Aquilegia and an Achillea.

We were frozen to the bone when we planted them in new planters. All we need now is the sun to shine so that they can grow like my Lupin and Foxglove.