New Life Just Keeps Coming!

The news from the past few days has been a visitation of a Male House Sparrow with his baby! Mum spotted them last night on the bracket feeder and I ran upstairs to get the camcorder, but on way down, they had flown off… such is life! The baby House Sparrow, looked like a Goldfinch baby and was crying like all the other babies before him/her, begging for food, which the daddy House Sparrow was obligingly giving!

At dusk last night, I spotted nine, yes NINE Goldfinches and this morning, Friday, I spotted yet another baby Goldfinch begging from his parents! WOW! My yard is so blessed with all this new life. 😀 It is nearing the end of July and still there are baby Goldfinches abound!

My feeders have become a hive of activity over the past few days, with not only Goldfinches, House Sparrows and the Blue Tit couple regularly gracing my feeders, but the Magpie with the sore eye has been seen eating from my fresh coconut and last evening Mr. Dunnock was spotted hopping about the yard floor picking up the seed left by the Goldfinches! I love watching the Dunnock, he is such an adorable little bird, people think he is brown and boring,  but I have fallen in love with this small, unassuming bird! 😀

With all this activity at the feeders, my two 5kg bags of Haith’s bird seed is going down considerably as I am filling up the feeders once a day! I really can’t keep feeding at this level with dwindling financial resources, so any ideas on how to keep the birds happy but feeding for less, then do let me know. 🙂

I am eager to get out into the yard and join the Big Butterfly Count, I saw three Red Admirals last year but this year butterfly sightings have been poor.

In my area I have seen the odd White and Cinnabar Moths but none of the more strikingly colourful ones. Lets hope the sunny weather that the Met Office has hinted at for the coming weekend, will bring the butterflies out!

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Look! A New Roof!!

The past two days, I have been on the edge of my nerves watching the workmen fit the new roof to our home. I was very surprised that it only took two days! The scaffolding will be taken down tomorrow and then our house will be free to show off its lovely brand spanking new roof. 😀

The work started on Wednesday morning at 8am! I was knocked out of a disturbed sleep by my mum who said ‘Chestnut (Chestnut Roofers and Builders) are here! I dived out of bed and looked out of the window and it looked like a huge military opperation had commenced as there was a convoy of lorries and vans parked outside the house! 😮

The five men worked from 8am til 4pm! I can’t fault their work ethic, they hardly stopped! At least we had good weather on both days of construction!

On the Wednesday, the workmen took the old slates off the roof that must have been on since the house was built over 100 years ago! Then there emerged a pile of rotten wet wood, that were the battens crossing the roof and which the tiles are attached too. The men had constructed a shute that made a right racket when the tiles and later on the bricks from the demolished chimney stack were thrown down.

Wednesday evening, David went into the loft to see the water proof fabric that had been laid down, it resembled a Japanese wall to me. 🙂

Work recommenced on Thursday with the putting up of the tiles and taking the chimney pots down. The workmen used a mechanical conveyor belt to carry the tiles up to the roof. 🙂

The work was completed at 3.30pm and David became just shy of £4000 poorer! I must say the roof looks very smart! We now just need a good torrential downpour to test the new tiles and guttering. 🙂

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Wild bird news: I have just ordered from Haiths.com a 5kg sack of sunflower hearts and a 5kg sack of Goldfinch seed which has teasel seed that the finches love! I can’t wait for the seed to arrive so I can dish the feed out as I have ran out of Nyjer seed. 😦

I was quite amused watching the Goldfinches cope with the work on the roof today. I watched them several times as they flew around in circles trying to land but fearful of the workers on the roof. Later in the evening, I sat out in the back yard with a cup of tea and chatted with my mum, while the Goldfinches and Blue Tits flapped their wings overhead trying to land on the seed. Needless to say, we didn’t stay in the yard for long as we left the birds to eat in peace. 🙂

The Great Tit Young Where Here Again!!

Oh I was so excited this morning after waking up and having my breakfast to the sound of the baby Great Tits calling to be fed! I leapt out of bed, careful to not spill my coffee and watched as the Great Tit parents brought their young back to my feeders. I was so happy as I had not seen or heard of them since Sunday when they woke me up at 5.30am!!!

Out came the camcorder again and I caught footage of one Great Tit chick being fed by its parent. They stayed in the yard for about an hour again. At one stage a Magpie couple was seen chasing the young. I was fearful for the babies, but they all stayed together and the adults saw the Magpies away!

I was late going to get the bus today as I was too focused on the birds!

The Goldfinches visit the yard very frequently now, and yesterday there were four of them!

Going back to work after a quick lunch this Friday a Fedex van pulled up outside the house and a big bag of Haith’s OlymPECK seed was delivered. My competition prize! How quick was that? I only got confirmation I was a winner on Wednesday! 🙂 Just wish this rain would stop so I can dish it out to the visiting birds.

Update at 7pm: The Great Tit family have visited again. The young have been sitting sheltering in the tree opposite while the parents have been flying to and from mine for sunflower hearts and suet. I hope they return tomorrow so I know they have a safe place to shelter from this horrible driving rain and raging wind! June? Summer? It’s left the UK again! 😦

It’s become oh so Quiet!

I remember reading in one of Bill Oddie’s blogs that June and July were the busiest months for activity on the bird feeders. I hasten to add that this is not the case in my back yard. Once the Great Tit’s had shown their two youngsters the feeders, I have not seen or heard of them since! 😦

As for the Blue Tits, they have deserted my feeders as I have run out of live mealworms. 😦

The birds I am seeing more and more of are the Goldfinches. I saw four of them on the sunflower and nyjer seed on Sunday, they seem to fly into the yard en-mass!

The Pigeons have become a pest! Eating everything in sight! 😦 There is even one that sits on my bracket and helps himself to sunflower hearts!

I have put in my results for the RSPB: Make Your Nature Count survey.

I was a little disappointed as after putting in the count for the birds, I was expecting a few for bees and butterflies. It was mainly deer and badgers which I don’t see being in an inner city terrace.

Over the past week I have seen many bees visit the flowers in the yard, so planting with nature in mind does pay off. I have seen in a spate of 30 minutes three bees all sniffing around the Honeysuckle and my recently opened Foxglove!

I have also seen many Cinnabar Moths, day moths which I think are lovely! I can’t wait for the Buddleia to flower and hopefully attract more species of butterfly.

I received some good news via email this morning. I had entered Haith’s ‘Win Breakfast with the Birds‘ competition to win a 5kg bag of OlymPECK bird food! I entered thinking ‘you have to be in it to win it’ and today I got an email saying I had been picked as that daily winner! I can’t wait to receive my bag of food as I think the birds will love it!

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My winning competition entry was:

Breakfast with the birds in my urban back yard is often a messy affair. I have one couple of each, Great and Blue Tits visiting for the live mealworms I leave out for them. They dive into the tree and then fly off to their nestlings high above the roofs. I keep buying on a weekly basis more mealworms for these voracious eaters! I also have up to four Goldfinches visiting the sunflower hearts, giving the yard a lovely splash of colour. A cheeky magpie comes in to chase the pigeons away and hoover up the bits left over by the smaller birds and the beautiful song of the faithful Dunnock can be heard over the tree tops. I have a small yard but I am amazed at the amount of bird and wildlife that visit on a daily basis!

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.  🙂

Comings and Goings!

There has been many comings and goings this past week, what with dealing with the aftermath of my fathers passing and waiting for Easter and the dreaded funeral. 😦 I am really worrying about the funeral and how my Mum will cope. I can’t wait for the horrible day to come and go, I have only been to one funeral and not one I helped organise, so who knows how the day will pan out?

I am in the second week of my University holidays, but it is no holiday this year and I am finding myself looking forward to getting back to work.

Trying to keep my mind off the inevitable, I have been keeping up with the wild bird activity in the back yard! With the return of the cold weather and the horrible driving rain I have seen many Blue Tits visiting frequently, whether they are the same bird or several couples I don’t know. This increase in activity makes me think maybe the Tits have young to feed, or is it too early for fledglings? Maybe they are eating more due to the change in coldness or to keep them in prime condition for the next generation?

Seems like more questions than answers?!

On Monday evening about 7pm I saw a Great Tit guzzling the sunflower hearts hanging from the cherry tree. The Great Tits are usually chased away by the Blue Tits so it’s nice to see one visiting. Now today, Tuesday, I have seen a Great Tit couple about four times visit the yard. 😀 About 11am the couple, looking really plump and glossy were really enjoying the the food on offer, sampling from all the feeders. It makes me really happy that the seeds I have left out for the birds is a real help for them during the fluctuating temperatures this spring.

I have also seen the Dunnock couple visit today. During the morning I only saw one of them eating the Bill Oddie food, that was soaked from all the rain that we are having! (Though the rain is much needed from what I can gather from the news.) I was wondering whether the male had left for pastures new, but this evening after 6.30pm I saw one Dunnock sitting in a tree and the other hopping about the floor eating left over rice I had left out for the Pigeons. It was nice to see the couple together. The male was watching over the female and singing so sweetly. I thought one of the Dunnocks this morning looked really wet and dishevelled. I was also amazed that the Dunnock sitting in the tree had managed to sit on a branch and was able to snatch some seed from a hanging feeder. It is nice that they can get at all the food that is available from the yard, especially the hanging feeders as I was worried that they couldn’t reach them being ground feeders. I suppose that is evolution for you?!

Regarding the caged Finches, today I have seen Caramel sitting in the second nest in the cage. I think it is about time they have settled into their new home and explore all that we have given them. Chocolate seems a bit reluctant to try new things regarding their environment but he loves the sprouts and lettuce I leave out for them. It is lovely seeing them sitting together in their nests. I shall have to get a picture one day. 🙂