The Arrse Twitchers thread

I'd read that it was the fieldfares that can get a bit stabby in a food shortage, but having watched the resident starling tribe squabble over mealworms, I could believe it of them too

Some starlings do and some stay put. I never had them visit the garden until I had been hanging feeders for about a year. Now a decade on, they are here daily and the numbers visiting have gradually increased. Each year the parents bring their fat grey babies to sit in a line on the edge of the garage guttering to be fed, eventually progressing to crashing into the feeders and working out that they can't drill through plastic side. I assume that they are the same birds throughout the year as they seem to have the same familiar routines around the feeders. Perhaps feeding all year has persuaded them it's a reliable feed source?
A Fieldfare came into my backyard in 2010 during that long cold period. He looked a little fúcked though and I thought he was on the way out.

Yesterday was the first time I saw Starlings at the birdfeeder in my backyard even though they have two nests in my attic. They are noisy, messy bástards too. The Starlings spent some time squabbling with each other over the food. I've noticed that the cock Chaffinches are quite aggressive too.

The Brambling put in several appearances again yesterday.
 
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Those bloody Fieldfares are a right territorial bunch, one in particular, who hogs the bird table and drives everything else off. They're always fighting each other in the garden. There must be twenty of them now, and a smaller number of Redwings.
 
I only feed the birds in the winter now. There has been some reporting that birds visiting feeders not only gain from the food provided but loose out on the viruses picked up. Greenfinches have been particularly badly affected, there has been a noticeable decline in there numbers in recent years.
Read somewhere recently that we should wash the feeders between fills. Think I might double up on the numbers I have and use them on alternate days so they can get a run through the dishwasher.

Came across a good trick on FB too. Horsey types put 2 litre drinks bottles three-quarter filled with salt water in drinking troughs to stop them freezing. I put a half litre bottle, one third filled with salt and fill to three-quarter line with water. It stops the bird bath freezing solid and there's enough liquid water around the bottle for the birds to get a drink.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
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For the serious twitcher, who dont mind a bit of frost, 35kms from Innsbruck between november and april there is a carrion feeding station for vultures eagles , all types of avian scavengers,this site is extremely well visited even in the summer months, it is quite surprising how many raptors turn up complete with ,jesses , bells even telemetry,surprising how many of owners of lost birds , were not prepared to collect them or pay the freight costs, memorable is the hampshire eagle owner (aquila Nepalensis) not even prepared to come as far as dover and collect the bird off the ferry,
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Saw two magpies paying attention to something - a peregrine under Holly bush in the garden. It had some prey which I only noticed as it took flight after facing the mobbing magpies.

Here's one for twitchers.

Can birds have speech defects? For a year or so locals would occasionally hear a 'lol lol lol lol'. Didn't associate it with a bird - dog or cat maybe.
After a couple of years noticed it corresponded with a rook perched on a nearby roof.
Heard it again this year (probably the 4th year) but difficult to get a recording.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Saw two magpies paying attention to something - a peregrine under Holly bush in the garden. It had some prey which I only noticed as it took flight after facing the mobbing magpies.

Here's one for twitchers.

Can birds have speech defects? For a year or so locals would occasionally hear a 'lol lol lol lol'. Didn't associate it with a bird - dog or cat maybe.
After a couple of years noticed it corresponded with a rook perched on a nearby roof.
Heard it again this year (probably the 4th year) but difficult to get a recording.
Some of the crow family can be quite skillful mimics so it may well be copying a sound it heard earlier in its life
 
Wish I could record it - it's just the one bird out of all the rookery and I don't know how long their life expectancy is.

On the mimicry (think it was a thrush though) - was once reversing an LGV in a tight but quiet yard when I heard a reversing signal. So I stopped looked, couldn't see anything, got out... carried on, same signal.
Took me a while to work out it was resident thrush/blackbird!
 
Last Saturday, driving down to the usual range through St Brides common (western Vale of Glamorgan), there on an overhanging branch was a little owl - nodding gently at 10am - although they will hunt in the day.
 
Now out the front of the house a pair of Blue Tits have taken up residence in the roof of our front gate, I was going to replace the missing tile but not now, again I will try and get some photos without risking disturbing them too much. Though I am sure that they are used to human comings and goings being adjacent to the gate.
 
Last Saturday, driving down to the usual range through St Brides common (western Vale of Glamorgan), there on an overhanging branch was a little owl - nodding gently at 10am - although they will hunt in the day.
I've had a few Shags around there ;-)
 
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