Bird contact

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Woody girl

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Mar 31, 2018
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Had a fantastic experience in my garden yesterday afternoon. I have spent hours trying to get a couple of blackbirds to trust me and I put lots of treats out for them daily.
I was sat in my chair with a cup of tea enjoying the sun when one of the three males that use my garden flew and landed at my feet only a few inches away. I stayed stock still and next thing I knew he was on my knee trilling out an amazing rich warble so loud I almost jumped. This lasted only a few seconds but seemed to last ages. He then cocked his head and flew off into the tree where he again sang a refrain whilst looking at me.
I can't tell you how excited and blessed I felt to have gained this trust in a few short weeks.
Pottering around with the watering can half an hour later I was bent over watering a blackcurrant bush by the fence, and as I stood up a great spotted woodpecker flew low over the fence obviously headed for the peanut feeder... but I was in the way. He landed on my chest clung on for a second or so , we stared at each other in shock untill he gave a woody woodpecker sort of squawk and took off the way he'd come. Two wild bird physical contacts in one day. I'm still a bit stunned.
 

Fadcode

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Feb 13, 2016
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Make sure you don't tell Chris Packham about this, and how did the Woodpecker know your forum signature ?,

When I stop on the Motorway services to eat my sandwiches in my Truck, if I have the window open, often I am able to hand feed the Crows and Ravens that will suddenly appear on the arm of my mirror, they are quite brazen, and although I don't actually believe in feeding wild animals, find it hard to resist. the problem is that before long there are a gaggle of them surrounding the cab waiting to be fed.
Its the same down here in Cornwall, on bin day, Thursday its amazing to see the number of gulls attacking the black plastic bags to find food, I suppose they know exactly where to go on a certain day, to find the bin bags littering the pavements, any other day you never see them.
 
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Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
We have a couple of Ching chings that are slightly tame.
They some every morning and wait hile we let the wild cat in to get his breakfast. Once he has eaten, they walk into the house and clean up after him.
If we do not let them in, they sit on thevwidow frame and peck on the glass.
Birds are not stupid, we just can not communicate.
 
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Woody girl

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Corvids are greedy and learn fast. They also recognise individual humans. They are not normaly welcome in my garden as they used to come en mass and leave nothing for smaller birds. Though I do have a magnificent magpie visit some days.
I have noticed that I have no Robins this year. Greenfinchs are rare now and there are no bullfinch and less blue tits than normal. The wren no longer visits either and I've not seen the family who normaly nest down the lane either. Plenty of sparrows this year noisy fun little fellows.
Another thing I've noticed is that though I have many bumblebees there are very few honey bees despite having a hive only two fields away from which I am usualy downwind from so would expect more visits from them.
I have not seen a butterfly yet this year and the buzzards are not flying in their usual portion of the sky as they have done for the past 20 years I have lived here. I have a bee house and butterfly house on my fences both have been empty this winter.. I grow a wild rose near the bees hotel and have had leaf cutter bees using it regularly until now.
The woodpecker is a new visitor this year so a very special guest. He certainly made a spectacular impression on me. I'm hoping he has a mate somewhere and I might see some little woodys in my garden.
 
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Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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Mid Wales
That woodpecker experience is something else Woody girl :).

Things change, that's for sure. We've been here twenty five years this year and the birdlife has changed in that time. Like you, we get very few Greenfinches. I believe the numbers declined following an infection, especially passed on at bird feeders, a few years ago. I only feed in the cold months to reduce the risk of that; of course, the RSPB make a lot of money out of bird food so don't tell you not to feed during the warmer months.

Somethings are better though; we have long tailed tits nesting for the first time, more pied flycatchers nesting than before, blackbirds, robins, blackcaps …. the list goes on.

Annoyingly, I can't use my Series III because a wren is raising her brood above the nearside rear suspension :)
 
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Woody girl

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I always keep my feeders clean and use Milton to sterilise them at each refill.
I no longer use a bird table as wood is hard to keep clean. Instead I chop up some apples and put them out on the lawn for the blackbirds sometimes some soaked raisins or sultanas are scattered about too. Peanuts are out all year as are sunflower and Niger seed. Fat balls are out during the colder months but not in the summer as they go rancid in the sun very quickly. Normal seed mix is a constant.
My local council have just had a blitz on all the blackberry bushes and a fabulous elderberry tree that was popular with both birds and humans so I don't know if I will be able to forage my usual elderflower and berry cordials this year. They seem determined to obliterate all bird bee and butterfly food in the area. I'm saddened deeply by this.
This morning I had a visit by Mr woodpecker again . I thought I saw another in the tree but not sure as I could not see properly without moving and disturbing the male.
I'm still buzzing with that encounter . It was amazing and so unexpected .
Mr blackbird gave me another serenade from the fence this morning after I put his apple out.I realy feel he is thanking me as he gives me proper eye contact while he sings. Isn't nature wonderful?
 

Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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I'm not sure it's just the cleanliness of the feeders that matters though. In the fields birds like greenfinches do not gather massed together so much on a single food source as they do on a feeder which means they are less likely to transmit disease to each other. It doesn't matter how clean our feeders are it's the fact the birds are a) very close together and b) feeding from the same spot. Around us there's plenty of food for the birds in summer anyway so I just feed between November and March and even then I'm not sure it's necessary (well, I'm pretty sure it's not) so it's more for my pleasure if I was honest.

I appreciate that my opinion on this is way off most 'bird lovers' but I've tried to take an objective view of the subject :)

As for Nightingales Janne, yes, but none in this area - they are mainly in the South East of the UK so we heard them in Suffolk last year. As far as I'm aware, they are not considered endangered though - quite common in a lot of Europe.
 

Keith_Beef

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Sep 9, 2003
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Yvelines, north-west of Paris, France.
I'm still putting out the fat balls; the adults are showing this year's brood how to hand on the wire cages to peck at the feed.

I would love to get a magpie used to me enough to come and take food from my hand. I used to have chipmunks come and take food from my hand like that, in New Jersey. Even better than a magpie, or a woodpecker, would be to get a pair of great tits to come and sit in my hands.
 
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Woody girl

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38 dd? :) rude boy! How dare you make such a sexist remark Mr Beef ! :buttkick: you should be ashamed of yourself :oops::bag::):):) and Janne don't encourage him ! Into the naughty corner the pair of you. I don't know. What is the forum comming to! I was talking about the feathered kind.
 
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Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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Mid Wales
Good news!

The wrens have fledged; I can now, finally, move my Series III Land Rover :)

However, the bl**dy long tailed tit is waking me before 5 every morning because it has taken a dislike to its own reflection in the bedroom window :(
 
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woodspirits

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Jul 24, 2009
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I always keep my feeders clean and use Milton to sterilise them at each refill.
I no longer use a bird table as wood is hard to keep clean. Instead I chop up some apples and put them out on the lawn for the blackbirds sometimes some soaked raisins or sultanas are scattered about too. Peanuts are out all year as are sunflower and Niger seed. Fat balls are out during the colder months but not in the summer as they go rancid in the sun very quickly. Normal seed mix is a constant.
My local council have just had a blitz on all the blackberry bushes and a fabulous elderberry tree that was popular with both birds and humans so I don't know if I will be able to forage my usual elderflower and berry cordials this year. They seem determined to obliterate all bird bee and butterfly food in the area. I'm saddened deeply by this.
This morning I had a visit by Mr woodpecker again . I thought I saw another in the tree but not sure as I could not see properly without moving and disturbing the male.
I'm still buzzing with that encounter . It was amazing and so unexpected .
Mr blackbird gave me another serenade from the fence this morning after I put his apple out.I realy feel he is thanking me as he gives me proper eye contact while he sings. Isn't nature wonderful?

Lovely experience WG, these rare moments are always special. :)
 

MrEd

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Feb 18, 2010
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www.thetimechamber.co.uk
I'm not sure it's just the cleanliness of the feeders that matters though. In the fields birds like greenfinches do not gather massed together so much on a single food source as they do on a feeder which means they are less likely to transmit disease to each other. It doesn't matter how clean our feeders are it's the fact the birds are a) very close together and b) feeding from the same spot. Around us there's plenty of food for the birds in summer anyway so I just feed between November and March and even then I'm not sure it's necessary (well, I'm pretty sure it's not) so it's more for my pleasure if I was honest.

I appreciate that my opinion on this is way off most 'bird lovers' but I've tried to take an objective view of the subject :)

As for Nightingales Janne, yes, but none in this area - they are mainly in the South East of the UK so we heard them in Suffolk last year. As far as I'm aware, they are not considered endangered though - quite common in a lot of Europe.

There are 2 schools of thought regarding winter bird feeding.

1. It helps them and they have food they wouldn’t.

2. In degrades their capability to find wild food, and if you stop feeding them they starve.

I don’t feed at all during the year now, is what I have done instead is introduced a water source and keep it clear and free all year round. I have also upped my planting and manage half of my large garden to be wild flower Meadow etc.

I am having more insect life than before with a large manicured lawn devoid of life, which is brought in the birds and bats who feed off the insects, I also have lots of mice and shrewd etc and a mole, and hedgehogs who presumably feed off the slugs etc.

I currently have nesting blue tits in a nest box, finches in the bushes and magpies in the oak and bats in the bat box,

I have more wildlife in my garden since I stopped feeding, and apart from ‘weeds’ thistle and so on I let it grow.

Now I am not a fan of magpies but if you have a wild garden then you just accept that it’s ALL wildlife - you can’t pick and choose
 
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Woody girl

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Mar 31, 2018
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I wish my garden was big enough to have a decent wild garden. Sadly it's not.
Tonight I finaly saw Mr woodpecker does indeed have a wife. Both were on the peanut feeder and I watched them for about five minutes stood in my doorway about 15 feet away from the bird feeder.
Such lovely birds and a real treat to get that close. Of all my bird visitors I'm totaly in love with them.
 
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