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Lockdown birdwatching


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I had plans to get back into bird watching this year as my mental health has been quite bad lately and watching birds used to really cheer me up.

The new lockdown has put paid to putting my new spotting scope to any good use at my local patch, so I've invested in feeders and a bird bath and am hoping to attract birds back to my garden again.

 

I will be putting up my findings here and it would be great if any like-minded bird lovers want to join in.

 

It's been pretty quiet today so far, but the highlights are 3 Blackcaps (2 males and a female) that appear to have taken up residence in my garden for the winter and a flock of 14 Redwing (Scandanavian thrushes) which stop over to visit a berry tree a few houses down.

I've also had my first Great Tit visit the feeder, along with a robin and a greedy pigeon.

 

Oh and one of the Blackcaps started eating suet from the feeder, which I've never seen before.

 

Here's a list of everything I've seen so far, either in the garden, adjacent or flying over.

Blackbird

Blue Tit

Blackcap

Carrion Crow (flyover)

Coal Tit

GoldCreast

Great Tit

Herring Gull (flyover)

Jay

Long-Tailed Tit

Magpie

Mistle Thrush

Redwing

Robin

Starling

Wood Pigeon

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I opened the curtains the other morning to find a white crane of some kind (Siberian, I think) sat on our balcony, staring at the pond below. I live near the Hangzhou Bay wetland reserve so tend to see loads of interesting birds.

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2 hours ago, Quest said:

I opened the curtains the other morning to find a white crane of some kind (Siberian, I think) sat on our balcony, staring at the pond below. I live near the Hangzhou Bay wetland reserve so tend to see loads of interesting birds.

That's awesome. I've never seen any type of Crane, let alone a Siberian one!

 

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Had a couple of new birds to garden today: a Coal Tit and Blue Tits, a pair of Jays and a passing Mistle Thrush. The Coal Tit was another passover using the trees to forage, while the Blue Tits have started using the feeder. The pair of Jays were having great fun until a cat appeared and tried to spoil the party.

Although none of the birds feed for long I'm sure it's only a matter of time before they get a little more confident.

 

Here's a list of everything I've seen so far, either in the garden, adjacent or flying over.

Blackbird

Blackcap

Coal Tit

Great Tit

Herring Gull (flyover)

Jay

Mistle Thrush

Redwing

Robin

Starling

Wood Pigeon

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I’ve recently moved and I’m going to miss the birds that came to our garden. Particularly the flocks of starlings that came to bathe in our often water logged garden (I counted 200+ at one point) also the sparrow hawk who would occasionally shred prey on our lawn.

 

I’m now in a flat in a city centre location and spotted....a seagull.  

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On 10/01/2021 at 10:01, Welrain said:

I’ve recently moved and I’m going to miss the birds that came to our garden. Particularly the flocks of starlings that came to bathe in our often water logged garden (I counted 200+ at one point) also the sparrow hawk who would occasionally shred prey on our lawn.

 

I’m now in a flat in a city centre location and spotted....a seagull.  

Never had a sparrow hawk in the garden before. We get starlings, but not in the numbers you mention.

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It's been a quiet couple of days with just wood pigeons and a solo appearance by the female Blackcap.

The Redwings are long gone as they're pretty much stripped the nearby trees bare.

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We went for a wee walk tonight down the canal and spotted the unmissable blue blaze of a Kingfisher and some other noisy small birds but the light was fading by that point..

 

We spotted a few others on our wanders...a few swans, plenty of moorhens, the usual mallards, some long tailed tits (my fav) , a very angry blue tit and some cormorants that make their home on the river and like to pose on top of Leeds armoires (and they look majestic). 


edit...and some goosanders. Finally figured out what they are.

 

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4 hours ago, Welrain said:

We went for a wee walk tonight down the canal and spotted the unmissable blue blaze of a Kingfisher and some other noisy small birds but the light was fading by that point..

 

We spotted a few others on our wanders...a few swans, plenty of moorhens, the usual mallards, some long tailed tits (my fav) , a very angry blue tit and some cormorants that make their home on the river and like to pose on top of Leeds armoires (and they look majestic). 


edit...and some goosanders. Finally figured out what they are.

 

Goosanders are striking birds. I always used to think of Cormorants as sea birds when I was a kid, but it's surprising how inland they get. Over at Longham Lakes they rest on the pylons which looks very weird. Sounds like you had a nice walk.

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It's been quiet all day, aside from a flurry of activity when 8 or 9 Long-Tailed Tits passed through. I checked to see if there were any stragglers (smaller birds tend to join foraging groups like this) but I couldn't see any.

Still it puts the total count up by another one :)

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Forgot my update for Friday.

I had four magpies fighting in the trees and 2 Blackbirds are now regularly feeding on the lawn. I did see a smaller bird fly past (possibly a Goldcrest) but I couldn't grab my binoculars in time.

The feeder isn't being used much so I'm wondering if I need to move it towards cover a bit more.

13 birds now seen.

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Went outside to see three Carrion Crows fly over the garden. They're fairly prevalent around here, along with Jays and Magpies, so seeing them is a nice touch. We do get the odd Jackdaw, but I'll be very surprised if any show up in the garden.

The rest of Monday was quiet with very little going on. Three blackbirds now regularly visiting the lawn, but most of the other birds appear to have stopped using the feeder :(

Anyway, 14 birds recorded now.

 

Edit 15 birds, I forgot to record the Blue Tit I saw.

 

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Another very quiet weekend with little to no action.

It's the big garden watch this weekend, so I'm hoping moving the feeder (yet again) will lead to more than just Blackbirds and Wood Pigeons.

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Moving the feeder seems to have helped. Had Great Tits, Robins, Blackbirds and a Coal Tit all visiting. One of our cats nearly caught a Wood Pigeon, but it was too quick (I love how they sound like little helicopters when they take off).

 

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Had a Great Tit regularly feeding today. Blackbirds continue to hop around the grass and a reticent Robin has been occasionally showing up.

Highlight of the day has been a Gold Crest foraging in the tree right outside my shed, which gives me my 16th bird. 'm interested to see what I'll end up on, but based on my local area 30 (including flyovers and things seen within the gardens of neighbours is perfectly reasonable).

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Was a decent day on Wednesday. A fair few birds were using the feeder, a GoldCrest was seen again and a couple of Jays visited the garden. Wood Pigeons and Blackbirds remain abundant.

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I miss my old office which looked directly on some trees at 1st floor level...loads of birds came for a feed less than a metre away, it was like my own little hide.  Favourite was the bullfinch. Sturdy little birds.

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On 28/01/2021 at 20:31, Welrain said:

I miss my old office which looked directly on some trees at 1st floor level...loads of birds came for a feed less than a metre away, it was like my own little hide.  Favourite was the bullfinch. Sturdy little birds.

Only seen a bullfinch a handful of times. Weather has been poor so seen very little. Doing the big garden bird watch tomorrow.

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Oh very cool @majicI remember seeing a few in London a few years back, although they are apparently in Dorset now.

I did the RSPB count at the weekend and had a low turnout consisting of 1 Wood Pigeon, 2 Blackcaps, 3 Blackbirds, 2 Blue Tits and a Long Tailed Tit.

This morning there's been birds everywhere, including Jays, Coal Tits and Great Tits. Where were they on Sunday :lol:

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