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spuggies and jackdaws and hedgehogs and frogs


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7 hours ago, The Rocket said:

https://www.smh.com.au/national/caw-why-birding-is-taking-off-20200820-p55no9.html

Pretty amazing figures from Oz, hopefully a sign that Covid is making people reassess what really is important in this world. 

Thanks for a great post, Rocket.  Good to see the huge increase in the popularity of birdwatching in Australia.  Needless to say, I love to see something a bit unusual, but, that said, I get great pleasure form just watching the garden birds going about their daily business.

What I never do is travel hundreds of miles to see something really rare.  I lack the time, money and inclination to do this in equal measure!  As I say, I am content to watch the spuggies and jackdaws of this thread's title.

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3 hours ago, Wiltshire Warrior Dragon said:

Thanks for a great post, Rocket.  Good to see the huge increase in the popularity of birdwatching in Australia.  Needless to say, I love to see something a bit unusual, but, that said, I get great pleasure form just watching the garden birds going about their daily business.

What I never do is travel hundreds of miles to see something really rare.  I lack the time, money and inclination to do this in equal measure!  As I say, I am content to watch the spuggies and jackdaws of this thread's title.

Thanks Wiltshire and thanks for the great post in return, talk about a mutual admiration society.😉

I went on a whale watching tour once in the 80`s, there was a `birdos` club on board, it was so funny, in a nice way, but they spent the whole day stampeding from one end of the boat to the other whenever someone spotted something, "quick over here!! there`s a Hutton`s Shearwater !", anyway it was a lot of fun and we didn`t see a single whale but did see a sun fish which was amazing. By the way, it was amazing how many variety of birds there was, and I think we were about 40-50 kilometres off the coast. I know you couldn`t see land and that was something I`d never experienced before.

And your last sentiment pretty well sums up my feelings as well. Little fellows going about their lives.

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Was out the other day and came across a male Pheasant which was completely white apart from its red bits ( wattles?)  around it`s cheeks .Seen a few white Blackbirds in my time but this Pheasant was a first ....near miss with a Sparrowhawk which shot over  a wall and literally flew right across  in front of me at head height . 

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1 hour ago, ivans82 said:

Was out the other day and came across a male Pheasant which was completely white apart from its red bits ( wattles?)  around it`s cheeks .Seen a few white Blackbirds in my time but this Pheasant was a first ....near miss with a Sparrowhawk which shot over  a wall and literally flew right across  in front of me at head height . 

Just Googled "albino pheasant" and it is a striking-looking creature. Mind you with that high visibility added to the species' natural lack of brains must mean they don't survive long in the wild.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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23 hours ago, Futtocks said:

Just Googled "albino pheasant" and it is a striking-looking creature. Mind you with that high visibility added to the species' natural lack of brains must mean they don't survive long in the wild.

I googled like you suggested and got this.

i-qGSZBKP-341x450.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, Ullman said:

Just seen a great spotted woodpecker. Hardly ever see them so seeing one in Queen's Gardens in Hull city centre was even more of a pleasant surprise.

Thanks for your post, Ullman, which reminds me how many people, while reasonably good at identifying birds they see, struggle with those they hear.  I look no further than myself for somebody whose visual knowledge far outstrips their aural skills in this area.

That said, the great spotted woodpecker has a fairly distinctive, crisply delivered - but not loud - 'tchick, tchick' call.  Once you have heard it and learnt it, your chances of seeing more of these lovely birds will greatly increase.  They are, incidentally, one of the species that keep quite vocal throughout winter.  Then, in early Spring, or even as soon as January if you are lucky, they begin their characteristic 'drumming' on trees, a sure sign that better weather is soon to be with us.

Here is a web link to their call:

https://www.british-birdsongs.uk/great-spotted-woodpecker/

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Lucky to have many woods around us in West Cumbria and this year came across 9 nest holes of The Great Spotted Woodpecker . Quite easy to find them as the young make an awful racket sticking their crimson heads out of the hole calling for food . You can get quite close to the tree without interfering with the adult birds bringing in food . 

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Somebody mentioned Magpies a few pages back.

Does anyone know a way to discourage them - humanely?

A pair of them has taken up residence in the large cherry tree in front of my house, and they appear to have frightened away every other bird.

I used to have a blackbird that regularly came down onto my front, handkerchief sized lawn and hopped about, pecking the ground - seemingly unconcerned about the (feral ) cats that pay an occasional, unwelcome visit.

Edited by Honor James
spelling!

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1 hour ago, Honor James said:

Somebody mentioned Magpies a few pages back.

Does anyone know a way to discourage them - humanely?

A pair of them has taken up residence in the large cherry tree in front of my house, and they appear to have frightened away every other bird.

I used to have a blackbird that regularly came down onto my front, handkerchief sized lawn and hopped about, pecking the ground - seemingly unconcerned about the (feral ) cats that pay an occasional, unwelcome visit.

BB gun 😉

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On 15/10/2020 at 10:19, ivans82 said:

Lucky to have many woods around us in West Cumbria and this year came across 9 nest holes of The Great Spotted Woodpecker . Quite easy to find them as the young make an awful racket sticking their crimson heads out of the hole calling for food . You can get quite close to the tree without interfering with the adult birds bringing in food . 

I think I had one in my garden 9D582FE5-5316-455F-8538-BC8C5DAA3F52.png.31b509d8b399cddfb4466d861ac936fb.png

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1 hour ago, DavidM said:

I think I had one in my garden 9D582FE5-5316-455F-8538-BC8C5DAA3F52.png.31b509d8b399cddfb4466d861ac936fb.png

You did!  It's a bit hard to say, but it's probably a female as it doesn't appear to have any red on the back of its head, which would tell you it's a male.

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1 hour ago, Shadow said:

Its Panage season and these little fellas are out and about eating the acorns round our way

 

pigs.jpg

I think I may have seen this group the other day, Shadow, as I drove down from the open New Forest heathland into your village, Nomansland.  They were in that bit of woodland just before the village garage.

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19 minutes ago, Wiltshire Warrior Dragon said:

You did!  It's a bit hard to say, but it's probably a female as it doesn't appear to have any red on the back of its head, which would tell you it's a male.

I was chuffed , first time ever . I’m trying to get more varieties of birds even though I love my sparrows , blackbirds , little robin with a bad leg , bluetits and wood pigeon ( although I don’t like the starling  stormtroopers which descend at times ) . Just lately I’ve had a jackdaw and a magpie . And yes it had no red on its head 

Edited by DavidM
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4 hours ago, Wiltshire Warrior Dragon said:

I think I may have seen this group the other day, Shadow, as I drove down from the open New Forest heathland into your village, Nomansland.  They were in that bit of woodland just before the village garage.

I've seen that group but this picture was a couple of miles from there, there are quite a few Saddlebacks out and about round here. Them and Gloucester Old Spots seem to be the most popular sent out to roam.

Edited by Shadow
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On 16/10/2020 at 17:33, Honor James said:

Somebody mentioned Magpies a few pages back.

Does anyone know a way to discourage them - humanely?

A pair of them has taken up residence in the large cherry tree in front of my house, and they appear to have frightened away every other bird.

I used to have a blackbird that regularly came down onto my front, handkerchief sized lawn and hopped about, pecking the ground - seemingly unconcerned about the (feral ) cats that pay an occasional, unwelcome visit.

I wouldn't bother trying to discourage them, Honor.  At this time of year, birds are most concerned with safe places to roost.  Yes, magpies can cause a degree of unrest amongst other birds, but nothing like, say, a passing sparrowhawk.  I don't think they will have caused everything else to disappear.

I don't think magpies hanging around would cause a blackbird to up sticks and move on.  Sadly, if your blackbird wasn't too concerned about the feral cats that might just have been a fatally flawed bit of judgement on its part!

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2 hours ago, Shadow said:

I've seen that group but this picture was a couple of miles from there, there are quite a few Saddlebacks out and about round here. Them and Gloucester Old Spots seem to be the most popular sent out to roam.

I haven't seen any Gloucester Old Spots yet this year, but saw some a year or two ago down near Eyeworth Pond.

A few weeks ago, I saw some really oddly marked sheep across at Penn Common, near Bramshaw.  I came home and 'google-d' away.  It turns out they were badger faced sheep, a breed of which I confess I had never even heard!  Here is a link:

https://www.badgerfacesheep.co.uk/

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36 minutes ago, Wiltshire Warrior Dragon said:

I haven't seen any Gloucester Old Spots yet this year, but saw some a year or two ago down near Eyeworth Pond.

A few weeks ago, I saw some really oddly marked sheep across at Penn Common, near Bramshaw.  I came home and 'google-d' away.  It turns out they were badger faced sheep, a breed of which I confess I had never even heard!  Here is a link:

https://www.badgerfacesheep.co.uk/

Funnily enough that’s where my photo of the pigs was taken

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My other half loves the robins which visit regularly.She wants to try and get them to nest in the garden.Are they likely to be encouraged by nesting boxes? Any thoughts on type of nesting box or positioning of such would be greatly appreciated.Thank You.

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On the subject of Magpies , they don`t do much damage now , but in breeding season round our way i have watched them take all the Starling young out from the house gutters/roofs where they nest as soon as they are big enough to be seen .People also say if they have nests in their garden hedges they do the same there as well .

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10 hours ago, gittinsfan said:

My other half loves the robins which visit regularly.She wants to try and get them to nest in the garden.Are they likely to be encouraged by nesting boxes? Any thoughts on type of nesting box or positioning of such would be greatly appreciated.Thank You.

Fairly high up pointing away from the sun if possible ,a friend of mine has his about 5 feet up in some spruce and they have used that successfully , but because they have open fronted nest boxes they are not cat proof unfortunately .

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