25 September 2014

Life in the garden

In an attempt to defeat or rather lessen the damage done by squirrels, we have invested in a new feeding station which is now installed in our lawn. It is in direct view of the house although far enough away for the birds to feed in peace. This means I can bird-watch to my heart’s content. And do! Oh what joy! I am now seeing birds I thought never see again:

Great spotted woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, the old favourites: Chaffinches, Bullfinches, Greenfinches, plus Nuthatches and all the usual garden birds including, naturally, the Magpies and Woodpigeon. I would rather do without the latter two but I suppose they’re entitled to eat
same as the finches. It’s just that they overdo it and break things in their attempts. Still, I guess I can’t have one without the other.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

The Great Spotted Woodpecker comes for peanuts rather than to peck wood, although as previously reported he did have a go at the wooden bird table.
Green Woodpecker

The Green Woodpecker feeds from the ground and since the grass is green we have to look carefully to see him. It was lucky that he decided to investigate other parts of the garden. Both woodpeckers used to be regular visitors at our last house but until now, as far as we know, never at the present one.

Female Chaffinch
Chaffinches were once only seen on the ground but they certainly like the new feeding station. They come in whole families… six or seven at a time. As do the bullfinches. Greenfinches have started to come in as well and that’s good because they are so few of them now. In fact, they are almost on the extinct list.
Male Bullfinch

The fox has made an appearance although his eye is on the tasty looking woodpigeons. He caught one the other day, and what a commotion there was from other birds, all trying to scare him away – and failing. Talk about nature in the raw! Hmm I took a great picture of the fox but can't find it... perhaps he ate that as well! This photo is rather inferior but it will have to do.
The Fox 
I do still have the two field-mice in the garden ... not sure what happened to the third. They're almost tame, certainly they don't run away from me. I said 'smile please' but they didn't bother!
The best thing for me has been watching the babies of each species, seeing them develop from babies to juvenile and then to adult birds. It has been interesting to see the way the plumage slowly changes before the birds finish up with adult colours. It starts with a slight colouring of the downy breast, then the tail changes colour and the back, and finally the head. Because of this I was able to identify the male and female babies.

I am pleased we are able to feed birds in this country. Australians are forbidden to do so and I believe that’s because of the different viruses wild birds carry. I suppose it’s the same the world over so I’ll carry on feeding them until told otherwise.


  1. All new species to me... beautiful and interesting. We can feed to our hearts content and do what we can to help the many declining species out, especially our songbirds. Some are down in population over ninety percent. Unfortunately my enemy has become the growing population of those highly efficient predators the feral cats.

  2. You have a nice selection of birds there! Ron loves birds and he has a book to identify some of them but I don't think we get as many as we would if we had a feeder. I hesitate to put anything like that up as we've had a major problem with squirrels and don't want to encourage them. They were so tenacious that they got into the attic and we had to hire a company to help us get them out.
    Also, our dogs might be scaring some of the local bird life away, too. We've never used Ollie for hunting but he is a bird dog (Hungarian Vizsla) so maybe they are smart to stay away. ;)

  3. You're seeing all kinds of cool birds. Isn't bird-feeding fun???

  4. Valerie, what magical view you have of all this going on in your yard. It's like something out of a Disney movie!

    "They're almost tame, certainly they don't run away from me. I said 'smile please' but they didn't bother!" cute!

    We can feed birds here too and do. In fact, the park I sit in has a lot of birds AND squirrels, which everyone feeds. And I like that.

    Thanks for sharing, dear lady. Delightful post!

    X to you and Joe!

  5. We also have a couple of feeding stations in the garden, always busy and frenzy with the birds, but alas none like your birds. I am not "up" on birds, but I think ours are coal tits, they zoom in and out of the conifers in the garden, squabbling funny to watch, no birds with colourful feathers, but fun to watch all the same.

  6. I have never seen a green woodpecker. Birds are beautiful and fascinating to watch.

    You have a regular Bird Theater. You should invite the neighbors, charge admission, and serve popcorn.

    Seriously Val, these are great pictures.

  7. TB, I agree with you that we should save our birds... the decline is already too great.

    Mary, We have a problem with squirrels, thankfully though not in the house. If I was in your shoes I would vetoe a bird feeder.

    Mona, yes indeed, it is fun.

  8. Ron, you say the nicest things. In view of what Mary said I think people in your park should continue feeding squirrels if only to keep them in one place.

  9. Ann, I am surprised you don't get the 'pretty' birds. Coal tits are pretty speedy, ours congregate with blue tits- it is hard to know which is the fastest.

    Pam, hey what a good idea. I could have a regular garden party. with birds as the main feature. Hmmm!

  10. Amazing photos. We also leave seeds for birds to feed on and a couple of wood pigeons, attracted by the food, come over and eat the whole lot. Then, the cat appears and... the wood pigeons disappear. :-) The cycle of nature.

    Greetings from London.

  11. Cuban, I obviously need to get another cat! I also need to get in in my head that birds can fend for themselves when it comes to feeding... smiles.

  12. What a lovely post, all except the poor wood pigeon and the fox of course, but it's nature's way and I enjoyed your photo of the fox. Lovely variety of birds. Your new feeding station looks great. I hope it does its job for you.

  13. Oh what lovely visitors you get!! And I'm one who used to scoff at folks who fed wildlife. You should SEE my food bill for the critters. Oh, but talk about cheap entertainment compared to the cost of other things!! I love your green woodpecker. Bit like the northern flickers we get....boy can they make a racket!!
    I love the feeders and your station to hang them from. Bit more convenient than a maple tree if you wanna move it about, but way less shade! LOL

  14. You have become quite the bird and animal spotter! :)

    Mersad Donko Photography


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