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I'm sure you meant to say Saturday 29th January and Sunday 30th January? According to my calendar Monday is the 31st January. Gremlins in the calendar or is it those pesky blackbirds?
Ha ha i laughed out loud reading this Kate, it reminds me so much of my own garden. I moved in to mine in august and have found not many birds visit. When i did start getting visitors last month a pair of magpies began to visit regularly. The male i watched with fascination as during the rain he collected up all the bits of bread i had left out and systematically hid them all around the garden, under leaves, stones, piecs of wood. I assume he came back later to collect them all and since he had hid everything no other bird could get a look in. what a wonderful past time to watch the birds.
This blog made me laugh out loud too. But instead i have a female blackbird who rules my garden.Even though i place food out on bird table she seems to turn her nose up at it and goes for the fat balls in the feeders. very funny watching her,i do believe blackbirds are suppose to be ground feeders!! I do have Two robins who like doing this too!They love to come up close and say hello, except when i get my camera out!
I'm having the same trouble you had last year Kate. Although, I think it's because we're being overrun by squirrels. Last year we had 1 squirrel, now we're getting upto 12 at any one time! The squirrels are attracting the local cat population, which is probably keeping the birds away. Even our trusty robins haven't made an appearance this winter.
sorry i dont understand reader 1....what on earth do you mean about the dates.......kate has wrote the dates that you have wrote....'is this a joke or what'????? nice read though kate..i to have a black bird thats appeared since the snow, daily he is in the garden eating everything i put out for the birds,also at the end of the garden my garden slightly curves and i have put up a mirror and growning over and around it is ivy and a climbing rose however you can still see the mirror,the blackbird is always looking at himselve in the mirror and flying at it well i guess i should say he attacks his reflection i think he thinks its another bird watching him...he moves his head up and down moves left/right but cant work out why the other bird does the same...i stand there watching for ages,it really is funny ......


Having started to feed the birds in my garden in N. Italy, I have discoverd that the best way to stop the blackbird and the robin "guarding their food" is to have several different feeding areas. they can't guard them all at once! In addition to trying to make sure all the "little brown jobs" get a look-in, I have to try to make sure the horrible neighbourhood cats don't have a field day by making the food available above ground level. Putting fat-balls within pecking distance of branches seems to be doing the trick and my resident robin doesn't look quite so pompous as he wavers on the branch whilst pecking away!
Molokoloko - I did, thank you for pointing it out, I am obviously bird-brained! froggie - we changed the dates after Molokoloko's comment so they were incorrect and are now sorted. Happy birdwatching! Kate
Lovely blog,Kate! the birds are such a joy. After a serious injury I have to do some of my gardening from a sitting position. I found that while I sat cutting twigs by hand for composring, several friendly robins came quite close to see what I was up to. Lovely to see and hear - they are such inveterate people-watchers! Happy birdwatching to all.
I have two blue tits that come to my garden,but the pigeons come then. i've recently planted primroses under the tree which the bird feeders hang from and the pigeons then start scratching the ground which is messing up the primroses. How can i deter the pigeons from coming into the garden?
I'm longing to see waxwings in my garden to see if and how they fit in with the resident bird population. They have been seen in Redland, only a few miles away so I keep hoping, but the blackbirds have stripped the sorbus of its berries and they are one of their favourite foods. I shall birdwatch while I am gardening (vine pruning) as it is so fiercely cold today in Bristol.
What a wonderful relationship to observe in your garden! This is the kind of soap opera I'd really like to watch - 'Sid and Nancy'! :)
I to seem to have Blackbirds that have taken over the garden, they do appear to be the most quarrelsome of birds, wanting the whole place to themselves. All last summer they decided that my cats biscuits,just inside the back door, were theirs. My cat who has since died was quite happy for the birds to come into the kitchen for their morning feast, he did speak some bad language at them, but as long as they didn't want his breakfast that was not a problem. This year they will not have any bad talk to put up with, which does make me and my great grand children very sad. I seem to have been invaded by magpies, who since early January are busy building nests in the fir trees in next doors garden, the only thing they bare scared of is the collar doves who continually fight them off. With the robins, chaffinches and more than 100 sparrows seem to delight in watching from the sidelines. I hope they know the offside rule. I DO MISS my cat but the birds and visiting fox are very welcome.
It was supposed to the only thing they "are" scared of, not "bare" scared of. My Great Grand children just loved my stories on Sunday afternoons when the Sparrows returned to roost. I'd say things like "Oh! just listen to those two, they've just come back from Southsea, and the pickings were poor." But, the other ones are saying, "Oh! we have come back from Emsworth, there was lots of goodies there, we'd liked to have brought some back for you, but we would have been so full up, we couldn't have flown home. So next time come with us."


We too have Blackbirds. Our dominant one is a very fat female, in fact when I first saw her I thought surely its too early for her to be ready to lay eggs. There are 2 smaller females who she dominates (maybe her daughters?) and a male who seems to ignore them. We have put mealworms in a tray on top of a low fence which they like a lot as well as foraging in the dead leaves, We also have nuts and seed feeders which the other birds like. We have a wren a robin, blue tits, great tits and sparrows which visit at various times. Although we saw very few in the very cold weather. None of them seem to like the fat block though. One of our problems is that there isn't much cover for the small birds. There is a bush that the sparrows like in summer but there are no leaves on it at the moment. The Wood pigeons, collared Doves and Jackdaws appear sometimes but the other birds dont seem to bother about them too much. On the subject of Waxwings I have seen some for the first time this year in 2 different locations. A small flock around a carpark in Beeston, Nottingham, where I work and a much larger flock in a field in Lincolnshire where I live. I cant quite understand what they were doing in the field though as I thought they fed on berries.
After a good few years of putting out all manner of lovely different foods for the birds we are - at last - being visited by an ever-increasing variety (which is SO gratifying!). All winter we've had the cutest little pied wagtail (just one it would seem) pottering about underneath the bird feeding station. He really likes the Robin Mix I put out in a little bowl. We've also been lucky enough to have a small flock of redpolls visit since last December. At first I thought they were just large sparrows, but somehow they didn't look quite right, so out with the binoculars and then I noticed their red berets and managed to identify them from a book. So, when we sat down yesterday to do our first ever Garden Birdwatch Survey, I was SO chuffed when our very first visitors were the pied wagtail, followed by a goldfinch, followed by one of the redpolls! Then all the usual characters turned up in dribs and drabs, including a gaggle of 15 starlings - very entertaining - if a bit noisy and messy! So, after all that activity, better get out there now and top up my feeders before the start of the new working week!
I was amazing yesterday doing the garden birdwatch that a goldcrest appeared briefly and then disappeared into hedge- a timely visit, it`s first time I have seen one in my garden.