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18/04/2012 at 10:39

So sad to see you "pruning" your winter flowering honeysuckle. We leave ours until much later as these sweet little pink grapes form, that blackbirds adore.

18/04/2012 at 15:34

Our evergreen honeysuckle is used as a nesting site for a family of Dunnocks each year so pruning has to be done in the Autumn.

18/04/2012 at 21:42

Last year I had drama with a bee's nest in my ground that got half dug up by foxes and then overtaken by a Cuckoo bee, I found the queen crawling away with her wings bitten off and the resulting nest died out a few weeks later since Cuckoo bees don't continue the nest. (I would upload a picture of her, but file is too big)

I also witnessed a bird of prey land in my middle garden and fly off like a shot at the sight of me, leaving only a few sparrow feathers behind from his latest meal!

This year I am proud to announce a nesting pair of Blackbirds in my ivy, right over my kitchen window! Already, I have observed the female bird doing all the nest building, although the male stood guard and even brought her the gift of a worm today.

I must say, one of the delights of being a gardener is the adventure with wildlife!

19/04/2012 at 10:12

Hi Wintersong. According to Bill Oddie you have well fed, plump birds for a sparrow hawk to visit. We sadly had a collard dove caught for lunch a couple of days ago.

04/05/2012 at 16:43

Well I have been treated this afternoon! I looked out my window to see a male Blackbird (the pair are nesting in my Ivy) dive bomb a wood pigeon and then start displaying with his tail high and his chest inflated just like a Peacock.

04/05/2012 at 23:12

I've never had pink grapes on my honeysuckle, which quite honestly by this time of year is just a mess. So I will be following Monty's advice and pruning mine earlier next year.  Terri, I know there are two different species of winter flowerring honeysuckle so I wonder if yours is the other one.

I will not be worrying about the nesting birds also as they have plenty of better places to nest in which are not so close to the house.

06/05/2012 at 18:11

Blackbirds as we all know dont nest in the safest of places! I have a pair nesting in thick ivy near my bird feeders and the male is working overtime chasing away anything that flies! Having said that the young have left but he returns for suet fruity sprinkles. The blue tits are about to leave the boxes (I wish it would warm up a bit and stop raining) They too love the suet. I buy in bulk from the internet by the way GJW Titmuss ltd is a great supplier of any type of birdfood. An anxious time for all wildlife young. Thanks for your replys nice to know so many people think of our feathered friends and that gardening isnt all about US !

06/05/2012 at 23:26
Wish something would nest in our box! The neighbours cats seem to put off any lovely feathered visitors!!! U r all very lucky
06/05/2012 at 23:57

We have a house sparrow nesting in the eaves at the back of the house and quite regularly get coal tits, wagtails and starlings in the garden. Oh, and the stoopid woodpigeon, stoopiding about

07/05/2012 at 08:15

Well apparently my wood pigeons are ring-neck doves. There's a mating pair we see every year, always together, it's very sweet. Last year they tried to make a manly sized nest in out large Laural, but a windy day soon put an end to those ideas.

On the whole we get sparrows thrushes and Magpies nest in the surrounding trees but don't land in my garden. Once when I put out seed to encourage finches etc, all I got was an ugly pigeon who kept eating the lot! So I stopped. I used to get a robin a few years back that followed me around whenever I disturbed the soil, and am so happy I have blackbirds this year. I feel honoured they have chosen my garden.

07/05/2012 at 09:54

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/7377.bmp?width=229&height=229&mode=max

The winter honeysuckle the birds love is Lonciera Fragrantissima. The berries are more like grapes. I have just picked this from my garden.

07/05/2012 at 10:45

Has anybody ever had a (male ) blackbird that inserts a 'trimphone' warble into the middle of it's otherwise 'normal' blackbird song?  We've got a resident blackie who does this on a very regular basis and makes me laugh whenever I hear him.  It's very convincing and I wonder if he's picked it up by copying someone's mobile ring-tone?  I could understand this more if it were a starling, but not a blackbird.  Are they known to be good mimics?  No prizes for guessing for what we've called him!

07/05/2012 at 14:17

Well, this morning we noticed and watched with delight as the pair of ring neck doves decided to build a  nest in our Laurel. It's a very large Laurel and it was lovely watching the male collect scraps and twigs from my huge pile of dead Pampas grass and bring them to the female who was busy arranging the nest. The male bird was very tame, didn't mind sharing the garden with me at all, unfortunately the male black bird took great offence and chased the male dove all about the garden. Since then, there's been no sign of either pair, I do hop they can all get alone.

08/05/2012 at 10:09

Thanks for the tip Terri. 

08/05/2012 at 19:10

Thanks for the picture Terri.  I will go out and check mine for berries now.  They do look like typical honeysuckle succulent berries but I'm sure I've never had any on mine.  So mine could be Lonicer purpusii maybe.  Don't know.

Incidentally as you all like birds on this thread, we were visited at the weekend by a male pied flycatcher for the very first time in the 8 years that we've lived here.  He may have taken up residence in a a spare box as I've seen him go in a few times. (Incidentally we live about 6 miles from Lake Vyrnwy which gets them every year.  Looks as though one has ventured over the hill!) 

I have nesting bluetits in one box and I fastened some very spiky stems of Rubus cockburnianus on top and that has stopped the female kitten in her tracks.

Sue

09/05/2012 at 12:24

WOW ! had to look that one up in the book ! what a beautiful bird. You must be doing everything right ! I have 4 blue tit boxes all with tenants. One has fledged, the others going strong. The only box not occupied for the second year running is the one with the camera. I think they are trying to tell me something ! 

16/05/2012 at 16:19

hi everyone, im loving reading this thread, i put up a nestbox in feb, but its not been used, i did have a couple of blue tits investigate, but none have moved in, also in the winter when all the leaves on my virginia creeper fell, i found a lovely blackbirds nest, does anyone know if it will be used again, the creeper is just started growing back over it.

16/05/2012 at 16:43

Maybe a bit late now but if it was successful last year they may use it again. My 2 baby blackbirds have left the nest now and dad is feeding them on the ground. They are all grown up and as big as he is. Mums back on the nest for a second brood bless her! A handful of fat sprinkles on the ground will go down a treat or old grapes split open. Watch your lovely dog he will love them too & will put on the pounds. When my dog sneaks off I know where she is !!! If the blackbirds dont use it another bird may, possibly a hedge sparrow or a robin. Happy bird watching.

16/05/2012 at 17:03

ooh im so jealous terri ha ha, the sad thing for me is i have an site by me, it was a convent, its well gone but the site is overgrown, with hawthorn, laurel, cherry trees to name just a few, there ar so many birds in there, andi get a lot of them in my garden, we have just found out they are going to bulilt 2 blocks of 8 flats there so we will lose all the birds, when they clear everthing away, i got everyone to sign a petition and sent it to the council the housing trust and the builder, but i dont think we have much chance of keeping any of the tree, sorry to rant on, ha ha but i am so upset about the birds, there is no established trees apart from them because our houses have only been up 13 yrs

16/05/2012 at 18:05

Just one fledgling in our resident BB nest, its a fat one

http://s3.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/7642.jpg?width=483&height=350&mode=max

 and Daddy has been feeding it on my fence all afternoon

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