So where's the snow?

Muddling through life from Austria to Wales; God, life and a small black dog


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How to scare sparrows………..

P1220190We decided to put a new bird table in the garden as the old was worse for wear, so Dave built a mega job.  In hindsight it was the wrong time of year, should have done it in the summer when the birds were off on their holidays. So once it was installed I sat to see what the birds would do.  A crested wren was the first and the Nutcracker jammed three hazelnuts down it’s throat and flew off with one in the beak.  Sparrows?  Disappeared for a day, then came back and sat the in bush, with a poor old us look on their faces then took to feeding from the ground.  Three days later they returned to their old side table, but still wont go near the  new one -twits!

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Stupid Bird and Mouse wars!

I really shouldn’t call him this, but he did look it at first.  A few weeks ago we could hear the usual yelling that denotes some fledgelings have fledged and are still waiting to be fed.  Only this time, the baby Greenfinch was dumped. Parents cleared off after a couple of days.  Now maybe he was a late  litter and just not strong enough to follow, but he sat, fluffed up on the bird table, pecking randomly at the seeds.  He must have eaten something because he’s survived.  He now has the nack with the small seeds, but not quite got it with the sunflowers. He shouts at the Tits when he’s sat on the table, and sometimes they ignore him, others, they just shove in. He’s never far away. Last night, another Greenfinch arrived and after some initial sparring, they were both sat on the table.  There must be hope for him yet!

It’s now early October -and no sparrows, only a brief visit in September and they went away again.  The family of Tits are dependent on the table and for that I feel guilty.  I only fed Peanuts late in the summer as the parents were hanging about, maybe the insect population was affected by the odd weather. So now, this family prefers by large the Peanuts, I counted 10 last night. What would happen if I stopped the nuts?  They must feed elsewhere surely as I did leave the feeder empty for a while in between feedings deliberately.  What do you think?

September sees the spiders and mice looking for somewhere warm to stay for the winter.

To my shock one morning, I saw six mice on the bird table, scaring the birds away.  So I chopped down the honeysuckle that grows up the Pole, but the little blighters just shimmied up it.

So Dave has now put an upturned plastic flower pot around the pole so the mice can’t get round, seems to have worked.  There’s plenty on the ground for them if you think I’m being cruel………


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More bird watching mysteries

Siskin or Serin?

I still think there’s something up with the birds in the Lungau.  Usually in April my table and the ground under it are cleared by Jays and a Lesser spotted woodpecker and I’ve yet to see them.  There’s a few more Green finches, occasional Chaffinches  and a beautiful Siskin who comes every evening.  There’s even more Marsh tits than usual, who sit in lilac bush while I’m pegging our washing and shout for food.  The usual Sparrows and Great tits and Blue tits are here though. The Blackbirds are singing like there’s no tomorrow in the evenings which is wonderful.

They are all going mad for the fat, I’ve never seen the Sparrows go for fat balls but they are permanently on them, likewise they are trying to get the peanuts out of the feeder, where I thought their beaks aren’t the right shape for such feeding.  Edith has also noticed less birds this year, and she’s on the other side of the Lungau.  Could it just be that they knew the bad winter was coming and all flew further afield?  I’ve a great respect for the instinct of any aninmal over humans!

I’ve also noticed one of the Great Tits has a white streak on the back of its head, like a coal tit, but its feathers are blue and yellow, most odd, I’m trying to get a picture of it!

The birds are also feeding far more in the evenings, where as usually its the mornings.  I suppose I’ll go on putting stuff out but tail it off towards the end of the month. Still, they’ll all soon be nesting if not already, and then they’ll disappear to the mountains in May – or maybe not!


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Early birds

Not seen him this winter either

I’m writing on March 25th, although this blog will go out later. I can’t believe it, and we’ve just had our first thunderstorm of the year.  Even knocked the power out briefly!  This warm weather makes it so easy to get to think that it’ll be warm and sunny all spring, now its dark and gloomy and raining, but the garden needs it. I’m not going to be caught out this year planting stuff too early! This is our sixth spring here and I’ve never seen the like!

Also amazing, yesterday I  just saw a family of  Alpine Martins flitting around the eaves of the house, one was sat in a nest right up in the eaves, I hope I didn’t scare them off, it would be great to have some here.  But so early,  the swifts and swallows don’t usually get here until late May, early June. I’ve given the garden birds all the tail ends of the winter’s fat balls out of the nets on the table, they’re going nuts about them.  I’ve also  had to stock up of bird food as the shops now are stocking barbecue stuff, and I’ll need reserves for another month or two yet!

Does this all have any link to the ash in the atmosphere or the sun spots?  Thing is we’ll never really know, I just think its more of this wacky weather which started last spring!

I did my second office in the new job and am beginning to see a rhythm to the week and how I will fill the hours. There was ample evidence of a dog there – when I asked the boss, she said it’s an afghan puppy, maybe I need to go a bit earlier next time to see it!  Still, if I do the offices twice a week,-especially with the dog hair, I will get my hours. I just need one more day filled! And compared to the Burg, I have FOUR hoovers, and ones a Dyson!!!!!!!!