So where's the snow?

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


Bird Famine


Not only has the local bird population been decimated by a certain puppy picking off the Greenfinches, all this winter there’s been very few birds in the garden. The Bullfinches never came back, and there’s only a few tits, Great, blue and crested, and the field sparrows. I think the mice ate more sunflower seeds in the autumn. And the cause? Well maybe the warm winter, but more likely, all the trees that were around Paggy’s back garden have been felled, destroying the habitat. I don’t suppose the birds will come back with no motorway from his pace to mine. Such a shame. But as I write, the birds are starting to sing, maybe we’ll have some new ones in spring!


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How to feel guilty!


Dave and I had the bright idea of cutting down our very purple Berberis bush as it’s right in the middle of my two Elderberry bushes which I want to grow for jam and wine making. So we hacked away, then Dave said, darn, there’s a bird in here. We looked and what was right in the middle but the nest of a fly-catcher, and she stayed put, glaring at us as we realized the blunder. We guiltily filled the trailer and left the pair in peace. So now we have to wait a few weeks until the eggs are hatched -both birds are taking turns sitting. And I’ll have the worry about is it too hot for the chicks now in this sunny corner and when we have downpours.  I’ll be buying meal worms for them next (if we could here!).


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A flock of Siskins

P1250541Going along with this wacky winter has been the changes in our bird population. Its been mostly the sparrows so far and a few tits. But in the last few days, we’ve got new arrivals.


I’ve never seen a flock of Siskins before, and here they are. They sit shouting in the bushes and are tucking into the hemp seed and peanuts – which I’ve taken to putting a few loose on the table.


The sparrow numbers are down but they are sharing!


The Longtailed tits have popped in and the usual mixture of Great, Marsh, Blue and Crested tits are mucking in. The Field fares seem to have moved on too. What next a flock of Wrynecks??????P1250560

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Them Ducks!


It’s the middle of November and the birds are returning t0 the garden. We’ve had a couple of light falls of snow that have melted.There’s been a pair of Jays at the table for several weeks, extremely shy. I saw the Nutcrackers yesterday too, one with a noisy Juvenile, shouting in one of the trees. The Tits have been around to. But mostly the sparrows have arrived. And what a summer they must have had. From a small group, I think there must be about 30 in the noisy, ever arguing family. Heavens knows what it will cost to feed the gang this winter!



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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Blackbird in the bath

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Taken in 2008 in England, wish I’d taken more!