So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria, God and life, teaching and gardening plus the occasional cow


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This Spring#2

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Last autumn, we had a  lot of trees taken down around our garden, but it took Dave reminding me of this, to understand why there were so few birds feeding on our table all winter! They had lost their shelters and feeding grounds.  But with this cold spell and the winds, I have the most colourful flock feeding for safety on the ground.  I counted 5 Goldfinches this morning, the only trouble is the little swines pull all the sunflower seeds out of the feeder, I’m getting through loads. I have Bullfinches, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Spotted woodpecker, all the tit family,but sadly no squirrels as I think their dreys went with the trees.

I know a lot of shots are still blurred, I’ll soon get the knack with the new camera……..


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Birds seeking refuge!

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Following the last post, we had our day of snowy rain on Maunday Thursday, but it was melting rapidly, and we were cosily in the sitting room wondering why the dog was so fixated out the window. So I looked to, to see lots of birds using our small patch of green to find food.

Mostly Mistle thrushes, there were four,  a Tree creeper, Chaffinch, Greenfinch and the robin. It gave Swingle and I loads of opportunities for ornithology!

 


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Birds again!

Photo of ‘Stripe’ the Great Tit, closest I could get. Maybe its a genetic thing as I’ve noticed that a lot of the Great Tits don’t have a complete black crown. I’ve just realised I’m not going to win birdwatcher of the year, Stripe’s a coal tit -blush, blush,blush!

My Siskin/Serin KNOWS I’m trying to take its photo!

For Josie, I’m not so sure now if this is a Marsh or a Willow tit, and can’t understand why they seem to like it so much here, ok, we’ve plenty of water, but I would have thought it too cold!


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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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Birdwatching mysteries, what’s up?

A surprise visitor in 2009, the resident birds hid for days!

As I’ve said, my pet vultures, usually called sparrows are a great source of interest to me.  Through the past five winters I’ve watched the population grow, and they hang around here most of the year, except for a pause in the summer, no doubt on their holidays up on the Alms.  We have a resident population of Blue tits, Black headed tits and Marsh tits, and the cutest Long tailed tits arrive each winter. However this winter something is up.

Anyone know what this is?

We had the long, late, hot autumn and the birds were definitely late in returning to the garden and the feeder. The main groups didn’t even appear with the first snow but later on.  Even now in late January, we are missing most of the usual birds, one Chaffinch, no Greenfinches, Bramblings, Siskins or even Woodpeckers.   Did the hot autumn break their feeding and migration patterns, or even cause them not to feed up enough for winter?  I cant see why they would stay in the mountains with the amount of snow we’ve got! Our cat population hasn’t increased and I’ve been feeding Sunflower and Hemp seeds, peanuts and a couple of fat ballsbird feed  here is far more restricted than in England. I abandoned the local mixed food as the vultures just chucked it on the ground, hemp seeds are smaller and guzzled! 

What’s happened, is this a Europe wide thing?  Anyone else noticed?