Friday, 14 March 2014

Ad a great morning

Friday 14 March
A foggy start soon lifted and then beautiful sunshine. So prime conditions for some emerging Adders. Not too much to say other than saw eight in all, mostly females and pre slough, silvery sides, so in a couple of weeks they will look even better. Here some pics.......

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Bramblings give it up

After lots of shots through the kitchen window (never clean) and much slithering about (too far away) and poking round corners (too obvious and they flew off) I finally caught up with our garden Bramblings this evening. We have five birds visiting the garden at the moment, one a cracking male, not in full breeding plumage but give him a few more weeks and I reckon he will get even blacker. They mostly visit early morning to feed when the feeders are in the dark and then visit on and off during the day.

another from behind trying to resemble a Wryneck ! really fantastic patterning
 with a couple of cousins - no ? ok full species difference Chaffinches 

I love 'em !

At Last.....

First Siskin of the year
While the garden has been filled with birds this year there has been a noticeable lack of Siskins, which were present continually through Jan, Feb and March last year. So this morning was a great  surprise as a Siskin paid us a visit - lets hope he stays for a bit and brings his friends !

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

A Garden Hour

Before Work...
A quick hour in the garden was really good fun on a nice sunny morning. It started with some stupidity in the pop up hide as once I was properly installed something went ping and all the birds flew off as the hide almost deflated ! Some hasty improvisations and I was up ( rather in ) and sitting again - less time available now.

First bird in was quite a surprise, a Nuthatch, and before I had time to sort the camera's settings. A good photographer would have done this before getting in the hide of course. My pics then were a bit over exposed - still it's a Nuthatch and although I was ready after this, it never re appeared at the nuts, despite calling all the time.
Then after about ten minutes the usual suspects started to arrive... Woodpigeons first and despite the use of a No Wheat Mix to try and keep them at bay a bit, they found the sunflower hearts feeder. They really do dominate and it was hard not to shout at them from my cover so the smaller birds could get a look in. Luckily they quickly decided to feed on the ground and keep the feeders open to others.
 Once again close up views allow the conundrum of the irregular iris - why oh why do they ( and Oystercatchers, and Black Woodpeckers ) have this ? Hey Ho   .... an unanswered enigma
Then came the Goldfinches, never an underestimated bird. They do love Niger seed and are really quite fearless

In recent years CJ WildBirdfoods have developed the Niger seed feeder so it is more efficient. Gone are the small slits which cost the birds too much time and effort to access the seed, and now are the larger port feeders, and I must say a great success in our Stanhoe garden. These feeders with a smaller access area than general seed mix also allow for better cleaning, overall excellent ( of cousre available from The One Stop Nature Shop ! ) 
 Hmmm... thinking about it
 Getting stuck in...
Great birds so worth a couple more portraits.....
 Almost unbelievable colours for a UK bird
Then of course no garden would be without one.....
Greenfinches are a bit uncommon at times here at Stanhoe but luckily today a few came in to feed.
 and the final entry before unveiling myself from the hide was a Collared Dove
all in all a very pleasant hour, pity the Bramblings didn't appear which is what I was really after, still there's always tomorrow......