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Offline Roger Parsons  
#61 Posted : 30 April 2019 14:51:15(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Location: Lincolnshire

Originally Posted by: Devonian Go to Quoted Post


Heard two cuckoos yesterday - first time I've heard more than one for many years. I'd say plenty of chiff chaffs, blackcaps, and willow warblers this year but low numbers of swallow and house martin.



Heard my first cuckoo of the year today in the south of the county, Deepings.


Roger

RogerP
West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire
No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".
Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)
Offline Roger Parsons  
#62 Posted : 01 May 2019 05:02:43(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Originally Posted by: Roger Parsons Go to Quoted Post


For those of you who love Barn Owls - the Len Pick Trust Owl Project is up and running again this year.
You can watch the parenting skills of this year's pair - they are in the box as I write - and the hope is we will see a first egg soon.
There are useful notes to explain what is going on as the story develops. I find it hypnotic and keep it running on my backup pc.
http://www.lenpicktrust.org.uk/owl-project/4593449091


Why not become an addict?
Roger



Egg number 2 seen last night, 30th. Roger

RogerP
West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire
No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".
Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)
Offline Northern Sky  
#63 Posted : 02 May 2019 22:04:49(UTC)
Northern Sky

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Not sure if anyone else has noticed this but near me there seems to be an extraordinary number of Blackbirds about at the moment? I wonder if this is the result of the warm early Spring? 


Unfortunately it's in sharp contrast to the number of Thrushes which are now a very rare sight (and sound) for me.


 

Offline Roger Parsons  
#64 Posted : 03 May 2019 04:44:49(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Originally Posted by: Northern Sky Go to Quoted Post


Not sure if anyone else has noticed this but near me there seems to be an extraordinary number of Blackbirds about at the moment? I wonder if this is the result of the warm early Spring? 


Unfortunately it's in sharp contrast to the number of Thrushes which are now a very rare sight (and sound) for me.



Not sure NS, seems normal blackbird numbers here but I'll keep an eye on it. We have mistle thrushes nesting in a field out the back. There are 6 sheep there, resting tups, that have invented their own game of "football" - chasing a hunting thrush as a team. Very entertaining to watch. It is clearly a game. Never seen that before, tho they do have a laddish game where they all pick on one of their number for a chase - and that usually ends in a butting match.


Roger

Edited by user 03 May 2019 07:13:48(UTC)  | Reason: typo

RogerP
West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire
No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".
Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)
Offline Devonian  
#65 Posted : 03 May 2019 06:37:14(UTC)
Devonian

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Originally Posted by: Roger Parsons Go to Quoted Post


 


Not sure NS, seems normal blackbird numbers here but I'll keep an eye on it. We have mistle thrushes nesting in a field out the back. There are 6 sheep there, resting tups, that have invented their own game of "football" - chasing a hunting thrushes as a team. Very entertaining to watch. It is clearly a game. Never seen that before, tho they do have a laddish game where they all pick on one of their number for a chase - and that usually ends in a butting match.


Roger



Odd things, sheep...


Anyway, what's your feeling about swallow numbers where you are/or this year in general? I think, with some migration time still to go, numbers are lower, the same with house martins. I read of bad weather in Iberia and that dust storm as being, perhaps, involved.

"In a 52-48 referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way"
Nigel Farage, Daily Mirror, 16/5/2016
"I think the mistake the government made - led by Theresa May - from the start was to try and claim that a country that had voted 17 million to leave the EU, 16 million to stay, wanted a 100% Brexit"
Osborne, 22/12/18.
Offline Roger Parsons  
#66 Posted : 03 May 2019 06:46:48(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Location: Lincolnshire

Originally Posted by: Devonian Go to Quoted Post


Odd things, sheep...


Anyway, what's your feeling about swallow numbers where you are/or this year in general? I think, with some migration time still to go, numbers are lower, the same with house martins. I read of bad weather in Iberia and that dust storm as being, perhaps, involved.


Factors affecting Swallow numbers by RSPB.


https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/swallow/population-trends/


I've noticed very few hirundines this year, Dev, but I intend spending next week having a good look on a selection of reserves and rivers.


Roger


p.s. the oddest thing I have noticed about these tups is that they like to use anthills as pillows. Once these have been grazed short I often note individual sheep reclining on them and chewing the cud, like the Emperor Nero at a feast. First noticed it last year, but they are at it again. R.

Edited by user 03 May 2019 07:10:50(UTC)  | Reason: addition + typo

RogerP
West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire
No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".
Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)
Offline Roger Parsons  
#67 Posted : 03 May 2019 06:52:40(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Originally Posted by: Roger Parsons Go to Quoted Post


Egg number 2 seen last night, 30th. Roger



3rd egg laid last night.


http://www.lenpicktrust.org.uk/owl-project/4593449091


Roger


 


 

RogerP
West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire
No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".
Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)
Offline Northern Sky  
#68 Posted : 03 May 2019 08:29:28(UTC)
Northern Sky

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Joined: 16/08/2010(UTC)
Posts: 3,773
Location: Leeds W Yorks

Originally Posted by: Roger Parsons Go to Quoted Post


 


Not sure NS, seems normal blackbird numbers here but I'll keep an eye on it. We have mistle thrushes nesting in a field out the back. There are 6 sheep there, resting tups, that have invented their own game of "football" - chasing a hunting thrush as a team. Very entertaining to watch. It is clearly a game. Never seen that before, tho they do have a laddish game where they all pick on one of their number for a chase - and that usually ends in a butting match.


Roger



Much better than watching the telly Roger! Good to hear you have nesting Thrushes, I really miss seeing and hearing them. Maybe we've just had a localised Blackbird surge! There does seem to be a large number of youngsters zooming in and out of the hedges and of course they are filling the trees with song, even last night when it was almost dark and I was on torchlit slug patrol. 

Offline Roger Parsons  
#69 Posted : 03 May 2019 16:08:56(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Location: Lincolnshire

Originally Posted by: Roger Parsons Go to Quoted Post


Managed to grab a screen shot at 17.03hrs. Enjoy! Roger


 


SHOW EXTERNAL IMAGES

RogerP
West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire
No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".
Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)
Offline Bertwhistle  
#70 Posted : 03 May 2019 18:08:54(UTC)
Bertwhistle

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Location: Central Southern England

Originally Posted by: Roger Parsons Go to Quoted Post


 


3rd egg laid last night.


http://www.lenpicktrust.org.uk/owl-project/4593449091


Roger


 


 



This is just brilliant to watch- even if the barnie is just breathing, up and down, up and down; I've instructions from no.4 (the birdwatcher of the offspring) to leave it on screen and call him when it gets duskier. So-see you.

Bertie, Itchen Valley.
Remember Finlake!
Offline Roger Parsons  
#71 Posted : 03 May 2019 19:18:01(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Originally Posted by: Bertwhistle Go to Quoted Post


This is just brilliant to watch- even if the barnie is just breathing, up and down, up and down; I've instructions from no.4 (the birdwatcher of the offspring) to leave it on screen and call him when it gets duskier. So-see you.



Glad you are enjoying it, Bert.


You will see every aspect of Barn Owl life in the nest - the male's constant nocturnal work to fetch prey for the sitting female - the frequent mating as a reward for bringing food - the mutual grooming, catching flies and searching the pellets for grubs. Have speakers on to hear the sounds they make. The microphones are good. Last year I could even hear sheep below. I even heard music from a local wedding next door!


You should be able to identify the prey species brought in and once the eggs [hopefully] hatch you will see what the young get up to. Bear in mind the number of young is part of the survival strategy. Chick 3 will either make it or become food! Depends of the weather and food supply.


Roger

Edited by user 03 May 2019 19:31:41(UTC)  | Reason: addition

RogerP
West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire
No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".
Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)
Offline LeedsLad123  
#72 Posted : 04 May 2019 13:40:56(UTC)
LeedsLad123

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Over the past few days my garden has been swamped by rooks. They’re very common in the area but usually never visit the garden. All it took was one rook to land and now they’re all doing it. The word must have got around!

Speaking of swallows and swifts, not seen or heard a single one this year which isn’t good. frown We had our first in April last year. 


 


We have starlings and house sparrows nesting under our tiles and in brick vents. Locally they seem to be doing really well thanks to plenty of nesting sites.

Edited by user 04 May 2019 13:43:59(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Whitkirk, Leeds - 85m ASL.
Offline Bertwhistle  
#73 Posted : 06 May 2019 06:33:32(UTC)
Bertwhistle

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Joined: 20/11/2015(UTC)
Posts: 5,673
Location: Central Southern England

Swallows and house martins plentiful over the Dun stream at West Dean, Wilts (pictured in my avatar). They were dashing across the water on Easter Saturday, catching insects in the warm air, and grabbing little beakfuls of mud for nesting. Thus far (and may it always be so) they are there every year, and, to punctuate a long cycle ride, I sit for quite a while on the bench from which this view was taken, watching their acrobatics.

Bertie, Itchen Valley.
Remember Finlake!
Offline DEW  
#74 Posted : 10 May 2019 06:36:55(UTC)
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Still a lot of snow cover in the high Arctic, only now showing signs of melting  https://www.natice.noaa.gov/pub/ims/ims_gif/DATA/cursnow_asiaeurope.gif


Is this getting a bit late for the geese and swans that migrate there?

It was most foule weather ... and so we went into an alehouse - Samuel Pepys
Offline Devonian  
#75 Posted : 10 May 2019 21:39:59(UTC)
Devonian

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Originally Posted by: DEW Go to Quoted Post


Still a lot of snow cover in the high Arctic, only now showing signs of melting  https://www.natice.noaa.gov/pub/ims/ims_gif/DATA/cursnow_asiaeurope.gif


Is this getting a bit late for the geese and swans that migrate there?



Looks about normal to me.

"In a 52-48 referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way"
Nigel Farage, Daily Mirror, 16/5/2016
"I think the mistake the government made - led by Theresa May - from the start was to try and claim that a country that had voted 17 million to leave the EU, 16 million to stay, wanted a 100% Brexit"
Osborne, 22/12/18.
Offline lanky  
#76 Posted : 13 May 2019 18:25:21(UTC)
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Being predominantly a townie I know next to nothing about identifying birds (except for robins, blackbirds, thrushes and pigeons etc.)


When I was out in Richmond Park last week I saw a bird I just didn't recognise at all but I made a note of its beak colour, leg colour and plumage description


When at home I came across this site


https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/identify-a-bird/


and typed in my observations


Really good - came up with what I think was the right answer straight away


It was a Spotted Crake


(not even heard of that one before !)


 

Martin
Richmond, Surrey
Online Saint Snow  
#77 Posted : 18 May 2019 17:45:18(UTC)
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Seen my first swallows of the year today - although I've not really been looking. 


Pretty sure 'my' blackbird chicks successfully fledged. Seen a couple of young blackbirds in the vicinity round the garden.


 

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"I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life."

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Offline Roger Parsons  
#78 Posted : 18 May 2019 19:55:13(UTC)
Roger Parsons

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Originally Posted by: Saint Snow Go to Quoted Post


Seen my first swallows of the year today - although I've not really been looking. 


Pretty sure 'my' blackbird chicks successfully fledged. Seen a couple of young blackbirds in the vicinity round the garden.


 


Lots of "hirundines" about today, Saint - sitting on phone/electricity lines and holding territory. A lot of starlings have fledged and we had a magpie attack and predate a fledged chick here yesterday. I've not seen any young blackbirds but I feel sure you are right - it's time.


Roger

RogerP
West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire
No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".
Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)
Offline Caz  
#79 Posted : 19 May 2019 11:01:01(UTC)
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Blackbirds are gathering nesting material from our garden again for the second time this year.  Thankfully they’re building the nest in a conifer next door, rather than in sight of our cat, so I won’t be having kittens when the babies fledge!  

Market Warsop, North Nottinghamshire.
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Offline Roger Parsons  
#80 Posted : 19 May 2019 15:21:07(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Caz Go to Quoted Post


Blackbirds are gathering nesting material from our garden again for the second time this year.  Thankfully they’re building the nest in a conifer next door, rather than in sight of our cat, so I won’t be having kittens when the babies fledge!  



Most of us have done the following, myself included, so this is NOT criticising you, Caz.



  1. Feed the garden birds

  2. Allow them somewhere to nest

  3. Feel bad when a predator eats them

  4. Blame the predator for doing what comes naturally


Where the predator is a domestic pet like a cat, some folks rant about there being too many cats and the harm they do by killing "our" birds.


On the other hand it is a truism that a predator is its prey's best friend and ally, as it is the means to weed out the weak and keep the population fit and in proportion. Populations of wild predators often follow the fluctuations of their prey populations.


Not so pets, but then we have inflated garden populations of birds being stuffed with extra food, so they do need some additional control. Trouble is cats don't know when to stop.


On a positive note, cats also control the numbers of small mammals that scoff your surplus birdfood on the ground. There are more of these than you might expect because you are feeding them so well!


As the nonsense verse goes:


"Big fleas have little fleas upon their backs the bite 'em.


Little fleas have smaller fleas, so on ad infinitum."


Has anyone found a good strategy for deterring cats from murdering birds in the garden?


Roger


 


 


 

RogerP
West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire
No county (Lincolnshire) has better churches and worse houses. The poorer sort of people wash their clothes with hog's dung, and burn dried cow's dung for want of better fuel; whence comes the Lincolnshire proverb: "Where the hogs shite soap and the cows shite fire".
Curiosities of Great Britain (c.1780)
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