Wednesday, 16 January 2019
  269 Replies
  4.2K Visits
Can you name this bird I snapped
With camera phone this morning.

The smallest I've ever seen.
2 years ago
Yeah, this one is around 6 month old now, thankfully he has been well handled and is very content to snuggle in to your neck or sit on your shoulder.

When son got him he wouldn't eat any veg or fruit at all but now eats kale and rocket ok. His main diet in grade 5 hoppers and things that look like mealworms but aren't though, and it's amazing how fast he moves to catch them.

He's in a four foot tank and at the moment which is big enough at least for now,
2 years ago
I have spent most of today so far watching a Song Thrush clean up my fruit bushes of slugs and snails to feed his young in the Conifer, I would say clean up but he has been making a right mess with pulling up leaves looking for food and then a dozen Sparrows seen what he was up to and were curious what he was doing and were cleaning up anything he had left - really good to watch.

Only one of the four nests I can have a look in though, fortunately three are reasonably high up but a daft pair of Blackbirds stuck a nest up in Ivy against the fence, about four feet up in full view and I have a cat.

I had a peep earlier and there were three birds staring at me with beady eyes wanting fed, luckily they were fully grown and looked ready to leave the nest.
2 years ago
Well on my way back in house from feeding my birds I thought I would dead head a couple of plants and tidy a few strawberry plants and just about shite myself when something flew out of a window box with strawberry plants in under kitchen window didn't get to see the bird but there's a nest with 7 eggs they look like Great tit eggs...quickly withdrew
2 years ago
Nice one - don't think I have had anything so exotic as nesting in the two gardens that I have had.

Wood Pigeon, Robin, Blue Tit, Blackbird and Song Thrush are about it but I have found some weird looking nests in the garden so you never know.

Garden full of fledglings at the minute and the cat keeps wanting out so I let him out the front door instead just to be safe.
2 years ago
Have you got a bell on its collar munchy I know they can hold the bell with Thier foot but it does slow them down a bit...I have learned to live with the odd cat in garden after running battles with them for years I suppose,at least they keep rodents down if not else
2 years ago
Have you got a bell on its collar munchy I know they can hold the bell with Thier foot but it does slow them down a bit...I have learned to live with the odd cat in garden after running battles with them for years I suppose,at least they keep rodents down if not else

Yeah pal, got one on his flea collar - the flea collar is shite as always but it doesn't matter as he gets those tablets from the vets but the bell is of great assistance to the birds - he is an old boy however and I laughed the other day as he was laying out sunning himself and a butterfly kept landing on him and he would try to catch it whilst swatting it off - happened at least twenty times, the butterfly lived :)
2 years ago
Lovely sight tonight in the garden. A pair of blue tits back to the nest box after 5 or 6 years away.
We did have 2 very old adopted moggies and one has died and the other is on his last paws and they've been putting the birds off.
I think now they fancy their chances and have set up home again.
And in our town garden for the first time their are goldfinches nesting up in a sycamore. What a beautiful little bird they are and seem to be doing well around here. That flash of yellow is enough to cheer you up on a bad day.
And high up tonight as I was looking up for the buzzards was a red kite. Unbelievable that they have made it right into the town centre now.
Never saw one as a kid and around these parts they are becoming almost common.
2 years ago
There's a story in The Mail claiming swallows still haven't arrived in some areas, I've had them around for three weeks now.

I wonder what they're managing to feed on as the flying insect population seems to have been decimated over recent years. I remember when, during the summer months, you had to wash your car frequently as the windscreen, lights and front number plate would get covered in dead flies. Hardly ever see a dead fly on my car these days.
2 years ago
In Cumbria in and around Bassenthwaite a fortnight ago the swallows had arrived. Not many but a few. There were a lot above Overwater but not many in the fields just yet.
In Bedford town centre we don't get swallows unfortunately but the swifts haven't arrived yet and they are normally here by now.
The swifts are great in the evening. Sitting in the garden with an ale watching them tear about screaming and swooping just above the garden walls or flying high above almost out of sight.
Sometimes stay out until late waiting for the last one to call it a night.
Hopefully they might appear tonight but I've a feeling this colder spell might be holding them back so might be later in the week before they appear here.
2 years ago
I seen my first Swift of the year three days back as I always make a note of the first sighting, there was only one and this was just before dusk.

Must have been on its way further north though as I haven't seen one since.
2 years ago
They arrived around the 17th April, however numbers are much less than normal.
2 years ago
Plenty of Swifts around now which is good to see.

Just discovered nest number six - Starlings this time, making a hell of a racket and shitting all over my bathroom window the little sods.

There is a Great Tit as well hawking around the nesting box, it went inside for a look but haven't seen it for a couple of days.

The neighbour will gan radge, she hates birds and the sounds they make so I am public enemy number one as I attract them by daring to have trees - she hates trees even more because it attracts the 'pests'.

See what I have to put up with - have you ever heard of such a miserable [censored], who doesn't love to see and hear birds and listening to the wind rustling through the trees.

It isn't like it has any impact on her property apart from in her eyes I am attracting what I see as natural beauty and she sees them as vermin.
2 years ago
Up on the fells last week but spent most of my time lower down captivated by the Curlew.
Took a hundred or more photos but they are just so hard to capture. Very nervous and stayed well away. The photo I posted is the best I managed!!
Can't begin to explain how wonderful and moving it is to see and hear them in the high places.
Very few left sadly in the South of England so a real pleasure and privilege to spend some glorious evening in their company.
Better pics of the buzzard between Orthwaite and Longlands who was not at all happy with me being about and flew very close towards me a couple of times.
One of the TV transmitters in the background on 1 photo. Not sure if it's the Sandale one or the Caldbeck one.
Back to the Curlews, I urge any of you on here to get out and hear them if you can. They are really struggling inland and may one day no longer provide their haunting soundtrack to the landscape.
2 years ago
As a kid often used to go down engine lonning down to the river Eden and follow it up to grinsdale Curlew a plenty along with Redshank and Greenshank also lapwings,fields full of them great days used to find nests all over the place of all sorts of birds a little wooded area had Tawney owls there was a post a kestrel used to use to strip its prey used to sit and watch it regularly great days but the curlew was always a big favourite of mine
2 years ago
Lonning. What a great word that is. I'd never heard of it until very recently.
I'd never actually seen or heard a Curlew until I walked over the Buttertubs pass between Swaledale and Wensleydale around 20 years ago. It just stopped me dead in my tracks.
Certainly never seen or heard one in Lincolnshire when I was growing up. My dad said he can remember hearing corncrakes but that's a bird I've never seen or heard.
I was reading just a week or two back that only around 250 pairs of Curlews are left in the whole South of England and there are none left at all in the South East of England.
There was an interesting thread on here a while ago about Chris Packham and I'm, generally speaking, not really in favour of killing birds or animals.
But, I've watched the Curlew a little bit recently and the pair I've been keeping an eye on spends a good amount of time trying to scare away the crows and even a few Ravens.
There are so many crows around the nesting area that you feel that it's a battle they'll struggle to win.
I know that they have numerous threats but just in animal terms the crows, ravens, foxes and badgers all take the eggs and the young.
We have lots of crows, ravens, foxes and badgers and very few Curlew. I think that in a landscape created by man, certainly in the past few hundred years, we have a responsibiltiy to get involved and give the Curlew a hand.
Talking to the farmers back home in Lincolnshire and up in Cumbria there were local crow shoots, for example, from time to time, when numbers got too high.
I think that in specific, targeted sights where Curlew nest and breed we should be helping them out and I think reducing the population of their predators would be the lesser of two evils.
They are disappearing rapidly and we could one day in the not too distant future lose them altogether, which in my eyes, would be an absolute tragedy.
2 years ago
A pair live in that field over the bridge at Cummersdale NCF - fill your boots pal as last time I ventured up there they neigh on dived bombed us the angry sods giving us grief with their menacing beaks.

Hitchcock surely based his film Birds around an encounter with a Curlew.

You might also see an Otter up there and a Yellow Wagtail.
2 years ago
Havnt seen the otters on the caldew this year. Having said that i Havnt walked to work this year either. Used to regularly see them under the 1st bridge into DH, when i was on earlies. Around about 4.45am. My favourite animal, used to set off for work 10 mins early just to watch them fishing & generally having fun.
2 years ago
I seen a otter on the Eden a couple of months back down by engine lonning
2 years ago
Managed to get a few hours in on the fells before the game and on the way down saw this little beauty.
Never seen a red squirrel before I started being up in Cumbria more and what a sight to gladden the heart.
Couldn't get a very good shot of the tail as it was scampering about but really surprised to see it such a light colour - almost cream.
Beautiful little thing.
2 years ago
Was on Grange Fell Borrowdale yesterday and the marsh between Kings How and Grange Fell area was teeming with these Butterflies
Any ideas ?
2 years ago
Possibly small pearl-bordered fritillary?
2 years ago
Possibly small pearl-bordered fritillary?

Nice one fits the description perfectly .
2 years ago
The joys of only having a 10 -18 camera lens with you a zoom in on Red Deer on Grange Fell .
If you can see it you can also make out its regular track just above it to the left.
2 years ago
Finally snapped two of my elusive visitors!
2 years ago
Good to see us being invaded by Painted Ladies this summer .

This one enjoying a bit of Honister sunshine .
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