Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Yard Birds

As I cut the grass today I thought about the birds that have been seen in, over and around the garden during the winter. This is what is known across the water as a Yard Birds List.
  1. Blackbird - a female spends each day hanging around under the feeders, waiting for crumbs to fall - a male turns up occasionally
  2. Wood Pigeons - always some in the trees behind the garden, or waddling around the lawn
  3. Blue Tits - frequent visitors to the feeders every day
  4. Coal Tit - male is a regular-as-clockwork visitor to the crushed peanuts; female visits occasionally
  5. Great Tits - two pairs seem to visit
  6. Long-Tailed Tits - a small flock turns up on the fat/peanut butter balls late each afternoon
  7. Robin - fights a constant battle to get onto the tit feeders - also has its own mealworm supply
  8. Dunnock - occasionally loafs around under the mealworm feeder
  9. Wren - snuffles around in the undergrowth
  10. Mistle Thrushes - overfly occasionally
  11. Magpie - noisily rules the roost in the trees, and struts around the lawn
  12. Jays - early morning visitors, in twos and threes
  13. Collared Doves - few this year, but will probably return in time to coo endlesly through the spring
  14. Greenfinches - numbers recently increased - keep to the front garden for some reason
  15. Chaffinches - also increased in the last fortnight - mostly keep to the trees
  16. Goldcrest - occasional visitor high in the trees
  17. Carrion Crow - frequently in trees
  18. Jackdaws - rarely in the garden, but often fly over from the cliff roost
  19. Great Spotted Woodpeckers - frequently fly over, but not yet enticed in
  20. Green Woodpeckers - occasionally we hear the yaffle
  21. Tawny Owls - at least three separate birds calling at the moment
  22. Kestrels - occasionally fly over
  23. Sparrowhawks - -"-
  24. Herring Gulls - noisily keeping to the highest roofs nearby
  25. Black-Headed Gulls - fly in from roosting on the sea every day, to feed on the fields
  26. Starlings - infrequently fly over
  27. Curlew - can sometimes be heard if the wind is from the sea
  28. Pheasant - occasional calls from behind the garden fence
No Song Thrushes have been seen or heard this winter, although they are usually regular here; also no House Sparrows nearby. No Bullfinches have been seen for a couple of years.

No warblers have overwintered, although both Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were with us last year. I expect their calls soon, given the weather, and swallows may arrive early.

Thanks to the NW Nature Nut for the peanut butter recipe.

By the way, I saw The Yardbirds in Deal last year, and although they had some of the original members, Clapton, Beck and Page failed to turn up.


Mary said...

How strange to read a list of birds that leaves me thinking "what do those look like?" You seem to get a great variety, even if I don't know any of them :-) Can I ship you a case of House Sparrows???

Sandpiper said...

That's a great list! I don't seem to have as many birds this year as I have had in past years. Don't know why.

NW Nature Nut said...

I can't take credit for that recipe. That was Julie Zickefoose. You can get to her blog from mine. If you haven't seen it, you might be the only person on the planet who hasn't! She writes a great blog. Glad you are getting lots of yard birds. What do you call them across the pond? :)

Kingsdowner said...

Mary, please send the sparrows in exchange for your grey squirrels.

Linda, they seem to go up and down, but we've had more this year, probably because we've fed them better.

NW, in England one is accustomed to call them 'gardens'.

NW Nature Nut said...

Okay, okay...I'm going to keep a "garden bird list" now. ;)

Sandpiper said...

Thanks you. We feed ours a lot of good quality seed, but maybe we need to change the brand again. Finicky, just like my cats? ;-)

me and my camera said...

What a lengthy and fascinating sounding list! Even your most common bird resident would be an intriguing sighting I'm sure for most of the species on your list are unknown to me.

Tony Morris said...

No Goldfinches? or did you just miss this one. A good list Steve, much the same here, did you see Bens got a Firecrest on his garden list. He's far too young to be gripping us off already!

Kingsdowner said...

I can't recall seeing or hearing Goldfinches here this winter, although there have been plenty nearby. And no Firecrest in the garden, although there has been at least one a few gardens down.