Nest Boxes

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I wrote a few weeks ago about cleaning the bird boxes ahead of this years nesting season, well it looks like I wasn’t a moment too soon as blue tits are checking out the sparrow box (above).

This particular box has been the most successful one in our garden since we’ve had it. As you can probably see it is actually three boxes together, the individual holes lead to separate nest boxes. It’s designed to attract house sparrows, who are communal nesters, but it’s never had a sparrow nest in it. Blue tits and great tits seem to enjoy it, but the sparrows seem to prefer the hedge.

Garden Birdlist 2016

Chiff-Chaff

Regular readers will know that I keep an annual garden bird list. The rule is simple to be on the list I must have seen the bird in, or from the garden for it to qualify.

The total so far this year is 28 species. Not a big number I know, but not bad for an urban back garden. The overall number of species, across all the years I’ve been doing this is 36.

I might get a couple more before New Year, but it feels unlikely. There are plenty of species a stones throw away, but they don’t make the rule.

Anyway here’s this years list:

  1. Black-Headed Gull
  2. Blackbird
  3. Blackcap
  4. Blue tit
  5. Buzzard
  6. Carrion Crow
  7. Chaffinch
  8. Chiff -Chaff
  9. Coal tit
  10. Collared Dove
  11. Dunnock
  12. Goldfinch 
  13. Great tit
  14. Grey Heron
  15. Herring gull
  16. House sparrow
  17. Jackdaw
  18. Jay
  19. Long-tailed tit
  20. Magpie
  21. Red kite
  22. Robin
  23. Song thrush
  24. Sparrowhawk
  25. Starling
  26. Swift
  27. Wood pigeon
  28. Wren

Buzzards Overhead

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I was out at a meeting for a proportion of yesterday, when I came back I was sitting at my desk catching up on some emails, when I heard the distinctive call of a buzzard outside. I grabbed my camera and stepped outside.

There were two individuals and they seem to be having a lot of fun soaring and diving in the sky. I managed to capture a few images.

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Quick Links 10th May 2016

Each week I’ll try and post quick links to things that I’ve seen, read or just sparked my interest in the previous week. Mostly gardening, cooking and environmental stuff but not always.

Malta should consider moratorium on turtle dove hunting, says EU [The Guardian]

Idea of renewables powering UK is an ‘appalling delusion’ – David MacKay [The Guardian]

Climate change is corroding our values, says Naomi Klein [The Guardian]

Tory MPs tell Cameron to accept steep cuts needed for UK’s fifth carbon budget [The Guardian]

David Attenborough at 90: a TV legend’s top 10 moments [The Guardian]

The Week in Wildlife – In Pictures [The Guardian]

From wallpapers to book covers: illustrating the bird and the bees – in pictures [The Guardian]

Bird Friday

I was sitting at my desk this afternoon, looking out across the garden. We’d had a funny morning weather wise, going from bright and sunny to sleet, hailstones and squally rain. By now the sun was back and the birds active, in particular a female blackbird, picking up sticks and leaves and other things and taking them into our honeysuckle bush. I think she’s nest building as there was quite a bit of tooing and froing collecting supplies, then back into the honeysuckle, which was rustling with her presence.

The blackcaps were back again too, again two male birds, so they’re obviously sticking around.

My afternoon dog walk was also full of birds. There was lots of bird song, and another buzzard sighting. This time the buzzard was soaring overhead, riding the air currents. I manage to snap a few photos on my phone.

Finally a little robin paid us an up close visit.