Friday, 7 July 2017

WOODLAND and BEYOND


We have been feeding the birds every winter, from October through to the end of April, for some years now. This year we made the decision to feed them throughout the summer months too with one exception, no peanuts. We feed them on a small amount of softened cous-cous, prepared by pouring hot water over the grain and leaving it to absorb, swell and cool, until cold.


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Our local woodland



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Our four footed neighbours

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A fledgling, speckled like a thrush.

We’ve enjoyed watching the parent birds feeding their young and the odd looking fledglings, who are very different in looks to the adults. 
One bird, who feeds on the windowsill, looks like a dark thrush and yet the parent looks like a  blackbird complete with a yellow beak.
Is this a young blackbird, I wonder, or is it something different, a cuckoo perhaps ? 
Is there an ornithologist or a twitcher reading this blog who could help ?


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Same fellow beak wide open expecting food.

This summer we have seen more birds than previous years and noticed a lot of different varieties too. Some that we have been able to identify and others that we were unable to put a name to.
I think that the rising temperatures and change of climate may very well have attracted a wider range of species to Ireland.


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Same handsome fledgling

One photograph that I have never taken is an image of Mrs H feeding and conversing with her feathered friends as I would never disturb those private moments when she communes with nature.

How do you commune with nature ?





28 comments:

  1. I live on the outskirts of a woodland so nature is bang on the doorstep. Nuthatches, jays, finches, goldcrests, green yaffers and great spotted and lesser spotted woodpeckers - we're covered on the bird front. We also have a healthy badger population, foxes and the deer who discovered my vegetable plot some years back (they LOVE broadbeans). It was that coupled with the rabbits and hares which made me realise time was up on that one. :)

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    1. I presume planing just for the hares and rabbits is out of the question ... Yes I thought so :-)

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  2. You have some breathtaking nature Mel!!! Do you feel that your weather pattern has changed?

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    1. Yes, I have seen a change in the weather pattern as subtle as it is April was always wet and cold and now we can be hotter in April for ten days or so than in May.

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    2. We have much more rain too.

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    3. Am not certain that we have any more rain than usual, for we are a wet country.

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  3. Such beautiful woodland, nothing like being at peace with nature and lovely animals. Warm greetings!

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    1. It is very easy over here to be at peace with the surroundings. In fact when the financial downturn came a few years ago, I remember thinking well no matter what happens all of this beauty will still surround us.

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  4. Why cous cous? I feed the birds (mainly sparrows, finches and non-ground-feeding birds) all winter and particularly with added fat in the spring to encourage more lots of eggs. I feed mixed seed and peanuts. The sparrows which nest in my roof often produce at least three lots of fledglings.

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    1. Hello Graham you ask " Why cous cous ?"
      Well we do as you do during the winter and then arrives the time of the year when none is available and so cous cous is the alternative and birds love it too. In fact if it is a bit late in being put out they come and tap at the windows to remind us that they want to feed.

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  5. Wonderful pictures, Melvyn, as always. In my first apartment I had a rather large balcony. A couple of blackbirds took residence there and had 4 little ones, two years in a row. I enjoyed watching them grow from squeeking , ugly lumps to bold, feather balls, sitting on the rack looking out towards the edge of the world. On one of those occasions the wind was very heavy and their reluctance was severe, but woops, there they went, joining the nervous parents and then gone. I communicate by talking, I talk to everything from spiders to deer. We have lots of everything right in our backyard but I can't take pictures like yours. I have to get myself a camera.....

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    1. Your reminiscence of the blackbird family, brings to mind many of the sights that we enjoy when the Swallows arrive and build in the studios porch roof, sometimes they have three lots of hatchings during their times with us.
      A good camera is a worthy expense it is a pleasure and art form all of its own -So go for it Solveig !

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  6. Beautiful countryside Heron. We've had to move our bird feeder out of sight; Rick loves to bark at the birds!

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    1. Thank you Sue; well our Toby doesn't bark at the birds but he does enjoy their food when he gets the chance.

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  7. Poor Mrs Blackbird...can't have a bit of fun without some hairy aul' fella following her around taking pictures. No privacy nowhere. R

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    1. Hello Ita ! Is your comment based on personal experience or wishful thinking :-) , :-) ?

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  8. We used to love to feed the birds when we lived in the country in Connecticut. Now we don't have a huge variety along the shore here, plus we've got these two cats that would just LOVE for us to invite some birds onto the terrace.

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    1. The raw nature of cats with birds can cause heartbreak at times. I have seen it here too.
      Thank you for commenting.

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  9. Annie Maclean said
    Dear Mel,
    We vote cuckoo ....
    Love your blog. Love you.
    How do we commune with nature? By living the dream as recluses + cats.
    A XX G XX ��XX �� XX

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    1. What a wonderful comment - thank you.

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  10. Hi Mel - I'm afraid I've no idea ... but I think it's wonderful you're feeding the birds cous-cous - love it myself ... I did try and discourage someone to not feed a seagull at their home yesterday - whether I succeeded or not is another matter - they are dreadful. I did feed birds at my other home in winter when it's freezing ... love the woodland and the photos - cheers Hilary

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    1. I appreciate your condemnation of feeding seagulls and if people did not feed them, then perhaps over time their numbers would reduce. Seagulls are the scavengers of the coastline, they visit every available source from litter bins to rubbish dumps and in the towns and cities it is of course the pigeons who are the problem.
      Perhaps the main problem is people...

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  11. I commune by sitting quietly in the garden. I shall not be able to do this when I move shortly and I shall miss it.

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    1. Perhaps there is a park nearby which you could visit Pat and do your communing there ?
      Thank you for the comment.

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  12. No matter where you live, you can always appreciate the beauty of birds. When you have regular visitors you realise that they have their own characters. We obviously have a lot of marine type birds but have two particular ducks who turn up every day without fail for their daily titbits and they coming knocking if Pete is not there xxxx

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    1. They are very clever creatures at working out who gives them the best attention ;-)

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  13. Awesome images, friend H. I had a chickadee friend for a couple of years, who would come and eat from my hand, when called him. Also befriended a squirrel like that ... Winters are harsh in AB ... got to stick together ... I gave them food, they gave me joy ... smiles. Love, cat.

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  14. Nature is wonderful Cat, thanks for the comment.

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