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Carers UK Forum • Birds in the garden - Page 21
Page 21 of 56

Re: Birds in the garden

Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:46 pm
by Scally
Yes, I wouldn't drive 300 miles to see a rare migrant for example, but I would visit Slimbridge if I were down that way. Anyway birds are everywhere, if you keep your eyes and ears open, and one persons everyday bird (like maybe my Goosanders today) would be a very rare and special sighting for someone down south. There are around 16,000 pairs overwintering, but mainly in the North, as they are really an Arctic bird.

Re: Birds in the garden

Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:43 pm
by Sajehar
So let me get this straight. A Twitcher is a fundamentalist bird watcher?
Quite frankly, I’d be grateful to see a sparrow sparrow.
All those years I thought I was seeing sparrows, and they’re dunnocks instead. Actually, I like the word dunnock which, according to my Oxford Book of Birds, is a hedge sparrow.

Can you spot the lesser spotted dunnock?… Master of disguise. Yet he/she is still glaring at me. What is it with birds and glaring?


Now can you lot settle an argument between me and my mum. She says the following is a rook, and I say it’s a raven. There’s a fiver bet riding on this. Its head shape makes it a raven according to my Oxford book.
Rubbish according to mum. It’s got white under its throat; that makes it a rook. Trick of the light say’s I. Who’s right?

Re: Birds in the garden

Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:26 pm
by crocus
Not entirely sure what it is sajehar, but I dont think its a raven. Ravens are GIANORMOUS - 2ft from beak to tail and, unless you have whopping big aerials in your parts, I think that bird isnt quite that big. I suspect that its a crow, which is similar in shape to a raven, but smaller. The beak is the usual giveaway in rooks - they have a white patch of skin just where the beak meets the face, but the angle of your photo means that you cant see where it would be.

Re: Birds in the garden

Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:46 pm
by Scally
Its a rook. Look at the beak! Nice capture..

This is a raven: they are huge: if one landed on your roof or TV aerial you would know about it.

Re: Birds in the garden

Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:11 pm
by Sajehar
Strictly speaking I should've posted that on David C's 'Birds not in the Garden.' It's from next door's chimney, but was taken from my garden.
The aerial is 1,200mm according to my neighbour's spec sheet; I checked! How sad is that. That makes the aerial about 4 ft.
Maybe that bird is two foot from beak to tail.
But look at it's tail. According to my Oxford Book of Birds crows have fan shaped tails, this one has a pointed one like a raven. Plus ravens, "are more or less confined as residents to the west and north of Britain..." We live in the North West!

I'm stretching points here, aren't I? Just because I want it to be a raven... Edgar Alan Poe and all that.
I bet mum's right after all; it's just a rook. Going by my past record, I wouldn't be at all surprised to find out it's a male blackbird.

Still, I know what this is.

It's a flying dolphin (supposed to be a humming bird.) And yes, I know it's not a real bird, but at least it is in my garden.

Pooh buggers! There was me thinking I'd captured a raven.

Maybe it's a crook! A cross between a crow and rook? Nah....

Re: Birds in the garden

Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:33 pm
by Sajehar
Ye Gods, Scally, Your raven looks like something from that puppet film, The Dark Crystal.
Those birdy baddies were seriously scary; and I was in my 20's when I saw the film; they gave me nightmares!

I now hope it is a rook; I don't want those ravens round me.

I'm definitely buying your RSPCA book. My Oxford one was illustrated by someone who wanted British birdies to look a lot more exotic than they are. The water colour illustrations are gorgeous, but a wee bit exaggerated. The page on starlings defies belief.
Whatever this illustrator was on, I want some. Or, at least, for my mum!

Re: Birds in the garden

Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:21 am
by Scally
There is no special kudos about bird watching, no 'pecking order' or expertise as it were. quite the opposite, many people regard it as weird. I have made lots of mistakes identifying birds in the past, I just try to get better as I go along, and its really good fun learning how to identify slightly less common-or-garden birds like siskins, linnets and dunnocks. My guess is that less than 1% of the population can identify the difference between a rook and a crow, or a siskin and a greenfinch, and to me, that's sad, but unsurprising, because I still make some basic errors myself.

Re: Birds in the garden

Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:32 am
by diana
think might be crow as i think? bigger than rook. does it make ghastly racket?

Re: Birds in the garden

Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:01 am
by Sajehar
Hi Diana,

It most certainly does, a screechy CAW, CAW sound. I'll see if I can get a better photo, taken on a tripod this time. That ariel seems to be it's favourite perch, especially in the afternoon.
I didn't know female blackbirds were brown either; I'm a city girl too. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!
However, I'm enjoying finding this stuff out. I'm so pleased to find out I have dunnocks in my garden; never even heard of them before this thread. Now I can tell the difference straight off. Their beaks are indeed very different to normal sparrows; never even bothered looking at beaks before.

Scally, mum said about your ravens, "Now that's a raven! See the difference?"
She gloated like mad. I'm to buy her a box of Dairy Milk with her winnings when I next go shopping. Hopefully,, she'll even eat some of them.

Re: Birds in the garden

Posted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:17 am
by Scally
Heres a few of todays visitors.Being lazy I take these pics from my office chair straight through the double glazed patio doors: no hide, just always keep the camera handy: