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Birds in the garden - Page 24 - Carers UK Forum

Birds in the garden

Socialise and chat about other areas of your life
553 posts
oh crikey gets more complicated .how do i tell a dunnock from a sparrow?
Easy.......sparrows and dunnocks are small, shades of brown birds who look like sparrows!
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Behaviour is the key: sparrows are cheeky birds that will sit on your lap if there is food on offer, whilst dunnocks are really quite shy and lurk in the bushes. The beaks are different too: sparrows have big beaks for crunching things, dunnocks have tiny thin beaks for eating small insects and seeds. And finally, sparrows have bolder plumage, whilst dunnocks are quite drab. I admit it isn't obvious, but a little study will get you there.
The Siskin close up is a stunner. They are beautifully marked birds. I wonder if I have siskins too in my back garden.

I have recently noticed what at first I thought were chick magpies; basically black, white and sparrow sized. They are the fastest, nippiest, flightiest birds I've ever seen; they never seem to land or stay still for a nano second. I don't think I'll be able to photo them, but I'm going to give it a go.
I looked them up in my Oxford book, and I think they are pied flycatchers.
Great spotting! A possible alternative is coal tits or pied wagtails, but you are probably right: coal tits will come to the birdtable but pied flycatchers may well not be so interested. Wagtails do what it says on the can: they wag their tails! If you can get a pic that would pin it.
think mine are sparrows then as quite brave. blackbird is singing its little heart out in tree. definately a blackbird as it is black
I've only ever seen one bird outside my current house that I can remember (living in a student house with no garden as such, just a tiny rectangle of concrete) and that was a grey wagtail. Was a very nice surprise considering I don't normally even see sparrows or blackbirds there Image
Hi Bubblecat

With your concrete square you definitely need this book I bought for £3 from local pet store: Creating a Bird Friendly Garden, by Michael Chinery, published by Interpet Publishing, ISBN 978-1-84286-153-0
I couldn't get away to B & Q to get squirrel proof seed feeder, so went here instead. So much better; more range and cheaper too.
The one I really wanted wasn't in stock (B & Q didn't even stock it) but I ordered it and I can pick it up Tuesday. Cheaper too.
How can a titchy little pet shop have a better range, and cheaper too, than B & Q? The pet shop does not have economies of scale open to it like B & Q. I think we've been conned by their marketing budgets; B & Q that is. In future, I'm sticking to local shops.

Anyway, I got an afternoon off as football was on. I'm now becoming a fan of football, as this means the house is full of people, and I could get away!

Didn't manage to get a photo of baby magpies (too quick, aka pied flycatchers, I think) but did manage to get photo of a football of a wood pigeon.

That has got to be the fattest wood pigeon ever!

How Arbuckle has managed to avoid foxes, cars (my dad almost ran him down because he almost couldn't take off in time) I'll never know.
But he's still here.

Is this your blackbird song

http://sounds.bl.uk/Environment/Soundsc ... 647-0300V0

I too had no idea that female blackbirds were brown; I kind of assumed all blackbirds were all black. They have yellow beaks according to mum.
There is a bird by me (no idea what) that sings a Latin American tune. I'd love to know what that bird is.
The song goes something like this: Der, dum, der, dum, dum, Der dum, der dum dum, dumm dumm dumm dumm dumm dummm... over, and over again.

I think I may owe an apology to the illustrator of the Oxford Book of Birds. I basically implied he/she might be on drugs as some pages were so insanely coloured, and no British bird could be that exotic.
Well, according to my newly aquired Bird friendly Garden book, they can??!!
The photo (not illustrations) of a goldfinch is positively physcodelic; looks more like it belongs in a rain forest not England.

In order to attract this kalidascope of colouful goldfinchs to my garden I need a patch of thistles or teasels (you what) or dandilions (that's more like it) at the base of a wall or hedge.
Failing that, I'm to put niger seeds (what the hell are they) out for them. Goldfinches can't resist them, apparently.

Now, Scally mentioned a seed merchant; I thought he was kidding me.
But I need a special feeder for these seeds, otherwise they'll blow away in the slightest breeze (see page 15.)
Well no wonder I've never seen one of these wonderous birds before, we are regularly battered by the wind.
Oh, and it's dead fussy about it's nesting material. They don't like nesting boxes, but like moss or bits of wool.... or hair from the hair dresser's floor.

I'm getting my SIL to keep the hair from her cats when she grooms them (somebody mentioned that here.) Mind you, if I were a bird, I'd probably want to avoid that.

Now I'm collecting my own hair, and looking into growing teasels (?) because I really, REALLY want to take a photo of a goldfinch.

Failing that, I'd be happy with a sparrow sparrow.
hi sajehar ,with the greatest respect i think you might be wrong about seeing a pied flycatcher ,they are a summer visitor to us (bloody foreign birds taking the flies out of the mouths of our british birds ,no wonder there is a shortage of social nest boxes ) Image Image
and it is a bit early for them .
553 posts