Sunday, December 12, 2010

Drimnagh garden

The cold weather got the better of me this weekend and sore ears, throat and heavy bones forced me to stay indoors. So despite frustrating blue skies and a very tempting text offering more Woodpecker and Brambling spotting in Phoenix park, I stayed home. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh.

I suppose staying in gave me a chance to see which birds have been feeding on the food I've been leaving out every morning before I go to work.
By the time I get home in the evening, nearly all the the food is gone so I never get to see which beaks scoff the grated (marks and spencers!) cheese, the apples from the grocer on Errigal road, the sunflower seeds, suet balls, peanuts or mixed seeds.

The apples I've been leaving out are clearly being eaten (there's about 10 halves around the garden)
Makeshift birdbath/ water supply (which I've had to defrost every morning).
House Sparrow
House Sparrows at the peanut feeder
House Sparrows getting territorial. Time to top up with peanuts again.

About  a week ago I tied twine round one of the table feeders to deter bigger birds from eating all the food I was leaving for the smaller birds. With the appearance of this pigeon I was about to see if the twine would work.


but the twine seems to be working just fine and the pigeon can't get access

Blue Tit, often seen on the peanut feeder
Starling

Starlings feeding on an RSPB suet thing with mealworm

There were 6 Redwings in the tree, there are Fieldfares around Drimnagh too

The total species for the morning was 7. Blackbird, Redwings, Starlings, Bluetits, Feral pigeons, Magpies and House Sparrows.
My garden hasn't ever had much variety, the most exciting it got was last year when I saw a female Blackcap eating one of the apples I'd left out, along with last year's Fieldfares and Redwings, that's about the height of it.
But I like all the regulars and hope that the little bit of food and water I leave out makes their days a little easier.

By 3.30pm, I needed to get out even for 10 minutes so I wrapped up like an eskimo and drove over to Pearse Pk to check there were no Brent Geese feeding inland yet. There weren't any. I got out and had a look around, nodded to the many Common Gulls feeding on the pitches but couldn't see any BG evidence.
I drove over to the infamous roundabout in Crumlin where I saw 300 BG's feeding last year and started talking to a guy who was there with his daughter feeding bread to the gulls. He said that the geese usually appear in feb/march and never before Christmas.
We chatted a bit, I told him about Brent Geese, he told me about the 3 Herons which have started turning up at the roundabout everyday and are eating everything he gives them, from smoked salmon to hot cross buns.
He told me how earlier in the year he took in 'one of them' (he pointed to a juvenile Herring Gull) because it just looked so sick, it wasn't moving or eating, so he took it into his house and fed it for 2 weeks until one day it had flown away healthy again. What a cool bloke. He also offered to text me when he sees the geese arriving at the roundabout. Happy days.