Saturday, 18 May 2013

Gathering in the Garden!

Today was going to be a fairly productive day but not on the birding front! Well not exactly true! Once I had caught up with the chores I decided to spend the afternoon learning some Spanish and where better to do that but in the garden with one eye on the sky and feeders!

The afternoon was cloudy which would keep anything flying around low enough even for me to see! I have struggled with the change of temperature since I have returned to “blighty” so wrapped up hat jumpers and all and positioned myself in a quiet corner of the garden as not to disturb the feeders or scare the neighbours!!

With camera and binoculars at my side and the rest of me tucked into the Practice Makes Perfect Spanish books the afternoon got underway! Visitors to the feeder where a bit shy at first but soon got used to the weirdo sat on the patio wrapped up in winter green!
(Eurasian Robin)
A Robin and House Sparrows were the first arrivals tucking into the mixed seed feeders. It was then it dawned on me that my neighbour had nesting Sparrows above their guttering in the roof space. Fantastic!
(House Sparrow)
The improvement of house building and maintenance has been sited, as one of the reasons that our House Sparrows have been on the decline with the lack of nesting areas particularly in roofs. I have had a significant rise in House Sparrow numbers in my garden over the last couple of years. My feeders being the main reason but it took over a year before I had a couple of regular birds. Then boom a cold spell bought in a large flock of 40+ birds and I can only assume some decided to remain setting up shop in the local area.
(Blue Tit)
Next on the notable list were two Single Eurasian Swallows that whizzed low across the garden. Swifts appeared at regular intervals during the afternoon and were also new for the years garden list.

Mid afternoon I noticed a group of three birds circling high above the house and soon realised that they were not all gulls. A Grey Heron was the third party having fired off a few shots to confirm my suspicions!
(Grey Heron)
The cloud cleared up as evening drew in the Rose ringed Parakeet patrol began with groups of birds flying over presumably towards the roost at the edge of Mitcham Golf Course!
(Common Wood Pigeon)
I logged eighteen different species of bird during the afternoon which is testimony that wildlife is still all around us even in busy towns. Admittedly I have assisted this process by putting up feeders and adapting the corner of my garden to accommodate my feathered friends!

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