A little bit of spring.. and motorway madness!

Michele held the first frog of the year on Saturday (while I was watching history being made at Turf Moor!) There have been other sightings since. If other years are anything to go by we will have frog spawn followed by another cold snap- it has been known for Michele to put the spawn in buckets and bring them into the house until the worst of the weather is over!

We have lots of birds depending on our feeders at this time with me topping them up every two days. This morning we had ten-plus gold finches, male and female chaffinch, male bullfinch and the usual mix of sparrows, dunnocks, starlings and blackbirds. We are getting the occasional visit from robins, although very territorial there has been at least three visiting the feeders. Yesterday we had long tail tits, only the two when we have been getting six or more in the raiding parties.

The bulbs are on the way up with the snowdrops flowering.

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We have had regular visits from one of the foxes, I think it is the more nervous, unsure one of the two. Speaking of foxes I’ve written to Lancashire County Council highways department about the barrier on the nearby M65. The central reservation now has a continuous concrete barrier that has no gaps at all. On either side of this are the remains of two foxes presumably trapped when trying to cross the motorway. I have heard nothing back as yet but will continue to push for some gaps that will allow any wildlife a chance to get through.

Hello 2017!

A new year and a new resolve- to keep up the blogging! I know it has been a good while since my last blog but from now on in there will be more posts (sorry!) It isn’t that there has been nothing happening in our little patch of England; the fox has been coming almost nightly, we have bird feeders that have been emptying every other day (all ten of them!) Retirement isn’t the life of leisure that I expected!

One thing I have been meaning to do is do a photo audit of the garden, detailing all the growing things as well as the flying and peanut eating things.

So a little detail.

On the bird front we have the usual flock of goldfinches, what we believe to be the two blue tits that fledged last year, not one but two gold crests and the perennial blackbirds, starlings and robins.

The great and coal tits are here less than they were a few months ago. Of great concern was the absence of greenfinch- until today when a single bird turned up for its lunch.

As I say the fox has been here every night, almost without fail. As you can see in the first video we had a nice surprise on the 5th of December- well have a look! I still have to investigate just how many foxes have been coming, not only this past year but over the years before. I am pleased that the fox continues to visit as the builders are on the back and almost to the back of our hedge. We are going to push for wildlife corridors around our neighbourhood with both builders and new residents. The fact that we have had badgers, foxes and hedgehogs show that mammals are getting about, possibly from the valley below where we live where there are many habitats such animals can thrive.

More to follow!

Survivors!

In the last week we have have had two bird strikes on our kitchen window. These are all too frequent despite us having a good number of stickers on the windows; ones that are almost invisible to us but quite opaque to birds.

Both strikes involved goldfinches and in both cases the birds survived! Usually you can pick up an injured bird and think it looks quite well only for it to die of shock soon afterwards. The first bird was shaking as it lay on the ground and looked doomed but after it had a recovery in a dark bedroom and then being taken outside, where it sat on my finger for fifteen minutes, it took off into the trees to join its friends!

The second bird, just yesterday, was almost a carbon copy of the first case- I just hope it wasn’t the same bird and will be coming back for a third go!

More stickers are being ordered and I’ve moved a small pot plant from the window sill- this can fool birds into thinking its cover for them to fly to when frightened!

Photo on 11-01-2016 at 11.09
Lucky goldfinch shortly before release.

A charming day!

The most common bird in our garden, after the hedge sparrow, is the goldfinch. These small, colourful birds love the sunflower seeds we put out for them. We once read that to attract them we should put out niger seeds but they soon learned that a better, more energy giving seed is the sunflower heart.

The collective noun for goldfinch is a charm. so when ten goldfinch arrived for a mid-morning snack it was safe to say we had been charmed!