Saturday, 10 July 2010

Chaffinches On Mass

The Chaffinches are visiting on mass again now, with plenty of the youngsters eating me out of house and home.  They tend to take the food from the ground rather than battle it out for access to the feeders, though they have been generous enough to pose on the odd occasion for me! :-)

Thanks to everyone for your comments and input.  I am still WAY behind on reading peoples blogs: it seems  that while I had a lull, everyone else became particularly active, leaving me with over 600 blog posts to catch up on.  It might take me some time to get through them all!! :-)

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Leave Me Alone!

Considering the number of adult Goldfinches visiting, so far I have had very few youngsters, but that appears to be changing if today is anything to go by.   This mother was being harassed by three youngsters who were adamant that they wanted Mummy to carry on with the feeding.   I got the distinct impression that if birds could talk this mother would be saying "Will you **** off and find your own meal!"  These youngsters had obviously reached the "teenage" stage when motherhood can become decidedly difficult!! :-)

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Too Much Of A Good Thing?

I love seeing the Siskins and the Golfinches, I really do, but they can be a little overpowering: they have completely taken over the feeders and little else gets a look in.  I have tried positioning a feeder right next to the house for the more timid Blue Tits and Great Tits, but the Greenfinches decided that they would take over that one, thus once again leaving these diminutive Tits, my original 'Garden' birds, out in the cold.   When I first got a decent DSLR the Tits were the mainstay of my photography, though my ability to use the camera well was lacking, so I got few really good shots.  Now that I have the  photographic ability, I don't have the birds, and I miss their acrobatic presence.  In the winter I use fat balls which the Tits enjoy, but I am reluctant to use those in the summer in case they go rancid in the heat.  Does anyone else use fat balls in the summer?  I would be interested to hear of your experiences of using them?

Though the Siskins are smaller than the Sparrows they still bully them:

"Get away, you!  Get away!  This is my feeder!"

Blogger seems to be on the blink again with disappearing comments. :-(  Apologies if you posted and one and it didn't appear.  I did moderate them but then they vanished.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Found The Ringer!

Last night I was contacted by someone that has been doing some ringing in my area.  On searching some of the photos that I had taken I managed to find one with sufficient detail on the ring to locate where and when the bird had the ring fitted.  This handsome male juvenile Greenfinch was ringed on the 26/6/10 around a couple of miles from here as the crow flies, or should that be Greenfinch!  He certainly seems none the worse for the ordeal.  I was really interested to read Warren's info with regards a juvenile Greenfinch being found 18 miles away.  I can understand adult birds travelling so far, but had always assumed that a youngster would stay in the vicinity of the nesting area.  I learn something new every day, or hopefully I do: it keeps the grey matter working!  :-)

Monday, 5 July 2010


Plenty of young birds are now visiting the feeders and eating me out of house and home.  The Greenfinches don't seem to be as common this year, with far fewer youngsters around.   Of the youngsters that I have seen though, some have had rings fitted to their legs.  I have also spotted several adults with rings.  I am not sure how far a juvenile will travel, but I wouldn't have thought it would be that far, and so I assume someone is ringing in my locality.

Sunday, 4 July 2010


I can't seem to get motivated with blogging or photography at the moment.  It is that time of year when despondency sets in: the council have just been round and destroyed a lot of the habitat along the verges, leaving me despairing about the future of our wild plants and the insects, birds and mammals that inhabit this world alongside us.  

I read an article last week about scientists trying to discover why the insect world is sharply declining in numbers.  In my area the only decent habitat for insects is along the roadside verges.  The fields are predominantly a monoculture of ryegrass, with the sheep eating out the base of the hedges leaving little for wildlife to survive on.   When those horrible cutting machines come round they macerate all of the foliage, flowers, and insects. along with the mammals that don't move out of the way quickly enough.  The Orchids once again were destroyed before they had time to set seed, and a lot of the beautiful Meadowsweet was destroyed just as it was coming into bloom, along with many other flowers.  The bankings were smashed where the blades came too close and the homes of insects that lived in tiny burrows were destroyed.   When I first moved here there were lots of clumps of Orchids around the lanes, now there are very few of them, and at the rate the council are going soon there will be none.  Is there really no one within the scientific and environmental movements that can connect up the dots: we destroy their habitat and they decline.   I have tried discussing it with the council to no avail: it has always been done this way and will continue to be done this way.  What is it they say about there are none so blind as those that don't want to see?

Oh well, life goes on for some of us, and I am being blessed by visits from many Siskins.  Not sure whether there is a shortage of food for them elsewhere or whether the word has got round as to how useful I am. :-)

Monday, 28 June 2010

Garish Beauty - The Mullein Shargacucullia verbasci

I spotted this delightful caterpillar on one of my Buddleia plants.  I always find it suprising that such colourful caterpillars can have such drab parents - take a look here to see the dowdy brown adult: The Mullein  Some creatures just look too exotic for this country and this to me is definitely one of them. 

I am sorry not to have visited anyone's blogs this past couple of weeks but life got in the way of pleasure and I have had little time for photography or the internet.  I hope to be back to normal soon.

About Me

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I live in North Wales and spend my time caring for animals, walking in the countryside, photographing nature and reading. I hope to share, in photographs and words, some of the beauty that I see. If you enjoy the photographs on this blog then you might like to take a look at my Flickr photostream. View my complete profile for links to both of my blogs.