Woodpecker

Friday mornings calm contemplation of my breakfast was rudely interupted by F getting all excited about a woodpecker on the bird feeder. By the time she had worked out how to use the camera on her new work phone (first thing to hand) the woodpecker had become aware of the attention and did a flit.

Greater Spotted.  I will let her put a borrowed pic at the end of the post.

It took a few days to get the birdies to trust the birdfeeder and so far it has been only sparrows and blue tits that will use it.  In fact we have 10 bird feeders with a range of contents: a couple of seed feeders, a tray of fat pellets for robins, and a small do-dacky of meal worms (it's a fine mash tray with a little roof over it that only small birds could fit into.  The magpies steal the mealworms and they have  voracious appetites). There is a nigella seed feeder (not yet deployed), a tray of peanuts in a squirrel proof cage, and 4 suet ball feeders.

Chaffinch.  We just saw a chaffinch.  Some days starlings and black birds come for the fatballs but we haven't seen any today. Yet.

Before we left for Greece we built up 10 years of experience at keeping squirrels and wood pigeons off the feeders. We know they need to eat too but the pigeons are so very wasteful, throwing most of the seed on the ground. The squirrels have a good supply of acorns and chestnuts locally they don't need our seed and in any event they are grey squirrels and at the risk of being squirrel racist, we have to remark that they don't belong here, have out competed the natives, carry squirrel pox, and do lots of damage to the bird nesting boxes that we put up.  F has even invested in metal doorframes for bird boxes (which we will deploy this year when we build new birdboxes) to stop the squirrels chewing the entrances larger and stealing eggs.  If the squirrels persist we might adopt a pine marten (we have a pine tree), as we understand they predate grey squirrels rather effectively.

I could get lessons (from the pine marten I mean) on how to catch a squirrel.  It has been one of my life ambitions. Imagine calling a pine marten 'O Sensei'.

Crows are still the bane of my life. My humans feed crows and magpies too - just not on meal worms.  We had been told that a garden with crows won't have small birds, but it has never been the case here, and the crows (despite my distaste for them) are my allies against squirrels and great big seagulls (which I like even less than crows,....my enemy's enemy and all that).

I have lots to tell you about my supervision duties but they can wait for later posts. We still aren't completely sorted out and there will be more work to supervise. 

The starlings have arrived, the sun has made a rare breakthrough, I'm off out to inspect the garden.

Work i-fone on the left, personal Sam-android on the right. Possibly not an entirely fair  comparison as taken on different days, different light, but that still doesn't account for all the difference.


Greater spotted woodpecker (still only blackbird sized)

Comments

  1. Hari Om
    Tigger dear, your garden is alive!!! I wish all the birds a happy time there. I do have to say, though, that you might find a pine marten may not be so much of sensei as just another enemy! Though a very attractive one. Hugs and whiskeries, YAM-aunty xxx

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    1. If pine martens eat grey squirrels (and the evidence is that they do), then we could learn to live with having them around. I befriended the fox that used to catch rats up at the allotments. Mind you that fox even befriended humans. It used to sit near one family whenever they had a picnic and wait to be fed hand outs.

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  2. How lovely to have a woodpecker in your garden.
    We have lots of crows and magpies here but still some small birds too. Yesterday P saw redwings at the bottom of the drive. We usually wait until the really cold weather comes before we put out food for them. It had been 17C here today! Amazing for November in our neck of the woods.

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    1. We used to often hear woodpeckers around here but less often actually see one. We did have a grren woodpecker on the lawn once - they don't photograph well on that background.

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  3. I'm glad you're attending to the birds and the garden first. You can spend all winter organizing the humans in the house. I've never got a good woodpecker picture, too alert for me.

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    1. We have to get outdoors when the sun is shining or we will all go like plants grown in the dark...indoor stuff one can do any time. There are a lot more trees shading our garden than 4 years ago - one neighbour has grown an enormous dense green wall on our sunny side which makes us a bit dark and damp, but provides lots more places for birds to roost and find food.

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  4. I much prefer You Dear Tigger over a woodpecker, so was very happy to see you admiring your new old homeview out the door. Tell F to take a photo with iphone, with it locked just swipe to the left and the camera will open ready to FIRE! just learned that this week. I have watched hours of iphone videos on the camera... hope all the furniture and boxes are sorted soon. it seems you are ready for the birds, but now I wonder if where you are will have birds during the winter months. We have zero birds and don't know why. they are gone. no crows, no vultures, no song birds. happy to see you pop up

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    1. F was faffing about trying to do the zoom thing. She's got it now.. We get more birds in winter than in summer. We'll send you more pictures (if F gets herself sorted).

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  5. Well, Tigger we share disdain for crows. So annoying. Are you hibernating for the winter? That pic of you from the back shows a nice plump kitty.

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    1. I have lost nearly 1kg since F put me on a diet 15 months ago. I just have BIG fur😽

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  6. Tigger, we are super impressed by your ten bird feeders. There are pine martens living in the woods around our Torridon cottage. Perhaps if I tried to corner one, Gail could trap it send it down to your neck of the woods...?
    Toodle-oo!
    Nobby
    PS from Gail: I fear Nobby's pine marten scheme is unlikely to be a success...

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    1. One bird feeder stand fell over in gale force wind so we haven't got all 10 in service right now, but we like to have a good variety of comestibles out there for the feathered friends. The wee birdies hang out in the blackberry jungle next door and seem to take turns at dashing out to the seed feeder. Paw smacks Mr T

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  7. How different is your view now. I love a garden full of green growing things and birds.
    We don’t have squirrels but we have possums and they are shocking for eating not only the fruit but the trees And they love roses

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    1. F's grandma used to grow prize winning roses. Possums were the bane of her life. Squirrels eat bulbs (and make a big mess digging them up) which is the bane of ours.

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  8. It’s good to see you enjoying the outdoors and getting to know old haunts again Tigger and hopefully F will have the camera at hand next time there’s a sighting to record.
    The magpies (Australian type) are all we are seeing at the moment. They are out with ‘their young’ who seems to be on a starvation diet…or so they keep telling their parents, which means ‘Mum’ followed around by this ‘crying’ child is digging and digging just to keep up with demand. ‘Dad’, who has a bright white back (as opposed to the greyish white one of his lady friends) wanders around surveying his harem and next generation.
    The constant rain has kept other birds away although I did see some Scarlet Rosellas fly by the other day. They go around in pairs so see one you’ll see another close by.

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  9. https://buybuble.blogspot.com/1 December 2022 at 11:10

    This is the kind of yard cats love, with a tree, thick vegetation to hid in, plenty of places to explore. And the icing on the cake: birds and squirrels.

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