Garden Birdwatching

With the festive period almost upon us it's getting to that time of the year when birdwatching (for me) is taking a bit of a back seat to other things such as catching up with friends and family, Christmas meals, Christmas shopping etc.  This week I haven't managed to get out and do any birding on the patch or else where for that matter.  So to get my fix I have spent a bit more time each day watching the garden birds.

As I have mentioned in a post earlier this year we live in a terraced house in a built up part of Kidderminster  and it only has a fairly small narrow garden.  That said, over the last few years we have seen the number of birds visiting our back garden increase considerably. In the garden we have feed dried meal worms, sunflower hearts, peanuts and homemade fat cakes. 

During the winter months I buy some apples, that have gone past there best, from a local farm shop and cut them into halves and stick them on the branches of some of the shrubs. The hope with these apples is to attract Waxwings, Winter Thrushes and Blackcaps.  We have certainly seeing the results with the latter, with 3 Blackcaps (2♂, 1♀) present in winter 2010/2011 and 4 Blackcaps (3♂, 1♀) in winter 2011/2012.

So with that bit of background below is a summary of the past week or so's garden highlights:

Thursday 13th Dec 2012
Greenfinch was seen feeding on the sunflower hearts.  Believe it or not they are a scarce garden visitor for us with only a handful of records over the last 10 years.

The day's highlight though was seeing a ♀ Blackcap feeding on the aforementioned apple halves...result!  A single Coal Tit was seen feeding on the fat cakes. 

Regular visitors noted feeding in the garden included c.30 House Sparrows, 14 Starlings, 12 Blue Tits, 2 Great Tits, 1 Robin, 1 ♀ Blackbird, 2 Collared Doves and a Woodpigeon.  (I won't post these species again during this post as they tend to visit daily)

Friday 14th December 2012
The female Blackcap was again present, this time feeding on both the apples and the sunflower hearts.  A single Coal Tit was also noted.

Tuesday 18th December 2012
Today there were 2 Blackcaps (1♂ & 1♀) visiting the apples and the feeders. A Coal Tit and a Dunnock were also noted and a single Cormorant flew over heading SE.

The past week I have seen no sign of the ♂ Peregrine on Weaver's Wharf chimney stack but 2 Ravens were present there on the 10th December and a single Raven on the 16th.

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  1. Hi Jase,
    I'm getting through loads of apples, mostly feeding Blackbirds, Tits and Green woodpecker, no Waxwing yet!

  2. Fingers crossed for us both Warren!

  3. Nice one Jase. I`m gonna do a full on garden list for the upcoming new year....seeing that i don`t get the opportunity to go anywhere else due to Jakki`s work hours/shifts.

    PS : not seen my Blackcap since Monday :(

  4. I'm sure your garden list would be fairly amazing Dean what with Old Moor right by.

    Glad you are making the most of your garden mate given your current situation. They are important areas for wildlife and often over-looked by many folk

  5. A very nice selection of birds there Jason and a nice piece of video too. I see Blackcaps in my garden too in the Winter, lovely little birds. I have apples speared onto my tree branches particularly to try and attract Waxwings but no luck so far and they continue to elude me locally.

    I completely agree that gardens (whatever size) are too often overlooked especially, oddly, by hardened birders.

  6. Great idea about the apples Jase.Have always put them out, but not in trees. Our Rowan long since stripped by Blackbirds is now festooned. Neighbour thinks I am nuts, but at least the badgers cannot reach them (at least I flipping well hope not).