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BS: Birdwatching 2021?

keberoxu 27 Jan 21 - 08:55 PM
EBarnacle 28 Jan 21 - 02:24 PM
gillymor 28 Jan 21 - 07:57 PM
Joe Offer 28 Jan 21 - 08:57 PM
Donuel 29 Jan 21 - 11:54 PM
Stilly River Sage 30 Jan 21 - 02:49 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 30 Jan 21 - 05:52 PM
Tattie Bogle 31 Jan 21 - 07:47 PM
TIA 02 Feb 21 - 11:45 PM
Joe Offer 03 Feb 21 - 02:16 AM
DonMeixner 03 Feb 21 - 01:43 PM
JHW 05 Feb 21 - 04:42 PM
Senoufou 05 Feb 21 - 04:47 PM
Jon Freeman 12 Feb 21 - 05:11 AM
Pamber 14 Feb 21 - 02:25 PM
The Sandman 14 Feb 21 - 02:51 PM
gillymor 14 Feb 21 - 05:34 PM
JHW 16 Feb 21 - 02:47 PM
Senoufou 16 Feb 21 - 04:15 PM
Malcolm Storey 16 Feb 21 - 08:37 PM
JHW 17 Feb 21 - 06:00 AM
Raggytash 17 Feb 21 - 08:05 AM
Jos 17 Feb 21 - 09:15 AM
Malcolm Storey 17 Feb 21 - 09:25 AM
Steve Shaw 17 Feb 21 - 09:30 AM
Steve Shaw 17 Feb 21 - 09:32 AM
Malcolm Storey 17 Feb 21 - 09:52 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 17 Feb 21 - 02:43 PM
JHW 17 Feb 21 - 03:00 PM
DonMeixner 18 Feb 21 - 05:18 PM
JHW 19 Feb 21 - 05:45 AM
DonMeixner 19 Feb 21 - 12:12 PM
Malcolm Storey 19 Feb 21 - 01:29 PM
Senoufou 19 Feb 21 - 03:06 PM
JHW 20 Feb 21 - 06:19 AM
The Sandman 22 Feb 21 - 10:32 AM
Steve Shaw 22 Feb 21 - 02:16 PM
JHW 24 Feb 21 - 03:46 PM
Malcolm Storey 24 Feb 21 - 07:15 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 25 Feb 21 - 11:53 AM
Donuel 25 Feb 21 - 12:51 PM
JHW 25 Feb 21 - 03:12 PM
Steve Shaw 25 Feb 21 - 07:50 PM
Jon Freeman 26 Feb 21 - 06:11 AM
JHW 26 Feb 21 - 06:36 AM
Jon Freeman 26 Feb 21 - 06:45 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Feb 21 - 07:07 AM
Jon Freeman 26 Feb 21 - 07:23 AM
DonMeixner 27 Feb 21 - 01:17 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 28 Feb 21 - 12:14 PM
Steve Shaw 28 Feb 21 - 12:30 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 28 Feb 21 - 12:36 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 28 Feb 21 - 12:45 PM
Steve Shaw 28 Feb 21 - 02:42 PM
JHW 01 Mar 21 - 05:44 AM
Jon Freeman 01 Mar 21 - 06:23 AM
Steve Shaw 01 Mar 21 - 06:41 AM
Jos 01 Mar 21 - 06:57 AM

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Subject: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: keberoxu
Date: 27 Jan 21 - 08:55 PM

Maybe this year --
and this year's bald eagles --
merit their own birdwatching thread?   

It's been a long time, I would guess,
since Maeve lived in a yurt ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 28 Jan 21 - 02:24 PM

As I mentioned in the other thread, there is a Bald Eagle nest about 15 or so miles from here. It was a shock, though to see one flying low above my local supermarket with prey in tow. I guess there is more than one way to shop.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: gillymor
Date: 28 Jan 21 - 07:57 PM

Two eagle encounters in the last 3 weeks. Driving east on a local road here in the burbs I stopped for a red light and saw one circle overhead and disappear behind the palms on the median. I started up and suddenly the bird was coming straight at me, talons down, getting read to snatch some road kill. He decided not to chance it with my truck and was gone in the blink of an eye.
Hiking along a canal Sunday morning I saw a big one in a tree across the water. Got some good pix of it perched but as soon as I lowered my camera it took off after a red shouldered hawk that was tearing down the canal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Jan 21 - 08:57 PM

Last Saturday, we went looking for Sandhill Cranes on Staten Island in the Sacramento River Delta. It was an amazing experience. I got photos of huge flocks flying up at sunset in front of Mount Diablo. More later.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Donuel
Date: 29 Jan 21 - 11:54 PM

Maybe this is not the most appropriate place to discuss the birds and the bees
but they are disappearing at an alarming rate :^/


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Jan 21 - 02:49 PM

The several-hundred acre wood across the road from me has been reduced to about 50, and along with that reduction came a "clean-up" that removed a lot of undergrowth habitat. I don't see or hear nearly as many birds as I used to. That said, I resolved earlier this year on a walk through that area with the dogs that I need to make a few camera expeditions over there, especially early and late in the day, to see what is moving around and singing.

I have a friend from the neighborhood whose daughters are modern young women, on the surface seemed fairly self-centered, mostly interested in cosmetics and fashion, and I never really had much in common with them on our rare visits at their mother's house. But one of them has become a break-out bird photographer in the last year or so, and I'm impressed with her dedication to traveling around the region to various parks and sanctuaries to get more photos. It shows an appreciation for the world and conditions around her, and I am hoping that I simply misread the young women's behavior and they're all going to blossom into acute observers of the world. Birds are a fabulous first step. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 30 Jan 21 - 05:52 PM

I have done my RSPB count and sent it in.

One or two more than normal this year, I think it is to do with an uncommon wind direction meaning that the field below us is more attractive a feeding ground than usual.

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 31 Jan 21 - 07:47 PM

As usual, the birds in our garden all go into hiding on the Big Garden Birdwatch weekend! Did better than last year though when I only got one.....robin!


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: TIA
Date: 02 Feb 21 - 11:45 PM

Conowingo Dam is lousy with bald eagles this year.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Feb 21 - 02:16 AM

SRS, it seems like there should be areas around Fort Worth that would be good for birding
Any waterfowl around? Sandhill cranes?


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 03 Feb 21 - 01:43 PM

Here in Central New York to my little feeders I have birds returning that I haven't seen in years. Grosbeaks, Flickers, and Blue Birds most specifically. In the spring we have had an increasing supply of Orioles. My home is on the Erie Canal and just south of the Barge Canal so Bald Eagles as increasingly common, usually flying west to the big Montezuma bird sanctuary. As I type this at 1:41 we are pretty clear of birds except for one Red Bellied Woodpecker. When the weather warms my Maples will be riddled by Pileated Woodpeckers.

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: JHW
Date: 05 Feb 21 - 04:42 PM

I always do the RSPB big garden count but several regulars were absent. No Robin, no Blue, Great or Coal Tits. Robins or Tits had been about on previous days. Yet 5 Blackbirds. (4M & 1F all squabbling). Beats me how the counts add up to useful information.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Senoufou
Date: 05 Feb 21 - 04:47 PM

Several cranes have been seen here in Norfolk over the past few days. (Hickling Broad for example) They're tall birds and rather stately.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 12 Feb 21 - 05:11 AM

I rescued a female blackbird yesterday, probably the one I’d watched earlier bossing other birds around. It’s not happened in a while but she hit the windows on the sliding doors and knocked herself out. So out with the recovery box (and old shoe box with holes in), put her safe for an hour and hope for the best. I’d heard shuffling in the box but I didn’t think she was going to go when I tried her outside. I was just about to put the lid back on and give here a bit longer when she surprised me by taking off and flying to the top of a tree.

I’ve been scattering an assortment of food on the snow on the front garden. Blackbirds, chaffinches and a robin seem to have appreciated this.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Pamber
Date: 14 Feb 21 - 02:25 PM

I regularly ring birds (band them in US parlance) being a ringing trainer and this month there have been so few in the garden that it was not worth the effort. I guess until the cold weather came there was plenty of natural food in the nearby woods. (We don't ring birds here when its very cold, they have enough problems without me)


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: The Sandman
Date: 14 Feb 21 - 02:51 PM

i saw an oyster catcher today, it looked well turned out ready for dinner party


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: gillymor
Date: 14 Feb 21 - 05:34 PM

Saw an American Kestrel (Florida race) hunting amongst the scrub in a seasonally dry lake bed on Thursday, east of Bonita Springs, FL


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: JHW
Date: 16 Feb 21 - 02:47 PM

I picked up a Blackbird that had flown into the patio doors (previous house). Folded it's wings in and soon it perched on the top finger of my hand seemingly happy with it. Eventually I ran out of things to say to a Blackbird and had to encourage it to fly away.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Senoufou
Date: 16 Feb 21 - 04:15 PM

Saw a red kite again this morning soaring over Stibbard (Norfolk) There are always a few to be seen there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Malcolm Storey
Date: 16 Feb 21 - 08:37 PM

We are not avid twitchers but we do enjoy watching them and actively encourage them to visit our garden, both by providing feeders and having planted shrubs and berry bearing bushes to help them through the winter.

We are not usually here at this time of year as we much prefer the bush fires and temperate climate of the southern antipodes.

That said we are enjoying seeing the last version of the dinosaurs going about their winter routines and find it an unexpected interesting if somewhat chilly substitute to what we have been used to at this time.

Things we have noticed:

Up to the recent really cold spell most of the berries, seedheads and the feeders have not been overused.
We feel that numbers are probably down which, combined with relatively mild weather would explain this.
We do notice that one feeder in particular tends to get emptied first - we suspect it is its position as we rotate the positions of the various feeders.

We already have the blue tits investigating the nesting boxes and have noted the usual visitors - blue tit, coal tit, great tit, robin, house and hedge sparrow, blackbirds, lots of randy pigeons, magpies, starlings, goldfinch and the occasional rook. A new visitor in recent times has been a crow and sometimes two.

We have a resident wood mouse in the garage and have caught him a couple of times in a safe trap to have a good look at him. He seems to enjoy the peanut butter we have in the trap and is slowly working his way through the grass seed he liberated from its box! We rescued some of the seed into glass jars because we would like to use it.

Better not mention the grey squirrel that likes the berries nearest the kitchen window. Going to have to arrange his demise shortly - sad but necessary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: JHW
Date: 17 Feb 21 - 06:00 AM

I thought I'd fooled the squirrel with an upturned tub on the bird table stem but saw him/her up there again. Don't mind the squirrel as such but it deters the birds.
Beats me how birds can stand the terrible cold we had a few days ago. Minus 10c (near Teeside Airport).


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Raggytash
Date: 17 Feb 21 - 08:05 AM

A couple of weeks ago we had a white pheasant in our back garden.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Jos
Date: 17 Feb 21 - 09:15 AM

"Going to have to arrange his demise shortly"

If the squirrels were nesting in your roof and chewing the electricity cables, that might be justified as it could risk your life, but for discouraging a few birds? Really?


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Malcolm Storey
Date: 17 Feb 21 - 09:25 AM

Unfortunately we have had the scenario of squirrels in the loft.
At the time the area was overrun with them and it took a determined effort by a number of nieghbours to deal with the problem.
We would not worry too much about them discouraging the birds. The problem is that they are legally vermin. It is not so long ago that it was the law that if you saw a grey squirrel you had to notify the police.
It is still illegal to trap them humanely and release them in, say. woodland.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Feb 21 - 09:30 AM

I regard grey squirrels as arch-vermin. They have decimated red squirrel populations in most of the UK and they carry a disease that infects the reds. They are not natives, they rob birds' nests and they are damaging to ecosystems. I'm absolutely with Malcolm on this.

You won't stop them from getting your bird food. They can climb even greasy poles, they defeat squirrel baffles, they can leap several metres up, down and across and they can tightrope-walk. Our native birds are under threat from bad farming practices and feeding them in the garden is very beneficial. I regard eradicating grey squirrels as fully justified. The law on this is very strict, though if you stick to the rules it isn't illegal to trap and kill them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Feb 21 - 09:32 AM

True, Malcolm. If you trap a squirrel you have to kill it, or take it to be killed by someone else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Malcolm Storey
Date: 17 Feb 21 - 09:52 AM

I am not really up to killing anything but was able to purchase a trap that does the job for you.
I'm pleased to report that the trap has only ever been activated by squirrels.
Just got some photos and a couple of video clips of the condemned eating berries.
Steve is right they are incredibly agile and uncanny at moving through and between trees.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 17 Feb 21 - 02:43 PM

We have skylarks around but they are not doing the ascending thing as yet.

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: JHW
Date: 17 Feb 21 - 03:00 PM

Sure red squirrels are much cuter and I know the grey ones carry a pox. Some places with reds have posters up 'Have you seen a grey'

Several Blackbirds chasing each other again, new feature this year, maybe last year's brood?


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 18 Feb 21 - 05:18 PM

WE had enough Cardinals in the yard today I expected a puff of white smoke and a new Pope.

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: JHW
Date: 19 Feb 21 - 05:45 AM

Not seen any butterflies yet but a lot of pigeons this morning, proper woodpigeons.
Time to get out the 'More Pigeons No Thanks' sign.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 19 Feb 21 - 12:12 PM

Cardinals and Doves along with the usual finches, Titmice, Slate Juncos and Chickadees at the feeder today. If it runs true to form I will have Downys, Red Bellies, nuthatches, and Squirrels before the afternoon is up.

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Malcolm Storey
Date: 19 Feb 21 - 01:29 PM

A pheasant in the garden this morning!
Lots of randy pigeons. The usual blackbirds, sparrows, robins, magpies etc.
There seem to be more visits from the crows and a great tit had a look at one of the nest boxes - here's hoping.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Senoufou
Date: 19 Feb 21 - 03:06 PM

Great tits are very nice Malcolm, but we have one or two around our garden and the incessant "Teacher! Teacher!" sometimes drives us crazy! (I'm a retired teacher hee hee!)
During the terrible wintry weather, deep snow and minus 8 degrees of frost, I swept the back lawn free of snow as best I could, then put out as much food for the poor birds as possible. It was gobbled up by so many species that we just kept putting more and more out there.
Most of our neighbours in this village did the same, and I like to think we saved many birds' lives.
The generous sploshes of bird poo down all our windows was, I reckon, their way of saying 'thank you'. Or... maybe not...


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: JHW
Date: 20 Feb 21 - 06:19 AM

I've just repaired my walking boot 'snow chains' using electric terminal crimper.(less than ideal) There's an ad above for a crimper kit, how on earth did the robots work that out?


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 10:32 AM

i saw two tits mating


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Feb 21 - 02:16 PM

They'll never get pregnant that way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: JHW
Date: 24 Feb 21 - 03:46 PM

Still have surplus blackbirds squabbling about territory. It's not their garden anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Malcolm Storey
Date: 24 Feb 21 - 07:15 PM

A mild day and we did not see a single bird in the garden.
The randy pigeons spent most of the day in a nearby large tree.
Still songbird noises but suspect there may be a sparrow hawk about.
Not seen the tree rat for few days so maybe been dealt with by somebody else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 25 Feb 21 - 11:53 AM

Had a walk to the top of the hill the other day and saw lots of lapwings, 4 snipe, a curlew and several skylarks that were in the mood for a bit of "ascending".

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Donuel
Date: 25 Feb 21 - 12:51 PM

That reminds the Robins are here along with a red headed woodpecker just 3 feet from my window.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: JHW
Date: 25 Feb 21 - 03:12 PM

Woman taking me walkies one day spotted a curlew by the track. 'Why do they have those curved bills?'
"so you can tell what they are" I said.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 25 Feb 21 - 07:50 PM

If you can imagine me back garden, which we can see out of the kitchen window, our feeding station is about 8 feet from the window and the fence is another 10 feet beyond that with fields behind. It's a rickety old post and wire fence. A frequent visitor is a gorgeous male sparrowhawk, scourge of the songbirds. He strikes in surprise attacks at enormous speed, swooping round the side of the house to the feeding station. He's nearly knocked me head off dozens of times as I go out of the back door, not realising I'm there. Yesterday he was sitting on the fence post, looking glumly towards the feeders, presumably hoping that a songbird or two would be tempted to take the risk. He's done this an awful lot, and they never do, and he never learns. So he's a superb athlete who's a bit thick. I went to school with a good few lads like that...

Beautiful pair of bullfinches yesterday as well, on the bird table. I love to see 'em - as long as they stay off my apple trees...


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 26 Feb 21 - 06:11 AM

We had loads of blackbirds when the snow was on the ground and I was scattering food out but we seem to be down to one pair now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: JHW
Date: 26 Feb 21 - 06:36 AM

Couple of years ago I had a sparrowhawk on back fence post, flew through the bird table but the little birds scattered. I fitted a slim upright on the back side of the birdtable but never seen sparrowhawk again.
(similar config of table, back fence and fields beyond as SS above)


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 26 Feb 21 - 06:45 AM

We had a sparrowhawk hit the sliding doors and stun itself. It recovered and flew off just as I approached it.

I saw one taking a collard dove here and have had a couple of other sightings but that it. There have been a couple of other occasions when I've wondered whether one is around though, when the bird table and feeders have been having regular visitors then one day they pretty well all disappear, I've guessed mostly looking for somewhere safer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Feb 21 - 07:07 AM

Tawny owls hooting all night in the clear moonlight. It reminded me of that true story about a bloke who practised imitating their call in order to get a response. Eventually, he stood outside at night and made the hooting noises. To his delight, he got the hoped-for response. He'd got the call down to a tee and convinced another owl to respond.


So he thought.


It took a few nights for the realisation to set in that a bird-loving neighbour, a couple of hundred yards away, had been doing the exact same thing....


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 26 Feb 21 - 07:23 AM

I've managed that in the past with tawny owls

A few times walking home when I lived in N Wales, I played a hooting game and the owl seemed to stick with me.

Earlier days here in N Norfolk, I tried it when I heard an owl hooting outside. One came on the pole for the power cables to the house so I think it worked.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 27 Feb 21 - 01:17 PM

I watched a Sparrow Hawk (American Kestrel) take a finch off our bird feeders a bout Thanksgiving time, maybe earlier in the month. I was not so damn pleased until I remembered if they aren't bird feeders for all they shouldn't be in the yard.

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 28 Feb 21 - 12:14 PM

I'm sure I just saw a swift fly by my Manchester flat on what has been a lovely sunny day; a couple of years ago, one got trapped in my small juliet balcony, as has a pigeon, both of which I had to help out. I was worried about handling the swift but no need - it was a muscular little thing and once above the balustrade didn't waste any time taking off!

Thus, I now have a plastic peregrine falcon on one side, and a wooden duck on the other (if an English pub, it might be called The Duck and Falcon), which seems to have done the trick.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Feb 21 - 12:30 PM

Not a swift. 99.99999% not a swift.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 28 Feb 21 - 12:36 PM

...I have a photo of the one that got trapped but, as I posted a few days ago, am not sure how/if we can show pics here on MudCat..?

Are you thinking it's too early of swifts, Steve?


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 28 Feb 21 - 12:45 PM

...I just checked - the date on my photo is 30/5/2018; and google says they normally arrive at the start of April.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Feb 21 - 02:42 PM

I was talking about the one you thought you saw flying by. They are strictly summer visitors and you won't see them before about mid-April. They usually vacate the country by early August. We were in Lecce in Puglia for a week in June 2016. We marvelled on the roof terrace of our hotel at the big flocks of screaming swifts which we imagined were mopping up the mozzies that might have been eating us instead.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: JHW
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 05:44 AM

If 2018 is ok in 2021 thread how about the three note cuckoo I heard near Barningham (Co.Durham though it's south of the Tees) Cuck-uck-oo. Three notes perfectly musically spaced. First and last note the normal two. Heard one thereabouts again in 2019 but just a regular two note cuckoo.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 06:23 AM

Are you sure it wasn't a collard dove call?


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 06:41 AM

Wot Jon said. It's a common confusion. Once you hear a cuckoo there's no mistaking it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Birdwatching 2021?
From: Jos
Date: 01 Mar 21 - 06:57 AM

JHW - what time of year was it?

There are numerous rhymes about cuckoos along the lines of

"The cuckoo comes in April. She sings her song in May. In June she changes her tune. In July she prepares to fly. In August go she must."

That is to say, in June the cuckoo's call changes from cuckoo to cuck-cuckoo.


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