Sunday, 5 February 2012

Snow and who's eating what.....

The snow yesterday (4th) certainly filled up the nest platform though it has mostly thawed today. In the surrounding countryside, there was a good five inches of snow and if you were feeding the birds in your garden and cleared some patches so the birds could get to whatever you put out, you'd have had plenty of visitors.
In my garden, blackbirds and fieldfares came for the apples I threw out, tits, sparrows and finches for the seed, a woodpecker, a nuthatch and some starlings to the fat blocks and collared doves, dunnocks and robins on the bird table and pecking about underneath the feeders.
Fieldfares certainly love apples and will come into gardens in cold weather if you put some out. I had 41 of them on Saturday, though they didn't stay very long, there being more birds than fruit! BTW, the fieldfare artist is Mike Warren, who lives in Nottinghamshire just to the east of us.
Fieldfares are taken by the peregrines but since they come to the UK in their thousands each winter to escape the cold of Scandinavia, their numbers are hardly dented by this minor mortality. Redwings, their Viking cousins, are also taken by our birds. They too winter in the UK in many thousands though they don't eat apples. They prefer berries if there are any left.
Joyce S, one of our watch point volunteers, tells me she had redwings in her Derby garden
feeding on holly berries last week. All the holly berries round me have long been eaten so redwings here have been turning to those of ivy, a nutritious source of food.
Feeding birds directly by putting food out and indirectly (by making your garden wildlife friendly) sustains birds and other willdife and gives lots of pleasure too. Well worth considering if you've never done it before!

Nick B (DWT)

Ps. Robert Gillmor is the redwing artist.
Pps. I confess the snowy cathedral photo was taken last year...I didn't get down today.


jan t said...

Two peregrine on scrape one on nest side other feeding Jan suffolk

jan t said...

Early today two Peregrines on scrape one nest side other feeding far side nice to see Jan Suffolk

Anonymous said...

I've not been lucky enough to see any peregrine activity on the Cathedral but spotted one this morning on the Jury's Inn sign. We've been feeding the birds in the garden - they are eating voraciously. It's a pleasure to watch them. We have a lot of blackbirds predominantly.

Mary T (Belper)

Mo and Pete Cole said...

We have just had 8 Redwings feeding on the berries of a holly bush just outside our lounge window. We have never seen Redwings before what a pleasure (2 are still sat in the bush and have been for about an hour)..... x

AnnieF. said...

We've had a few fieldfares in our garden recently, after the firethorn berries I think (though they've been decimated by blackbirds and sparrows), and this morning we saw a flock of them in a nearby tree.
Earlier there was a peregrine on the rhs ledge of the scrape.

Nick B (DWT) said...

Both adults present this morning, trying to warm up in the early sunshine.
Minus 7 degrees so quite cold today.....
Nick B (DWT)

Nick B (Derbyshire Wildlife Trust) said...

Both adults present this morning - one on the platform edge (the falcon) and the tiercel just below on the sloping stonework. There should be some courtship activity soon methinks. After all, it is Feb. 14th tomorrow!
Nick B (DWT)

Mary T said...

Let's hope for some Valentine's romance tomorrow especially now the weather's a bit warmer.
I remember last year it was Valentine's Day when the abseil and nest clean up took place. I was standing watching on Cathedral Green and it was bitterly cold!

jan t said...

Looks a nice day in Derby.Peregrine
on platform edge think it is falcon
jan (suffolk )

Anonymous said...

two eggs this morning wow