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The 'upside' of the big freeze!

49 comments


I must have looked a picture this morning….wellies, scarf, hat, pyjamas, dressing gown and blue surgical gloves….oh, and a kettle. I defrosted all the watering holes and refilled all the bird feeders. Then came inside and watched. Within 10 mins. there were at least 30 Goldfinches, a few blue tits, a couple of chaffinches etc. etc. But then….my real reward…a family of long-tailed tits came in. They are fairly rare visitors to bird feeders, as they prefer insects, but that’s the good thing about cold weather…it brings in the rarer and therefore more exciting birds. I tried ever so hard to capture them for you…here’s my best efforts from the warmth of the conservatory with my 18X zoom lens!

I think there were a family of four, but it is hard to count them as they dart and flit so fast from tree to shrub. They spend the winter months huddled together for warmth in family groups before splitting apart in Feb. to form new families and build their nests which are very intricate and take a long time to build. Bless em! :)

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Comments

 

They are my favourite birds Karen, I had a pair that must have been nesting in the hedgerow behind the garden this year. Such cheeky little faces and happy chattering calls, they came to the insect feeder blocks quite unperturbed by my presence. There is a small group of them in the trees outside work most days now.
Where's the pic of you then? Lol xxx

13 Dec, 2012

 

Howe wonderful Karen not many here got coal tits,bluetits,sparrows,blackbirds,starlings robins ,collared doves

And horrid crows.

You should put this on I spy a bird.

Just back from along walk I am so wrapped up but is icy freezing.

Take care Karen .

13 Dec, 2012

 

Thank you friends! Pic. of me would have been funny, but nobody else around to take it. Rachel was tucked up, Scott at work....bliss!

13 Dec, 2012

 

You have a full length mirror in the garden!!

13 Dec, 2012

 

Yes, we very often have the bonus of birds not seen in our garden during the summer, when the fields behind our house are frozen.Not seen any Long tailed tits yet this year but saw Goldfinches and a Wren this morning!
Well done getting out to feed and water our feathere friends!

13 Dec, 2012

amy
Amy
 

Wonderful visitors Karen , we usually have them in our garden but I haven't seen any yet this winter ,they come in flocks to feed on the fat balls hanging on the shrub outside my kitchen window , I will keep an eye out for them , as you have said they built a perfect little nest leaving the lid until last ,incredible amazing work ..

13 Dec, 2012

 

How wonderful,Karen.....a real treatx

13 Dec, 2012

 

how lovely, i think they are beautiful little birds, great that you could catch them for a photo ~ i never can!

13 Dec, 2012

 

aww lovely karen and so sweet or should i say tweet lol.
iv had bullfinch, blue tits, coal tits and goldfinches, all pairs but lovely to see and not forgetting mr robin and the doves :o))) x

13 Dec, 2012

 

Lovely pics Karen - it tricky from indoors isn't it!! I had a different finch of sorts in the garden today - I clicked away happily for ages - when I went to download the pics I found out I had forgot to put the memory card back in!!! The camera has no internal memory - doh!!!!!!
I'm hoping it comes back tomorrow with others so I can have another bash. There was also a very large hawk - twice the height of the jackdaws sitting on a neighbours roof yesterday - by the time I retrieved the camera it just took off - a few strokes of those wings and gone. Not my lucky week it seems.

13 Dec, 2012

 

Annie! you are right! lol! Amazing that I didn't rush over to it and take a photo of mysefl! ;) x

Paul, I sometimes see a wren..lovely little things...so quick though, like trying to watch a mouse!

Amy, I think I'll get some insect feeders as well, that might encourage them to come around more often.

Thanks J! x

Snoop, we live very close to open farmland and I think they just pop in from there from time to time, that is why there are so many I think :)

Thanks Sticki and San! x

Scottish, I would have been so cross if that had happened to me! But that's life eh? I hope you get another chance! :)

THanks everyone, they were so pretty and I've never seen them in the garden before. It's hard to believe it, but three years ago, all we ever saw was thrushes, blackbirds and the occasional robin. Now that the shrubs have all grown up, the birds are coming in much more and I love it! :)

13 Dec, 2012

 

Well I was on Ted patrol today at my daughter's house , much further in the country than we are .
There was a robin singing beautifully in the garden , and she had lots of hungry birds around her feeding station .
They really rely on us in the very cold weather , thank you for the reminder of keeping water available for them , Karen .
How lucky you are to have such keen visitors , they obviously appreciated your efforts .

13 Dec, 2012

 

How lovely to see all those Karen..we bought a niger seed feeder last week,to hopefully attract some finches,but so far ..nothing ! I know there are some in the area,as they visit one of my neighbours garden..strangely,I have two more feeders,and not much activity there either..just the odd regular bluetits...must be getting their fill somewhere else..something I said ? ..love the sound of the outfit ! :o)

13 Dec, 2012

 

LOL, I have a brilliant picture in my mind Karen, your guests were obviously waiting close by, I am pleased my pump in the pond ensures that the birds can always get a drink at the pond because the baths are freezing all the time at the moment, they are eating me out of house and home, I am so pleased I kept the big hawthorn as its home to so many birds, no goldfinches lately but if the freeze lasts I think they will appear.

13 Dec, 2012

 

Bloomer, that's sure to bring in the Goldfinches, but it may take a few days :)

Lincslass, the birds really love the Hawthorns don't they :)

13 Dec, 2012

 

Think the blue gloves finished off your very fetching look Karen Lol. Great photos and that was very galant of you to go out and unfreeze the birds bath.

13 Dec, 2012

 

Thanks GG...they do say that the lack of a drink is even worse than scarce food for birds in cold weather :)

13 Dec, 2012

 

Thanks Karen.I wondered about that too.I guess they need to feel safe,and get used to it..:o)

13 Dec, 2012

 

We both love to watch the birds feed Karen and the feeder is just outside our dining room window where we can eat and watch them feed, We get 7 long tail tits on a regular daily visit , when they are in the area. There is always 7 which is strange!

14 Dec, 2012

 

A small flock of long tailed tits drifted through my feeding station the other day too Karen, but I was too slow getting the camera. Another cold snap and I am sure they will be back. The nuthatch pair are here daily as is the little wren, and a jay is visiting more regularly too. The bluetits are constantly here and a joy to watch but it is lovely to see occasional visitors too.

14 Dec, 2012

 

I think most of us gardeners enjoy our garden birds don't we! I have a dark rainy day here today, but I am actually enjoying it, as yesterday I was rushing about doing Christmas stuff, and today I only have to do housework and cooking and I might even get a few of my recently delivered shady garden plants in if it stays dry for a little while! :)

14 Dec, 2012

 

It's been like night time all day here + very wet :o(

14 Dec, 2012

 

Yeah, same here hun :( still, nice with the fairy lights on, and the gas fire burning. :)

14 Dec, 2012

 

I had to get my fire fixed last week, 2 days without it was long enough!

14 Dec, 2012

 

I have pm'd you xxx

14 Dec, 2012

 

lovely pics Karen :-)

14 Dec, 2012

 

Thanks Slad!

14 Dec, 2012

 

One of the darkest days so far this winter. Haven't seen many birds today, but it's much milder. There's a lot of open ground near here - I think they find quite a lot. We get every kind of tit - they make me laugh "steaming" their way across the garden from tree to tree. Yesterday when I put some pastry trimmings out, a robin and a blackbird were there before I'd finished!

14 Dec, 2012

 

Oooh, yes, I bet they love pastry! I bet they love mince pies! :)

14 Dec, 2012

 

Aw you Karen! They were in my garden this morning and no way could I get a pic...they are such lovely little bird, and that piping call always alerts you that they are around, great pics, thanks for showing....:))

14 Dec, 2012

 

Wonderful, Karen! Such lovely birds and pictures. I never seem to have my camera to hand, batteries charged when I need it. I particularly like your very pretty hanging birdtable in the first photo - where did you find it? We have only a small area outside our kitchen window totally inaccessible to cats for birds to come and feed, but gradually they are discovering it, and sit in a row on the snowy roof opposite, waiting for the water and the food to go out. It freezes so quickly though.
Beautiful new avatar, Janey!

15 Dec, 2012

 

I always cook the left over pastry for them,if I'm making a pie..Yesterday,they had the bits of the Christmas cake off the top,as I levelled it out..ready to marzipan it..I usually eat those myself :o) ..and I found half a packet of Spaghetti we didn't like ..cheap stuff we tried once,but went sticky when cooked..so I boiled that up,and they went mad for it..even the Thrushes came..I cut it up small ,so it was easy for them.I don't know whether it's suitable for them,so hope someone will tell me..no added salt,by the way..

15 Dec, 2012

 

Some of my favourite birds, they are so pretty. Lovely to see them at your feeders, birds are all feeding furiously down here in Lincolnshire too. Lots to see, lovely to watch, even Walter is stood at the back of my sofa watching. lol. think he would like to chase though. lol.

15 Dec, 2012

 

I love these Karen, but see them so seldom. They usually turn up in a large group of 6 or 8 and feed for a few minutes then off they fly again, I know not where!! But it is a real pleasure to see their pretty little pinky grey bodies flitting about, even for a short time.

15 Dec, 2012

 

Beautiful little birds , you have managed to capture them very well as they are so quick darting about all over the place, thanks for sharing;0)

15 Dec, 2012

 

They came back again today! I've put some mealworms out now. I don't know if they like mealworms, but the robins and blackbirds and thrushes will eat them. Apparently Wrens like them too :) We've had loads today, including a couple of lovely Greenfinches :)

15 Dec, 2012

 

Finches are something we rarely see in our garden Karen ... Long tailed Tits occasionally so I am quite envious of you! Yesterday there was a Mistle Thrush walking rapidly through the flower beds ... then today a pair of them ... obviously different bird varieties up and down the country ... I only put Peanuts, suet blocks and fat balls out now as the seed (both mixed and Niger) grew far too well beneath the feeders! ... :o(

15 Dec, 2012

 

I agree Shirley...it makes a horrid mess. However, sunflower hearts go down a storm here. Don't you find the suet and fat feeders make a terrible mess as well? We never get nuthatches, woodpeckers, cuckoos, etc. so you're right...different birds in different regions. :)

15 Dec, 2012

 

Pigeons, Blackbirds and, occasionally, a Squirrel clear up the fallen fat particles Karen ... Sunflower hearts are only purchased when they're on offer as so expensive down here!

15 Dec, 2012

 

You're right Shirley...they are up here too! :) sadly I've no squirrels and the ground feeders can't keep up with the flock of finches!

15 Dec, 2012

 

:o)))

15 Dec, 2012

 

Just as well you have no squirrels I think Karensusan, they will pinch everything if they can manage it!! I have found fatballs buried in the garden, most likely done by squirrels when they can get at them!!

15 Dec, 2012

 

Karen, I couldn't believe it when I saw a Long tailed Tit hanging upside down on the Peanut feeder at 8am today ... I got so excited and called Michael to confirm I wasn't seeing things! ... It's the simple pleasures in life ... lol! Blue sky and sun for a change this morning ... hooray!

16 Dec, 2012

 

Imagine that Shirlwhirl! yes, I'm glad I don't have them, although I would just LOVE a red one!

Shirley, isn't that fantastic? Brilliant! We had about 40 Goldfinches today. There were so many of them they had to fight over a branch to perch on in the tree!

16 Dec, 2012

 

I think we need a photo of you in morning attire!!!
Lovely birdies, don't seem to get the long tailed tits here.

17 Dec, 2012

 

We don't, of course, get grey squirrels here, and despite their bad reputation, I rather miss them. There are dark chocolate brown versions of the red squirrel round here, quite small and very, very shy, but we don't tend to get them in this cat-filled garden! They are SOooooo pretty.

17 Dec, 2012

 

Hi Karen ..
lovely blog. Sorry, I missed this earlier..
Great to see the long tailed tits.

19 Dec, 2012

 

That's ok TT....I don't monitor who's commenting and who's not...so I hadn't noticed :)

19 Dec, 2012

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