Sunday, September 30, 2007

[memo to the birds] winter cometh

Baht At is not enamoured of birds on a wire when they are sparrows [which birds are yours, Mattie Wardman?]:

Where are all the birds? Jumping up and down on my sodding phoneline it seems!

This feeder seems easy enough to construct ...

However, Mutterings and Meanderings notes, concerning swallows:

Swallows are, I think, my favourite birds. I love everything about them: their first appearance, swooping low over the fields, signalling that summer’s around the corner; their cream chests and rosy cheeks; the athleticism of the adults in their aerial arcs; the cherubic babies with their wide mouths in an ever-present grin.

But this ridiculous hotchpotch of weather has conned some couples into breeding again, leaving it dangerously late for their brood to build up the strength for their long journey to Africa.

... but I like this one a bit better and might construct it.

In the North, we had lots of bluetits and I loved putting the orange netting bags of nuts outside the window for them to come and peck at, even if they did peck the bag to bits and fight each other for a place.

Here's an account of someone else who likes them too.

Now, over here in the fSU, little birds often come to my balcony window and I'd dearly like to put a bag of nuts out there again or some sort of feeder but where to buy such things? Maybe I can make one.


Julie said...

Hi, James - Starlings were weighing down his phoneline, not sparrows...

I enjoy watching the birds and spend far too much on feeding them in the winter. The string bags filled with nuts are a bit of a gamble. I once found just the foot of a bird hanging from an empty bag in the garden of a house we had just moved into - poor thing must have got stuck and died there. Their tongues can get caught in the netting, too, apparently - I do put them out, sometimes, because the bluetits love them, but they are a bit risky for even slightly bigger birds. Better to empty the nuts into a wire feeder.

If you Google 'how to make a bird feeder' there are some interesting ideas- the milk carton one would be good for a balcony and wouldn't attract the mess and noise of pigeons that an open bird table type feeder might.

Must dash off to watch Blue Peter.


Do bluetits stay over winter? My m-in-law has acquired a lone lodger in the nesting-box. Currently he's going to bed at 6.15 - a little earlier every day. Will he stay?

Julie said...

Sackerson - bluetits are resident in the UK all year round.

James - I know this is off-topic but having just noted with great amusement your 'Ken vs Boris' poll, I have tried to sabotage it with multiple votes for our Ken by trying to vote with Opera, Safari, Netscape and Internet Explorer in addition to Firefox (which first vote was accepted) - but despite all my efforts it would only let me vote once. We're sorry, you've already voted in this poll!
Heh. It must be one of those 'intelligent' polls which caches ISP numbers, but if there were little sticky backed gold stars for voting effort, I should have had one.

Lord Higham-Johnson said...

Naughty girl, Julie for stacking the voting. Don't you find Boris cuddly and warm?

As for the bird advice - thank you and I'll try it for sure now.

Sackerson - mine are little yellow creatures.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Ah, I like little sparrows!

jmb said...

Interesting post James. I find the birds in Vancouver rather boring, sparrows and crows year round with a few interesting things passing through twice a year.

I miss the birds of Australia, the beautiful colours of the little parrots and the birdsong especially.

Well I do find the geese and different ducks and herons and eagles interesting. Must be because they are bigger.


James - oof topic but re earlier discussion - there seems to be a Springwidget that might be adapted to list and display BP feeds - I haven't got the knack - has anyone else?:

Matt Wardman said...

My sparrows and pigeons are all accounted for.

As for Ken ... the only thing I'd vote for Ken on was consignment to the Electric Chair.

I notice that Julie voting for Ken lives in Wales.

Some of us used to live in London...

Julie said...

Hmm, I find Boris faintly ludicrous, James - but he would undoubtedly be far more entertaining as Mayor than would our Ken.

Matt - that is very extreme of you, with regard to our Ken and the Chair. My great, great uncle Jack belonged to the tiny City of London Police force and was a holder of the King's Police Medal and a member of the Royal Victorian Order - one of his duties was to ensure the smooth running of the Lord Mayor of London's Parade (when he wasn't otherwise engaged in overseeing the manhandling of suffragettes and other things) - therefore, despite living in Wales, I feel quite entitled to vote in James' poll, but even if I didn't, I would still vote. So there.


Lord Higham-Johnson said...

Ah, Julie.