Tuesday, 6 October 2009

An idle moment, just staring out of the window...

It's autumn again, the wind is blowing the rain across the garden, and in the moments when I'm trying not to write, promo or otherwise earn a living, I can stare out of the window at the bird table. We've had two families of sparrows nesting in the hedge this year (about 500 of them, by the noise in the mornings in spring, but actually rather fewer), plus a blackbird clever enough to pinch the morello cherries and leave the stones attached to the twig. We have other regular visitors: hyperactive bluetits, a determined wren and a thrush of some sort.

I don't know how they find out (through Twitter?), but as soon as the nyjer seed goes into the feeder a goldfinch appears out of nowhere, followed by another, and they assault the stuff in pairs. A single fieldmouse also seems to live under the hedge and nip out to scoff any seed falling from the bird table.

A pair of delicately bewildered collared doves turns up sometimes, and a small gang of jackdaws, but the most regular patrons of the birdseed restaurant are two wood pigeons. One is sleek and obviously well fed, while the other is a bit scrawny and looks a bit downtrodden. We call them Scruffbag and Fatface, and while the sparrow contingent are out in the fields these two put away at least half the birdseed and bits of bread between them. One day Fatface will probably turn up with a doggy bag.

(Pictures from Wikimedia Commons.

12 comments:

Hywela Lyn said...

Lovely pics, Lindsay, your birds sound very much like mine, I spend nearly as much on the wild birds, as I do on my own animals, including the horses! I don't begrudge it, but I reckon the birdseed producers are making a mint!

Renee Wildes said...

Great post, Lindsay! The most avid birdwatcher in our house is the cat. She does this weird chittering sound when she sees one. The most common birds wqe have by the house are chickadees and mourning doves. We have a pair of bald eagles that nest on the river down by my daughter's school, but they don't fly into town.

Linda Banche said...

Great pictures. English birds are so different from American birds. We have a bird called a goldfinch, but he's mostly yellow with black trim in his summer plumage. Here's a picture:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Goldfinch

As for doves, we have pigeons (the everywhere present rock doves) and mourning doves. Picture here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mourning_dove

In one of my WIPs, my Regency ornithologist hero is looking out the window of a London house at a blue tit. That's my bird.

Tara S Nichols said...

Beautiful birds, so different from where I live. You also touched on an important subject; taking a breather from the work of writing. I'm going to try staring out my window. Usually there is a harem of deer and their kids wandering through my yard, but once a moose came to inspect my freshly cut firewood stack.

Savanna Kougar said...

I love my west-facing window because of the landscape and all the birds flitting and flying and feeding.
Mostly I see cardinals and wrens and tit-species, sometimes bluejays... they are all so adorable.
Yesterday, I saw a flock of seven small hawks as I was driving home.

Keena Kincaid said...

Great post and fabulous photos. I live on the fourth floor of a condo complex, so I didn't get many birds. For a while, a flocks of crows would gather on a dead tree outside by balcony and scream at me, but management cut the tree down and the crows went elsewhere. Good thing, too. Crows can be creepy when they're all staring at you.

LK Hunsaker said...

I love to stare out at the birds, also. Which reminds me it's time to add seed to their feeder since it's getting colder.

Lindsay Townsend said...

Thanks, Hywela, Renee, Linda, Tara, Savanna, Keena, LK!

I agree - I love to watch birds and sometimes to just sit and stare is the best thing there is!

Natalie Acres said...

I enjoyed your post and photos, Lindsay.

Cowboy Love,
Natalie Acres

Lindsay Townsend said...

Thanks, Natalie!

MAGGI said...

I've been through Yorkshire. It is a lovely place. In the southern highlands of Australia where I live, it can get cold, although rarely snows. We have a variety of parrots here. Bright rosellas, and King parrots crimson, blue and green, and huge yellow crested white cockatoos. Big black parrots swing in the top of the trees, feeding on the cones.
Maggi

Lindsay Townsend said...

Lovely, Maggi! I adore parrots. How lucky you are!