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African migrants 11:52 - Apr 9 with 1144 viewskernow

Have just moved into my shed. The first swallows of summer, a nesting pair.
This is the third summer now and it's a joy to watch them return each year, build their nest, raise their chicks, three lots last year, catch midges, evade sparrow hawks and fly off again in October.

Anyone else lucky enough to enjoy Springwatch experiences?
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African migrants on 13:00 - Apr 9 with 1123 views1885_SFC

My dad has two or three nesting pairs every year in his detached garage in rural Dorset. Wonderful little birds. I used to look after his beautiful house & two dogs in Milton Abbas a couple of times a year when he used to holiday abroad for a fortnight. Every night I would check up in the high rafters that they were all there before shutting the big double door for the night. First thing in the morning, I would come downstairs, put the kettle on, and then stagger sleepily to the garage & open the door. All of the adults would whizz past my ear before I'd even got the door fully open! They'd spend the whole long day until dusk on the wing - catching flies. They didn't care I was around they were so used to people

Always been one of my favorite little birds the swallow. Their journey to and from Africa each year is nothing short of a miracle.

Love life. Love music.

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African migrants on 13:40 - Apr 9 with 1096 viewsBison

We have a pair of Robins nesting in our letter box ( it's not in front door !) have a sign on door for postman to avoid putting letters in there. Got blue tits nesting in bird box in back garden.

Anyone heard any cuckoos yet this year ?

Trust no one in a circus.
Poll: Should I renew my 2 Season tickets this year or buy a share in a reacehorse ?

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African migrants on 13:45 - Apr 9 with 1090 viewsRonManager

Starlings in the soffit, it's great hearing them chattering and whistling to each other above our bedroom. Coal tits this year in the bird box, blackbirds in the bramble thicket by the pond and wood pidgeons in the leylandii. House sparrows in the hedge across the lane, they've been there for years.

I can remember when the internet was all fields

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African migrants on 13:30 - Apr 21 with 921 viewsRon11

I saw my first Swallows yesterday (20th) down near Solent Breezes caravan site on Chilling beach.
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African migrants on 14:45 - Apr 21 with 904 viewsTimSaint

African migrants on 13:45 - Apr 9 by RonManager

Starlings in the soffit, it's great hearing them chattering and whistling to each other above our bedroom. Coal tits this year in the bird box, blackbirds in the bramble thicket by the pond and wood pidgeons in the leylandii. House sparrows in the hedge across the lane, they've been there for years.


Ron - you do realise that those Starlings will have pecked through the (especially wooden) facia or bargeboard in order to nest in your house ? I'm sure it is really nice to hear them now and again, but you wait til the eggs hatch and there is a whole nest full of hungry chicks waking you up in the morning.

We had a few houses in our road with similar issues a couple of years back and some replaced their entire facias and soffits - which must have cost a fortune. Others just let them be, which is fine until the next generation want to find somewhere to live and start copying the nesting habits of their parents !!

Still, at least we will get some murmurations in a few years, once their numbers have increased !! (wasn't it Carling who used them in their adverts ?)

TimSaint

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African migrants on 14:52 - Apr 21 with 898 viewsSalisburySaint

I’m surprised some on here haven’t yet said unless they work in NHS or can pick fruit they should be deported 😉😉
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African migrants on 14:52 - Apr 21 with 888 viewsSadoldgit

African migrants on 13:40 - Apr 9 by Bison

We have a pair of Robins nesting in our letter box ( it's not in front door !) have a sign on door for postman to avoid putting letters in there. Got blue tits nesting in bird box in back garden.

Anyone heard any cuckoos yet this year ?


Yep, last week.

One of my lockdown jobs is to put up a bird box.

Is there any particular direction they should or shouldn’t face?
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African migrants on 15:01 - Apr 21 with 886 viewsTimSaint

African migrants on 14:52 - Apr 21 by Sadoldgit

Yep, last week.

One of my lockdown jobs is to put up a bird box.

Is there any particular direction they should or shouldn’t face?


Yes - access hole facing out !! :-)

Seriously though, it should where possible, be between North and East facing. This helps protect it from sunlight, wind and rain.

Not sure it really matters though, as the boxes we have face a number of different directions - mainly so we can see who is using them !! So far this year we have Blue Tits and Nuthatches.

TimSaint

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African migrants on 15:35 - Apr 21 with 866 viewsSadoldgit

African migrants on 15:01 - Apr 21 by TimSaint

Yes - access hole facing out !! :-)

Seriously though, it should where possible, be between North and East facing. This helps protect it from sunlight, wind and rain.

Not sure it really matters though, as the boxes we have face a number of different directions - mainly so we can see who is using them !! So far this year we have Blue Tits and Nuthatches.


Thanks Tim. That’s what I was worried about. Most of the positions for siting it so that we can see it face south and I didn’t want it baking in the sun all day!
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African migrants on 16:06 - Apr 21 with 866 views1885_SFC

Well I guess now would be a good time for me to post my annual link to the live Youtube webcam of the peregrine's nesting on Chichester cathedral. Four eggs again this year. Once the chicks hatch - the cam gets a lot more interesting... although if you like pigeons - you'd best stay away as things get rather gory.


Love life. Love music.

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African migrants on 16:46 - Apr 21 with 850 viewsRednWight

Just remember
One swallow doesn’t make her your girlfriend

The older I get the better I was
Poll: Cortese. Would we have him back

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African migrants on 18:00 - Apr 21 with 825 viewsRonManager

African migrants on 14:45 - Apr 21 by TimSaint

Ron - you do realise that those Starlings will have pecked through the (especially wooden) facia or bargeboard in order to nest in your house ? I'm sure it is really nice to hear them now and again, but you wait til the eggs hatch and there is a whole nest full of hungry chicks waking you up in the morning.

We had a few houses in our road with similar issues a couple of years back and some replaced their entire facias and soffits - which must have cost a fortune. Others just let them be, which is fine until the next generation want to find somewhere to live and start copying the nesting habits of their parents !!

Still, at least we will get some murmurations in a few years, once their numbers have increased !! (wasn't it Carling who used them in their adverts ?)


I have s-shaped rooftiles which is how they got in years ago by knocking in some of the small wooden blocks. They've been nesting there for nigh on 15 years and have caused no damage at all. They're up early and off into the fields, returning at dusk. They have a good chat with each other then soon settle down.

I love 'em, my favourite bird. They look so dull but when the sun hits their feathers - Boom!
[Post edited 21 Apr 18:09]

I can remember when the internet was all fields

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African migrants on 16:57 - Apr 22 with 728 viewskernow

Beautifully warm and sunny afternoon, hammock slung beneath the heavily scented cherry blossoms, blackbird singing a symphony. Couldn't wish for anything more.
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African migrants on 17:09 - Jun 16 with 477 viewsSadoldgit

It’s been a bit quiet on the bird watching front, but I had a result yesterday. Last year we built a skip and leave it tied up to the bank near us on the Royal Military Canal for those who fancy a row. We brought it in over winter but put it back out last week. Yesterday I got a call to say that it was underwater. Fortunately there is no damage and all is well again (apart from the worry that the idiots who sank it will do it again). Anyway, on the plus side, whilst pulling the skip out of the water two Kingfishers flew by. I have only seen 1 before here in 8 years so that was a bonus.
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African migrants on 18:06 - Jun 16 with 457 viewsTripleNiemi

African migrants on 17:09 - Jun 16 by Sadoldgit

It’s been a bit quiet on the bird watching front, but I had a result yesterday. Last year we built a skip and leave it tied up to the bank near us on the Royal Military Canal for those who fancy a row. We brought it in over winter but put it back out last week. Yesterday I got a call to say that it was underwater. Fortunately there is no damage and all is well again (apart from the worry that the idiots who sank it will do it again). Anyway, on the plus side, whilst pulling the skip out of the water two Kingfishers flew by. I have only seen 1 before here in 8 years so that was a bonus.


In my life i have only ever seen two kingfishers, once right at the very top end of the river about 15 years back, and a second in in the first couple of weeks of lockdown between Pennington and Keyhaven (along the landward side) of the path where a lot of migrating birds visit. Fantastic birds.

In the garden last week i caught the Great Spotted Woodpecker that sometimes visits on top of the usual Robin, Blackbirds, Blue Tits, Thrush and various finches. I think all us wakners being in lockdown for those weeks with nil traffic has helped them out a bit this year.

Gao loves the passion...…….

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African migrants on 18:58 - Jun 16 with 430 viewsRonManager

Had an inundation of sparrow fledglings over the last few days. Must be about half a dozen adults trying feed them all, there must be 30-40 of them. At the moment the jackdaw gang are flying over back from the fields to roost CHANK CHANK, well something like that!

I can remember when the internet was all fields

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African migrants on 09:53 - Jun 17 with 352 viewsSadoldgit

African migrants on 18:06 - Jun 16 by TripleNiemi

In my life i have only ever seen two kingfishers, once right at the very top end of the river about 15 years back, and a second in in the first couple of weeks of lockdown between Pennington and Keyhaven (along the landward side) of the path where a lot of migrating birds visit. Fantastic birds.

In the garden last week i caught the Great Spotted Woodpecker that sometimes visits on top of the usual Robin, Blackbirds, Blue Tits, Thrush and various finches. I think all us wakners being in lockdown for those weeks with nil traffic has helped them out a bit this year.


I can’t remember when I last saw a Thrush.
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African migrants on 11:50 - Jun 17 with 338 viewsdirk_doone

The house martins that used to nest in the eaves have stopped coming. There has been a steep decline in their numbers, especially in the south.

The increasing use of pesticides has killed a lot of the food that insectivorous birds like house martins feed on. Slug pellets have poisoned the food of thrushes and hedgehogs, which is why they have disappeared from many gardens. Blackbirds are less affected because they pull healthy worms out from under the ground. Robins, which eat crawling insects, like spiders and beetles as well as berries, also seem to be relatively unaffected by pesticides. Having said that, even some beetles are in decline. Someone posted a photo of a stag beetle from their garden on FB and people found it remarkable to see such a rare species yet when I was a boy they were commonplace. As much of our wildlife gets mown down crossing roads, bird species, like Magpies and Red Kites, which eat roadkill are increasing in number.

On a more positive note, I was in the Gambia one winter and saw ringed Ospreys which had come from the UK. There were also some of our nightingales there.
[Post edited 17 Jun 12:31]

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African migrants on 12:47 - Jun 17 with 301 viewsSadoldgit

Stag beetles used to terrify me as a kid but haven’t seen one of those for years either, well apart from on Springwatch the other night. Such a shame that we are losing so much of our wildlife. I have lived in this area for nearly 8 years and the number of hedgerows that have been removed is shocking.
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African migrants on 17:39 - Jun 24 with 233 viewskernow

Three out of four survived to fly the nest today. They're out there fending for themselves now.
More nest building imminent as the first one has been outgrown and trashed.
Four blackbird chicks also about to fledge any time soon. This will be the second lot. Have to keep an eye on the young dog as he likes to terrorize them.
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