Category Archives: my birding

First proper signs of Autumn in the air

Just the other day I made a concerted effort to go to a networking event which is an unusual thing for me to do but needs must, I guess. In truth, I’m not an overly social being which is quite unlike those nomadic wanderers, Redwings (Turdus iliacus) which always tend to arrive around these parts at this time of the season.

Well, to cut a long-story short, into the wee early hours of Sunday 11th October after the above-mentioned event  I heard some Redwing calling (example calls provided by xeno-canto.org) overhead for the first time this Autumn. In reality I cannot be sure how many, probably only just a couple but they’ve arrived, yippee.

You can see from the chart below that their arrival dates in my patch have been very consistent during recent years.  As this was also at approximately one o’clock in the morning I feel I did quite well to be so observant at such an hour.

First Redwing of Autumn (locally) as of 2015

First Redwing of Autumn (locally) as of 2015

Click on the chart image above in order to access the datasets in full screen.

Best Wishes and Happy Redwing hunting amongst a plethora of other Autumnal delights.

and

Could it be a Waxwing winter?

Anybody with access to the various bird news services will be aware of the increasing numbers of these northern Vikings. As true inhabitants of arctic and subarctic lands, they only descend to our shores, upon failure of their favoured Rowan berry crop. Right now, Bohemian Waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) are thinly spread across the United Kingdom. Should you wish to seek them, one should head to places with a rich abundance of exotic berries, such as Cotoneaster, Pyracanthus and the like. Unsurprisingly then, supermarket car parks are favoured locations, along with your own berry-laden back garden. Waxwings are renowned as voracious eaters and in Birds Britannica, it is quoted that an individual was on record as having eaten approximately 600 to 1000 berries, over the course of one sitting. Consequently, if you wish to see a flock of these delightful birds, you may have to be quick off the blocks.

*As ever, the images represented below, come courtesy of BWPi, published in association with Birdguides.com


UKbirdingtimeline – courtesy of Tony William Powell on Google+

not much birding going on

I apologise for this shameless plug to my other blog, but there is a loose connection with birding via the post shown below.

sort your life out


UKbirdingtimeline – courtesy of Tony William Powell on Google+

Heightened garden bird feeding activity due to the weather?

I have once again, topped up the garden feeders and I think it is fair to say, the birds are feeding at an unprecedented rate. In fact, if you were to look at the weather with regard to rainfall amounts and maximum Air Temperatures associated with them, you would not find my observation too shocking.

June 2012 climate summary as of 16th June

June 2012 climate summary as of 16th June

Currently as you can see, as of Mid-June, the rainfall accumulation is 92mm with the mean Air Temperature at 1.6c below average. If at this stage, you were to break down the precipitation into rainfall hours, this would illustrate how soggy June has been so far. My Davis rain gauge can perform this very precise calculation by accumulating the amount of bucket tips it produces, each one measuring 0.2mm at a time. Furthermore, the weather station records the weather parameters each minute of every day. On this basis, June has therefore produced 448 tips. The absurdity of our climate at this mid stage of June being proven by my location in Berkshire having received 105 hours of rainfall. Thankfully, for most folk at least, a good amount of this rainfall has been localised and arrived during the overnight period. Another summary is available via this blog post.

I think June is a wonderful month for birding activity in general in our gardens. This time around, in no doubt due to the lack of insect food, most of this is washed clear of the local trees and shrubs, the birds are amassing. A post on my other blog hinted at this activity and boy, is it continuing to this day. My sunflower hearts, the main feed provision is digested at approximately 2 kg or more per day. The variety is very high quality too. Sample lists from when I am at home involve the usual Blackbirds, Robins, House Sparrows and Song Thrushes etc. More interestingly, the number of finches is impressive with many different types accounted for. These include Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Chaffinches as well as a Bullfinch or two. Annoyingly though, the more boisterous birds will on occasions bully the smaller ones off the feeders. The main culprits being the individuals with higher biomass effect, birds such as Jackdaws, Starlings and Wood Pigeon. More about these potential bully birds next time!

Best Wishes

Tony Powell


A new blog and a post about baby birds

Hello everybody and welcome aboard a new blog related specifically to UK ornithology. You may have heard of my other blog called naturestimeline and it is from there, I am linking my first post.

http://naturestimeline.com/2012/06/07/baby-birds-galore/

Do enjoy and come back for more updates as they occur.