31 January, 2009

The Garden and Local Patch

As I am mostly a garden and local birder, I love the fact that I never need to leave my own garden or local patch to find beautiful, exotic and brilliant birds; and the great thing is, most of them never leave!
I class my closest local patches as Richmond Park, Bushy Park and Home Park and have seen some pretty decent birds there including a Grey Phalarope (Home Park, November 08), a Little Owl and Kingfisher (Bushy Park, January 09) and 2 Red Kites (just down our street!). I usually aim to go birding at my patches most weekends and even though most of the time I find the same birds again and again, I love doing it!
Here 1 of the 2 kites that soared the skies above our street back in spring, a great record for a suburb in Surrey!
To keep me occupied when I'm not birding further afield or meeting up with friends, I love to keep a garden year list, last year it was 41 with the best birds being a Chiffchaff or Willow Warbler (I only just caught the call, but couldn't quite tell which one it was). This year, the list currently stands in the late 20 (a pair of Blackcaps are the best so far). My target bird is ofcourse the Red Kite which turned up literally metres from my front door last spring!
Heres a little photographic review of some of the my garden visitors...
A pair of Blue tits never fail to breed in the garden each year
They are great parents and most young fledge

A couple of years ago, there was a pair of Coal tits regularly visiting the garden together. However, one of the pair disappeared and now only one bird frequents our garden, he still sings everyday for his mate, it brings a tear to my eye whenever I hear him.

Every winter, our resident Robin is joined by a female. At first, he doesn't know what to make of her but soon enough hes on the right track ;).
Last year, a young Robin became a common visitor to the garden and was very tame, it was a lovely bird but one day I came home to find that a Sparrowhawk had taken it.
This Grey Squirrel may look harmless and cute but just wait till hes hungry!

No comments: