1. Dale.

    Dale.

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    Much coolness.(y)


    I think my feeders and pool are a little too exposed and I've seen that the birds are ignoring certain feeders, I think because they can't perch on them, so I'm working on that. I also put a feeding table out yesterday and it has been much more active today but just sparrows and the odd blackie. I need more natural cover, which will be an evolving thing but I will persevere with the feeding. Hopefully now the finches etc of the world will see the action and want a bit of it. :LOL:
     
  2. Byker28i

    Byker28i

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    Last edited: May 9, 2018
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  3. Dale.

    Dale.

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    WANT!!


    Hopefully, mine will look like that one day.
     
  4. Dale.

    Dale.

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    Not quite a woodpecker but at least some story. Didn't quite nail the dof. It's also gusty here today.

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  5. Dale.

    Dale.

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    Yet more sparrows, :tumbleweed::LOL:.

    I've dropped the pool another 3 inches to lengthen the reflection, now have to sort the bg again. Maybe not the best light.

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  6. Dale.

    Dale.

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    Today's offering, another bloomin sparrow :banghead:. Lovely little birds in their own way to be fair and providing me with ways of tweaking the set up. Today, I made what I thought would be a good tweak to the background but nah, it's not gonna work. I've tried to block out the fence at the top of the garden which is showing in the reflections. Also, I tried the bigger hatch today and the side fence is disrupting the reflection from there too too, so I tried to cure both problems in one go. Not going to work so back to the drawing board.

    Maybe I should rename the the thread " Dale's House Sparrows." :LOL:


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    Last edited: May 17, 2018
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  7. Martipa

    Martipa

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    I have been watching the thread and thoght what a brilliant idea, and would love to have a go. I am thinking of using a Grobag tray dimentions of 117cm x 40cm x 5cm. do you think trhis would be sufficient.

    Paul
     
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  8. Byker28i

    Byker28i

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    Perfect. I'm getting ok results with a barrel lid, that size would be great.
     
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  9. Dale.

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    Thanks Paul. Not my idea really, it's been done many times, I just wanted my own version and get the experience. The whole thing has been a learning curve from start to now. I think the bigger the pool, the better, mine is over 3 feet but I still feel it's too small. Saying that, the other thread of Byker's is a much smaller pool and it's doing well. Ideally, and I may still do this, is to custom build a pool, 4-6 feet long, or even longer, which starts right at the hide itself. The bottom edge of my pool can get in the way and this wouldn't be a problem with a pool starting at the hide itself.

    A pool your size will work for smaller birds but one thing I've learned is as above. (y)
     
  10. Martipa

    Martipa

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    Thank you both for the replys

    Paul
     
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  11. Dale.

    Dale.

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    Yeah, sparrow:runaway:, good practice though and tweaking all the time.


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  12. Dale.

    Dale.

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    The garden isn't quite so sterile just now, but that is also evolving and may take a year or 2 before it's where I'd like it.

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    ......and another sparrow, but I've started using fatty foods, and this has brough other species in, a nice little blue tit this morning although I was focused on the pool at the time and it was on a perch. Maybe next time.



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    Last edited: May 27, 2018
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  13. Dale.

    Dale.

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    Being as all I seem to be getting at the moment is sparrows, starlings and jackdaws, I figure it's better to try and capture them doing something. ;)



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    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
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  14. Dale.

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    DSCF5881 LR CS6 JP.jpg
     
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  15. davholla

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    Those sparrow photos are really good, you won't find many better.
     
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  16. Dale.

    Dale.

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    Thank you, I'm pleased with the last 2, the light was strong though. The others, I think the WB is off with them. I'm enjoying the learning curve and thats ection of garden is slowly evolving nicely.
     
  17. Dale.

    Dale.

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    Yeah, I know, feeder and 'bish image but at last, something different to sparrows.:banana:

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  18. Box Brownie

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    Ah! Siskins........always welcome as not common in our garden:)
     
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  19. Dale.

    Dale.

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    :banana: :woot:



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    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
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  20. dhaywood17

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    Do you think it's the lack of nearby cover that's keeping the birds away? I understand birds like the nearby cover of bushes/trees so they can make a quick dash to safety if they need.

    Some good shots there though.
     
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  21. Dale.

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    100%. I have planted a cherry tree very close by and also some creeping fruit bushes too, so it will evolve, but could take a while. I've also got a potted (for now) hydragnea that will be planted too, I'm planning on surrounding the area with trees and bushes. (y)
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  22. Dale.

    Dale.

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    The hours invested are begining to pay off now. I want the perches to evolve more now, the lichen and moss seems to be spreading.

    IMG_4307 LR CS6 JP.jpg
     
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  23. johnnypanic

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    Great to see that your efforts are being rewarded.
     
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  24. the black fox

    the black fox

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    Looking good ,I really ought to do one in mine ,trouble is next door looks after loads of her grandkids and there always in the garden screaming and shouting might be worth a go though
     
  25. Dale.

    Dale.

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    Thank you John.

    Cheers Jeff, it's been a bit of a job but I've enjoyed it and now it seems to be paying off. We have active gardens nearby, the sparrows are daft tame, can get within in feet of them. The siskins are suprisingly forgiving, I can enter and leave the hide now without them leaving the feeders. Goldfinches are another story though, they're off, the first sign of trouble.
     
  26. Dale.

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    This siskin seems to be happy with the hide now, I can leave the hide without it flying away.

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  27. Dale.

    Dale.

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    I'd best update this. :whistle:

    Already posted in the 'Birds' forum but here is one of my most recent visitors, a juvenile blue tit.

    I am spending time in the hide when I can but the vast majority of visitors are house sparrows, I have enough pics of them now. I'm excited about the near future though, as more colourful species come in for food.



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  28. Dale.

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    ....meanwhile, 08/08/2018.


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    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
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  29. gramps

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    Oops ... you are going to need bigger sunflower hearts! :D
     
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  30. Dale.

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    I was making a coffee at the time, couldn't believe my eyes when I looked out of the kitchen window.

    We have pet snakes, I may try a dead rat out there soon. ;)
     
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  31. Stuart Philpott

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    Poor thing,it wouldn't look hungry if you had got on this a while back:eek: even worse you'll need bigger mossey perchy things now.:p

    Sorry bro you know already how thrilled I am We've seen one with you before haven't we Dale ,,or an I imagining this,I'm sure you posted a sparrow hawk in your garden????

    Mate serious head on............................to really make the most of this( your "garden bird feeding set up" not sparrow hawk) you need to give your little mates cover,they want it anyway But with big birdz about that might make a meal of them,to feel safe at your gaff,your feeding station,you need to plant or somehow make then cover. Dale we talk a bit,I know a little bit about where you live. I've not really been able to get my head around why more birds,of a wider variety are feeding with you already. But,if you have their primary predator lurking and little in the way of boltholes and safe places,this might just be the reason.????? I dunno Dale thinking out loud as usual.

    Either that or you spends some weeks:) trying for a sparrow hawk. mate. Dale I simply haven't the knowledge or time to have ever really pinned this species down. I can find them,but never really had those hours,to really get to grips,with how habitual they are. I have never been able to predict one Dale,and that is what we need bar food.

    Dale there is this thing that it's ok to feed garden type birds,but somehow it becomes something different if it's a predatory bird................... I can't see it mate. Life is harsh for all our birds pretty much. There is no doubt in my mind that barnie kids are alive because of a few thawed out froozen mice. same with kingies with some aptly placed minnows and lord knows what else. All down to kindly souls just feedin da bridz:cool:.

    Dale no one has even shown me any science to back up claims that it can be wrong to treat a pred any different than an omni or herbivoore bird wise with food.. when times are lean(they are and have been),franklly they all need a hand.. If ya want to thaw a mouse it's good with me, a rat's actually better mate:D

    you'll still need some bigger mossy perches though bro:eek:

    all the luck kiddo
     
  32. Dale.

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    Cheers Stu mate, thanks for that.

    Yes, I have had a sparrowhawk before, on the fence 90 degrees to this one. My mate in the next street has feeders out too and he sees her a lot more than I do as he has cover. He has seen her on our roof, but he might be pulling my leg, he's like that.:LOL:
    I've seen her perched twice now and also a few flybys, but those were 'what was that' type moments.

    I'm working on the cover, got a nice cherry tree youngster planted and doing ok. The new leaves tend to curl up though, not sure what that is about and there were also black flies on it, which have now dissapeared. I have a potted hydrangea that is going to be permanently planted this week as well as some soft fruit climbers for the fence that are in pots. Cover is what my hide is missing but it is evolving slowly.

    It is very quiet at the hide at the moment, not even sparrows are bothering much, it's probably because of the sparrowhawk, she has a routine and flightpath that she follows every morning that my mate has observed and told me about. I also need more time to be out there, that's in very short supply just now, I can't even get to the new kingfisher sites I've discovered. This mortgage paying lark has a lot to answer for.

    I don't mind baiting as such, as long as it's a supplement and the bird doesn't become dependent. Garden and woodland birds becoming used to feeders is ok, as long as the feeders are kept full most of the time. With birds of prey, it's maybe a little different. I do have pet snakes that eat baby (dead and frozen on purchase) rats and I have a supply of the rats and I could bait the hide occasionally but I wouldn't want to do it on a regular basis. I've not made my mind up on this yet, more research and opinions need to be considered. As you say though Stu and we've spoken about this before, there are birds alive today and actually numbers are growing (6 pairs of kingfishers on a stretch of river that I've used once and not long ago, there was just one pair) bait has played its part, whether that be seed or flesh.

    I'm working on bigger perches, I had considered it this week, I have an old garden swinging chair frame that would hold a nice , moss covered log with ease, I may work on that on the weekend. I don't half get some funny looks though, lugging all these logs and sticks about town. :LOL:
     
  33. Stuart Philpott

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    Dale,if you can find any scientific study to say that regular baiting/feeding of predatory birds makes then dependent,i'm all ears bro. the wellfare of our subjects is as deeply important to me as it is to you. I just can't see it bro. and can't find any proper science either. Red kites,would probably be brought into these dicussions,folks are feeding them and it is causing probs in places. That said they always scavanged our rubbish tips in the past and are sort of a special case,as almost all come from birds that have been in captivity at some stage.

    Mate i'm a simple guy ,I just cant see these birds giving up their hunting techniques, eons of years of evolution to dine totally off frozen rodent handouts. What I do believe as with your kingies is they will take advantage when times are lean and the uk will have a few more kids to brave the winter. Buddy if I'm honest I feel all this baiting lark is more about photographer's honesty with set up images than bird well fare,I think issues get confused by passion. Mate I have never seen other than what you have here from me, passionate opinions, in these debates,no science!!

    . We also are dealing in places with schedule one birds here so due care must be taken there are laws one should know about!!

    Buddy a hide can be as humble as your or my back garden attempts, or of to the depth of some of the amazing set up's for eagles (as an example) that are paid for. My personal view is that pretty much every one benefits,a working wildlife photographer can suppliment his or her income,which is very hard one,with their intimate knowledge(bird welfare a given). Folks like me can go and pay for an enhanced chance of an image I probabaly couldn't get on my own (maybe I could mate ,but for another day). A disabled guy can get some chances,whom couldn't otherwise and the birds get a hand ,which they need frankly..

    Mate I'll stop there,I know you'll do what is right,I don't want to derail your thread.if your research does throw up any negatives based on cold hard scientific study please let me know.

    For once i've tried not to be too mad and just be serious:( but I can't end without saying how much I admire your bravery

    holy sh*t you go into towns:eek:

    take care buddy:)

    stu

    ps Back to topic these perches don't last long mate : me little GSW lass has trashed the holes and come out the other side she's only had them for days. moss placed in too much light burnt to a crisp......................... back to the drawing board mate:D
     
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  34. Dale.

    Dale.

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    With you on all that Stu. (y)

    I have news too. Sunday morning past, we were getting ready for a little mini break overnighter and I had just gone outside to feed the dogs before we left. I heard a commotion in one of the trees near the hide and right at the base of it, the sparrowhawk had taken a house sparrow. It must've been finishing it off as I feared at one point, the sparrowhawk had caught itself in the tree. I have no pictures, my camera was in its hidey hole indoors. I started to approach the tree just incase she was trapped in some way but within 3 steps, she was away, over the fence and between the houses with her catch.

    Camera is now on standby;).
     
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  35. Dale.

    Dale.

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    She's back, in driving rain, but seemingly content with one leg tucked up. 17/08/2018.

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  36. sphexx

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    Is this usual to see a Sparrowhawk perched on a garden fence like that. As I’ve probably mentioned, I have a big female hawk that kills in my garden regularly (one wood pigeon yesterday) but I’ve never seen it perched low down on fence or trees. I do have mature sycamore, chestnut and lime and when I’ve spotted her, other than on a kill, she has been high up in the trees and always shuffles sideways out of sight if she sees me looking at her. Is it urban vs rural behaviour?
     
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  37. Dale.

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    I am suprised by this to be honest, the area around my hide is fairly open with not a great deal of cover. We are rural, it's a big village we live in, but it is surrounded by hills, fields and a country estate. The nearest big town is Kilmarnock, about 8 or 9 miles west. There is a wooded area just across from us, about 200-300 metres away, there are tawny owls etc in there too and we do get tawnys on the fences at night and overhead. There's a river as well, between us and the woods, with all the usual stuff and upto earlier this year, a pair of kingfishers. There are otters on the river too.

    I witnessed the sparrowhawk take a house sparrow just last Sunday, maybe she is hungry and out of condition after the breeding season and is coming in for food? You're right though, I have seen them over the years in other gardens with plenty of cover, but never like this, out in the open.

    She even had company at one point (unprocessed, save for a crop and out of focus shot).

    Caption contest alert. ;)


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    Last edited: Aug 18, 2018
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  38. Jannyfox

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    I have a village garden and there are tall trees around, and a lot of medium height bushes and hedges. I have a photo of a female sitting on my old post and rail fence barely 3 feet high, and the other week a fine looking male was in, funnily enough, almost the exact same spot but on my new fence about 6 foot high. A few feet behind the fence is a tall hedge with a large shrub/tree growing in it. I have an idea the bird he was after was in the shrub, so although he was right out in the open, he was hidden to his prey.
     
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  39. Dale.

    Dale.

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    I will take a WA pic of the garden tomorrow , to get a picture of the area and associated cover.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
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  40. sphexx

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    You’ve both got situations similar to mine and there is a pheasant shoot just up the road. Thinking about it, it may be because my bantam cockerels are very sharp at calling out a warning about raptors — usually red kites but sometimes planes:) or swifts etc and possibly the hawk(s) have recognised this. The banties, though tiny, are feisty and a bit of a challenge for a sparrowhawk ;)
     
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