Sunday, 10 January 2010

Sunday safari

It snowed all day yesterday. I have kept the pump running in the pond to stop it from freezing over. The birds need water, as well as food.
A fieldfare feeds on haws.....he blends so well, it took me a while to find him. Can you see him??

I took this photograph very early this morning.......sorry about the quality. This is a new visitor to the garden. After close examination, I believe it may be a yellowhammer. Can anyone id the little chap for me?


A charm of goldfinch have come to feed on teasel seeds....
The song thrush is with me for most of the year.....she nests in my garden. She eats the snails during the growing season.....she has her own stone to break the shells. I am grateful to her........now it is my turn to help her.........
Blue boy and friends are coping with this cold snap....I am feeding them suet balls....they need to stay warm.....
There are many robins .......at least ten at the last count.....
This little chap is my garden robin.....he comes into the shed to feed.....he is quite happy to let me fill the feeders there and watch him as I work.......
The pied wagtails stays in the garden until it is dark. He quickly fills up, on what the other birds, have left behind.....
The Greater spotted woodpecker is also a regular visitor. I have never been able to capture him with my camera. Sitting on the floor, in the conservatory, for what seemed like a lifetime, I did eventually get the above shot.
There is much wildlife that is suffering during this very cold spell. I have heard of hedgehogs, foxes, owls, and much more being rescued by animal charities.
Please keep a look out in your area and if you see an animal struggling, take it to an animal sanctuary to get help.
and finally I was reading a local gardening magazine the other day and was very surprised when I turned the page and saw a photograph of me. It was a lovely article about 'gardening for wildlife'.....also a promotion for the Kent Wildlife Trust. I am always willing to help wildlife, in any way that I can and I hope that this feature will encourage others to take up this worthwhile hobby.

I do hope that you are all enjoying your weekend.....stay warm....stay well.....






28 comments:

Rose said...

Congratulations, Cheryl, on being featured in the gardening magazine! It's no wonder, though, that they should honor you--just looking at all these pictures of the birds in your yard, it's obvious that you are a true friend of wildlife. I'm glad to see that Blueboy is still in residence in your garden--looks like he's spread the word to his friends that this is a good place to stay:)

I've been trying to keep the feeders full here, but I don't have nearly the variety of birds that you have. It is SO cold here--12 below 0 this morning! Stay warm!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Yay about the article and providing safe places for wildlife! I totally get why you're keeping the pump on in the pond, but birds do eat snow for water... the real danger is when it's cold/frozen without snow. (Though birds do like to take a bath in cold water, so that's good.) I also love suet as feed for birds. I make my own and also found some on sale, so have two kinds to offer!!

Cheryl said...

Hi Rose....tku. The birds are flocking here....the weather is not good for our wildlife, they are not used to it and finding food is extremely difficult for them. I have been making suet balls today....they seem to like them.

I have worried about Blue boy for days....he turned up this morning, sitting in the dogwood ( he always sits there) He is the only blue tit that follows me around the garden. Thank goodness he is ok.....

Stay warm Rose.....

Cheryl said...

Hi Monica....tks for the info, I am always grateful for any advice.

I have also filled the bird baths, so that sparrows etc can take a dip.

I made suet balls this morning...usually buy them. I think mine turned out very well...the birds seems to really like them......

Liz said...

Hi Cheryl, I love the photos especially the Robins - but who doesn't love a Robin??!!

I'd have to agree your birdie is a YellowHammer, a very good catch no doubt :)

Very funny to have a photo of yourself in a magazine! It must've come as a shock, I'm sure...

Rusty in Miami said...

Hi Sheryl, it looks like you all are experiencing a bad winter this year. We are also having a bad one. Our bird population seems to fly south when it gets a little cold; there are none around. Great pictures,stay warm and congatulations on the magazine article

sharon said...

Hi Cheryl, I'm new to your blog & I must say how glad I am that I found you! Your photos are gorgeous and its obvious how much your garden helps the wildlife around you! Congrats on the magazine article & I look forward to your future posts/photos.

Cheryl said...

Hi Liz....I love the robins...especially the one that comes into the shed. He is just such a cute little bird.

Thanks for confirming the Yellowhammer, I had a feeling you would know.....how exciting.

The 'magazine thing' was a bit odd because nobody had told me I would be in there......more than glad to promote wildife gardening though.

Cheryl said...

Hi Rusty....it has been a horrible winter so far...but us Brits always make a thing of weather. There is nothing we like to talk about more...

I had heard that temps had dropped in Florida.....I am sure it will not be long till you warm up again...

Dan said...

Hi Cheryl
Lovely pictures of your feathered friends! I'm glad to hear your Fieldfare is better behaved than mine!
It must have been a surprise to see yourself in print and picture!
Dan
-x-

Cheryl said...

What nice photos of beautiful birds. So many of them are new to me. How wonderful you are to take such great care of them.

Cheryl said...

Hi Dan....It actually felt a little off seeing myself in the magazine....in fact, I looked twice just to make sure!!

The fieldfare have been visiting all week. They do not go anywhere near the feeders, they are only interested in the haws at the moment......

Q said...

Dear Cheryl,
I am so happy the birds have you and your gardens! Your snow and cold is very rare. I have heard about the trouble wildlife is having in your area. Your posts reminds us to keep an eye out for the wildlife. Climate change is upon us. Planting for the birds helps! Seeing the Fieldfare eating berries was very exciting!
I also have a pump going in one of the ponds so the birds have open water. The birds do eat snow but I have read how they prefer open water. I have a heater also I can use if I need to for the bird baths. Our temps have been so very cold bathing would not be a good idea right now. I too have kept the suet fresh for the birds. MAking your own would be the best. I buy suet with bugs in it. I have thought I need to save bugs from the summer for winter feeding but never have the heart to kill good summer bugs!
I have found that when it is so cold the birds find ways of getting along. They are sharing at the feeders and suet cakes.
I do enjoy seeing your birds. The Great Spotted Woodpecker is gorgeous!I am always excited to see a new to me bird in the gardens. When it is very cold and snowy I often do see some shy winter birds....your Yellow Hammer is so cute!
I miss the bugs but love the birds so very much that having a break is nice. My indoor gardening keeps my hands in the dirt while my garden soil is frozen!
I enjoyed Safari this week. Always nice to be with you. I love that the world is getting to see what an amazing person and friend of wildlife you are. Perhaps your picture and article will inspire others to care for the bees and the birds.
Stay warm my friend.
Stay strong.
Sherry
(My word verification is "rests".
I think I shall do so!)

Cheryl said...

DEar Sherry....thank you for such a lovely comment and the helpful information. I have great respect for your knowledge and affinity with wildlife.
I thought that open water would be helpful....I have put a twig across the open area for birds to perch on and take water.
The little Yellowhammer is such a sweet little bird....she is very shy and is frightened of the other birds. She hasn't plucked up courage to take any seed.

I check the garden each day just to make sure all is well. I may have hedgehogs in the copse, I am not sure. If I can get into the vegetation I may check the hedgehog homes tomorrow...

Thinking of you and your gardens....

Stay warm and snug....enjoy your indoor gardening my friend......

Liz said...

Hi Cheryl,

So lucky to have a friendly Robin, as yet I don't have any 'special' birds, I'm a little torn between attempting to form any bonds purely for their safety.
Normally I try not to disturb them at all...

What did it say in the article?? Was it just advertising the Wildlife trust or offering hints and tips to readers on creating a wildlife garden??
I must make some bamboo homes for bees/ladybirds this year, I had intended on it last year but the canes were used for the cosmos and tomatoes in the end...

Wendy said...

How exciting to find a picture of yourself in your local gardening magazine! And an honour. You do so much for the little creatures of this world.

I love your bird pics and that woodpecker one must have been so rewarding! Looks like you had a good Sunday Safari.

marmee said...

cheryl,

how funny to not even know you would be in a magazine...but so happy for you. now you are influencing other for wildlife sake...good for you.
so many wonderful birds are better off because you are feeding them. they are quite happy having you as a friend. i am so happy for you that you got a picture of your gorgeous woodpecker and the fieldfare eating the berries in his best camouflage. i really hope you won't have this cold/snow snap to much longer.
making the best of january.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Great birdie photos Cheryl. I especially like the woodpecker photo. Good job. I wish I could help with the bird id. I just don't know European birds that well. Congrats on being in the magazine for such a good cause. That wisteria looks gorgeous draping those big purple blooms all around you. Won't you look forward to those warmer times this year??!! I know I certainly will. Hopefully we will break out of this cold spell this week.

Roses and Lilacs said...

I love the water feature in the photograph.

I'm feeding hundreds of birds this winter. We have had heavy snow cover since December. There is no natural food available for birds or other wild creatures. This winter will take a toll on the poor animals.
Marnie

Cheryl said...

Hi Liz...I totally agree...I do not like bonding with the birds for that simple reason, their safety.
The robin just comes into the shed....I would not encourage him to eat from my hand....although I am pretty certain he would.
The Blue Tit follows me around the garden each time I am out there. He knows who feeds him.

It was a three page article in the magazine ....it was about wildlife habitat and how to create different areas in your garden, for wildlife. It basically is trying to encourage people to garden for wildlife as well as themselves.
I have always done that....I may not be the most knowledgeable person...with regard to latin names etc....but I do know how to create a safe and good environment for the creatures that come here.....I am also very good at growing plants etc.

Cheryl said...

Lisa....I am counting the days to spring......

Cheryl said...

Hi Marnie....I to feel very sorry for the creatures that are struggling....I also feel sorry for people like you, that have to endure the snow for so long. It truly has made me realise how lucky I am to live in the climate that I do, even though it is very wet most of the time.....

Brenda Kay Ledford said...

Congratulations, Cheryl, for being in the magazine. Your snow photos and the birds are very lovely indeed. You are a wonderful photographer and super gardener. I enjoy your blog very much.

LG said...

Thanks Cheryl for the visit, I will certainly post a photo when the grasses in the wodden feet have grown a tad.

Keep warm and well

LG

Miranda Bell said...

Dear Cheryl - some wonderful pics of your birds in the garden - have just finished watching SNOW WATCH and feeling all fired up to do even more to help our poor starving birds. Congratulations on the article which is great.

It was heartening today to spot a couple of Goldcrests whilst out on my walk especially after hearing that they are really suffering with the cold... do hope for you that the snow leaves soon - keep warm in the meantime - Miranda x

beckie said...

Cheryl, how exciting to be in a magazine. Of course I know you are more excited about spreding the word of creating sanctuarys. But with people like you showing how it's done...great job!

I love your bird photos. And am happy to see some friends have returned. I hope it warms up for them and you soon!

Patsi 'Garden Endeavors' said...

Wonderful pictures of your birds !!!...couldn't be any better.

I still fancy the little robin...seems you have the same friends that you see in the summer.
No one goes south ?

Seems like you're getting heavy snow every year now. Don't remember England getting so much.

A wildlife gardener said...

Happy New Year, dear Cheryl :)

How wonderful to be in a magazine...congratulations!

This is my first stop around Blogland this year...and I was not disappointed...so many beautiful birds to see...in particular the Bullfinch and the Fieldfare, both of whom I've not seen for ages.

The colour in your garden is amazing...I've been staring at the effect of light on a white landscape for the best part of 4 weeks now...so, my eyes were popping out at all the vibrancy in your sanctuary.

You take wonderful photos, Cheryl. When enlarged there is so much detail to enjoy.

Our temperatures have been as low as minus 20, so I kind of envy your milder weather :)

I feel the thaw is on its way now for we had a darker start to this morning and I do see the snow receding.

Chin up, my good friend, you are doing all you can for the wildlife in your area and your journal shows the rewards.

Thank you for your faithful visits to Barleycorn....and...Happy Gardening in 2010 :)