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4 hours ago, cambridgefox said:

The amount of Swifts in my village this year is outstanding.

Took me a while but I counted 40+ screaming overhead last week.

Fantastic.

IMAG6171.thumb.jpg.b938cc7ee57a05fc23492bc12d0c651b.jpg
 

Fantastic aren't they?  I took this in Corfu Town in May.  There were 100s of them!

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5 hours ago, cambridgefox said:

The amount of Swifts in my village this year is outstanding.

Took me a while but I counted 40+ screaming overhead last week.

Fantastic.

 

Same here ...   all round the back of my house and dive bombing me as I get anywhere near their nest ...    great sight !   :thumbup:

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1 minute ago, Countryfox said:

 

Same here ...   all round the back of my house and dive bombing me as I get anywhere near their nest ...    great sight !   :thumbup:

Getting a few swift boxes  put on my new build.

They must be ready to go soon.Shame they really don’t stay for long.

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Just now, cambridgefox said:

Getting a few swift boxes  put on my new build.

They must be ready to go soon.Shame they really don’t stay for long.

Great idea ...   mine come back year after year and nest in the same spot in an old barn where I keep my garden stuff ...   always have to leave the door open for them.    All young fledged and gone a while back but they are still around.

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10 minutes ago, Countryfox said:

Great idea ...   mine come back year after year and nest in the same spot in an old barn where I keep my garden stuff ...   always have to leave the door open for them.    All young fledged and gone a while back but they are still around.

Wonderful.Putting an owl box in the Walnut tree to.Love my birds.

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And this slightly different coloured buddlia not only attracts butterflies but also bumble bees ...  there were about 30 on it ..  

 

 

8DD9C905-CEA7-46E8-AF86-068A5C54B01F.jpeg

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On 05/08/2019 at 09:28, cambridgefox said:

The amount of Swifts in my village this year is outstanding.

Took me a while but I counted 40+ screaming overhead last week.

Fantastic.

Great birds.  They look a little like spitfire dogfights twisting and turning after insects.

 

They're the fastest British birds I believe, not counting peregrines, but they are gravity assisted which is just cheating.  When they fledge, they never land again until they breed, sleeping and eating on the wing.  Sometimes bad weather can bring them down in which case they're in trouble as they are the only flying bird that I know of that can't take off from the ground on account of their little stumpy legs.  Sometimes we would get such cases brought to us and when they were strong enough you had to release them from stepladders.

 

They almost always have these horrible, really horrible, parasites called hippoboscids or 'flat flies' on them.  They are like flattened blue bottles but they can't fly very well, they just sort of jump and scuttle.  If one lands on you they run into your hair and they have kind of barbed feet  which means that they are really difficult to get off.  The stuff of nightmares.  The only thing that I was genuinely scared of doing wildlife rehab and would have me running off and screaming like a little girl.

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6 hours ago, murphy said:

Great birds.  They look a little like spitfire dogfights twisting and turning after insects.

 

They're the fastest British birds I believe, not counting peregrines, but they are gravity assisted which is just cheating.  When they fledge, they never land again until they breed, sleeping and eating on the wing.  Sometimes bad weather can bring them down in which case they're in trouble as they are the only flying bird that I know of that can't take off from the ground on account of their little stumpy legs.  Sometimes we would get such cases brought to us and when they were strong enough you had to release them from stepladders.

 

They almost always have these horrible, really horrible, parasites called hippoboscids or 'flat flies' on them.  They are like flattened blue bottles but they can't fly very well, they just sort of jump and scuttle.  If one lands on you they run into your hair and they have kind of barbed feet  which means that they are really difficult to get off.  The stuff of nightmares.  The only thing that I was genuinely scared of doing wildlife rehab and would have me running off and screaming like a little girl.

Fantastic read,I heard about the parasites,but in my mind I always thought they were dormant,or not too lively.Sounds horrific.

There is a birdwatching page on FB that I snoop at,if you can get by the infighting of the” Ive got more knowledge than you “ brigade and it’s horrendous and makes this place look tame.There was a bloke who found a young swift and recorded it each day until release.Absolutely absorbing ( apart from everyone arguing about food he was feeding,until an expert put him right)

They have a sheath under the wing ( you probably know more than me) that has to disappear before launch date or disaster.

The wings have to be a certain length too.

one of my favourites I must say.

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6 hours ago, murphy said:

Great birds.  They look a little like spitfire dogfights twisting and turning after insects.

 

They're the fastest British birds I believe, not counting peregrines, but they are gravity assisted which is just cheating.  When they fledge, they never land again until they breed, sleeping and eating on the wing.  Sometimes bad weather can bring them down in which case they're in trouble as they are the only flying bird that I know of that can't take off from the ground on account of their little stumpy legs.  Sometimes we would get such cases brought to us and when they were strong enough you had to release them from stepladders.

 

They almost always have these horrible, really horrible, parasites called hippoboscids or 'flat flies' on them.  They are like flattened blue bottles but they can't fly very well, they just sort of jump and scuttle.  If one lands on you they run into your hair and they have kind of barbed feet  which means that they are really difficult to get off.  The stuff of nightmares.  The only thing that I was genuinely scared of doing wildlife rehab and would have me running off and screaming like a little girl.

Iv'e heard Common Eider cited as not only the fastest British bird in level flight, but in the world....

 

30 minutes ago, cambridgefox said:

Fantastic read,I heard about the parasites,but in my mind I always thought they were dormant,or not too lively.Sounds horrific.

There is a birdwatching page on FB that I snoop at,if you can get by the infighting of the” Ive got more knowledge than you “ brigade and it’s horrendous and makes this place look tame.There was a bloke who found a young swift and recorded it each day until release.Absolutely absorbing ( apart from everyone arguing about food he was feeding,until an expert put him right)

They have a sheath under the wing ( you probably know more than me) that has to disappear before launch date or disaster.

The wings have to be a certain length too.

one of my favourites I must say.

Also, as for cambridgefox comments about the British birding community, they are spot on. I've been heavily involved in the scene for nearly a decade since I took up birding in my mid 20's and I've seen some mad stuff. From twitching to local patching there is intense rivalry and elements of tribalism. The political side of the hobby is magnified since the launch of social media, but it does make for a fascinating entertainment. Threats of violence between birders is regular. This is mostly at the hardcore end of the hobby mind and doesn't effect your weekend birder thankfully. It's a wonderful hobby if you can keep clear of the politics and lunatics...

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I do enjoy watching the various birds visit my garden. I have lots of feeders out and get all sorts of finches, tits and sparrows. Have moved a couple of the feeders closer to the house now and they are beginning to be brave enough to come to those now even when I'm sat on the decking.

 

Some of the feeders in the garden centre are crazy money - but I brought a couple of these from a shop in town:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bottle-Top-Bird-Feeder-Kit/dp/B007H8G50C/ref=asc_df_B007H8G50C/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=310868716204&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=11073299225286364692&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1006926&hvtargid=aud-543776533562:pla-779892948140&psc=1

 

Old coke bottle and you have a feeder for a £1

 

Bottle Top Bird Feeder Kit

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2 hours ago, cambridgefox said:

Fantastic read,I heard about the parasites,but in my mind I always thought they were dormant,or not too lively.Sounds horrific.

There is a birdwatching page on FB that I snoop at,if you can get by the infighting of the” Ive got more knowledge than you “ brigade and it’s horrendous and makes this place look tame.There was a bloke who found a young swift and recorded it each day until release.Absolutely absorbing ( apart from everyone arguing about food he was feeding,until an expert put him right)

They have a sheath under the wing ( you probably know more than me) that has to disappear before launch date or disaster.

The wings have to be a certain length too.

one of my favourites I must say.

 

They looked pretty lively to me.  You used to get them on swifts and also swallows, pigeons and birds of prey but not really on garden birds.  If you get a sick bird of prey in, you just know that they'll have at least half a dozen of these horrible things.  Some people aren't bothered by them but I used to get dressed up in a hairnet and gloves.  I shudder at the thought.  I would have worn a bee keepers outfit if I had one.

 

I've never really been a birdwatcher myself other than just enjoying being around them.

 

Hand rearing swifts was very difficult.  Most orphaned birds will gape for food or learn to pretty quickly but not swifts.  We used to feed them headless live mealworms but often they'd spit them out so we'd use a formula bird food called 'exact' or even pureed meat.  They have little beaks to go with their little stumpy legs so we often had to feed swifts by pulling the feather below the beak to open it and then quickly stick your syringe in.   What did the expert advise to feed them?

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4 minutes ago, murphy said:

 

They looked pretty lively to me.  You used to get them on swifts and also swallows, pigeons and birds of prey but not really on garden birds.  If you get a sick bird of prey in, you just know that they'll have at least half a dozen of these horrible things.  Some people aren't bothered by them but I used to get dressed up in a hairnet and gloves.  I shudder at the thought.  I would have worn a bee keepers outfit if I had one.

 

I've never really been a birdwatcher myself other than just enjoying being around them.

 

Hand rearing swifts was very difficult.  Most orphaned birds will gape for food or learn to pretty quickly but not swifts.  We used to feed them headless live mealworms but often they'd spit them out so we'd use a formula bird food called 'exact' or even pureed meat.  They have little beaks to go with their little stumpy legs so we often had to feed swifts by pulling the feather below the beak to open it and then quickly stick your syringe in.   What did the expert advise to feed them?

I googled the parasite uuurgh.

cant remember now,but it was mealworm and something else.When a certain weight was achieved one of those was taken away.

saw a solitary one yesterday,but the morning dog walk where they have been in full scream was absent today.

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9 hours ago, murphy said:

Great birds.  They look a little like spitfire dogfights twisting and turning after insects.

 

They're the fastest British birds I believe, not counting peregrines, but they are gravity assisted which is just cheating.  When they fledge, they never land again until they breed, sleeping and eating on the wing.  Sometimes bad weather can bring them down in which case they're in trouble as they are the only flying bird that I know of that can't take off from the ground on account of their little stumpy legs.  Sometimes we would get such cases brought to us and when they were strong enough you had to release them from stepladders.

 

They almost always have these horrible, really horrible, parasites called hippoboscids or 'flat flies' on them.  They are like flattened blue bottles but they can't fly very well, they just sort of jump and scuttle.  If one lands on you they run into your hair and they have kind of barbed feet  which means that they are really difficult to get off.  The stuff of nightmares.  The only thing that I was genuinely scared of doing wildlife rehab and would have me running off and screaming like a little girl.

 

When they come to feed their young they sort of crash land into the nest ...   great to see.

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1 hour ago, Countryfox said:

This stunner is about 6 inches across ...   

 

The pic doesn't do it justice ..

 

 

 

That's what I say when I am sexting. :thumbup:

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If Carlberg did puffballs ...    this little beauty is sat on a normal size dinner plate ...  will be a welcome addition to Sunday’s barbecue ..   :)

 

 

B0AC289C-09FC-449D-A3AF-E23AF9BDC6B5.jpeg

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Got woken up in the early hours the other day by a badger on our patio!!  We've had the odd fox or two but never expected this.  It'd gone by the time I found my phone. 

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23 minutes ago, David Guiza said:

I've mentioned him before, but I've now built our hedgehog a house of some scrap DIY wood at the end of the garden. He moved in yesterday (excuse the child's handwriting, it's a sign of intelligence...) 

 

Image

 

That's great, mate, but Henry? lol

 

I bet nobody ever called a hedgehog that before...

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3 minutes ago, Buce said:

 

That's great, mate, but Henry? lol

 

I bet nobody ever called a hedgehog that before...

I would have preferred Muzzy, but the wife got there first! 

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Quite ironically saw a peacock peering through the window whilst watching the Tottenham game on Sky yesterday.

 

20190922_210747.jpg

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Have mentioned before that I have ravens, buzzards and now kites near the back of my house ..  now nesting time is upon us activity is increasing and I’ve seen a few spats between them and also the crows and the rooks that are around the area. Was out yesterday walking the dogs and saw about 4 ravens really going for a buzzard (had my binos with me) ...  the lead raven was as big if not bigger than the buzzard and dive bombing it from above ..  the buzzard would swivel and push its talons out to deflect the attack ..  but with 4 attacking and driving those huge beaks into it they finally knocked it out the sky ...  it went into a tree to find cover but the attacks carried on ...   all I could see was a mass of black wings surrounding it ...   finally it fell to the ground and they eventually moved off.  I don’t think it survived.  Never seen anything like that before and hopefully never will again.  Not pleasant.   :mellow:

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