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Post Info TOPIC: Karen Foulkes, Dukinfield (COVID-19 garden lockdown)


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RE: Karen Foulkes, Dukinfield (COVID-19 garden lockdown)
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Lots of birds in the garden this morning, especially House Sparrows. At least 15 using the feeders, with a few young birds amongst them.

Also high numbers of Blue and Great Tits, again with young birds well represented. A Coal Tit was also using the feeders

At least 5 Blackbirds with a young bird present.

Best of all was a pair of Chaffinch, the first visit of this species since early in lockdown.

The garden list wouldn't be complete without at least one Woodpigeon mopping up under the feeders!

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Herring Gull once again visible from the lounge window this afternoon

On Tuesday, I thought I heard a Tawny Owl calling in the early hours of the morning.

Still lots of froglets around the pond and a large water beetle was seen on Thursday.

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Quiet over the last few days apart from a pair of Blackbirds which seem to have nested somewhere near the back of our garden.

Yesterday a Herring Gull was perched on the chimney of a house visible from the lounge window, usually Lesser Black-backed Gulls land on there. Also a large female Sparrowhawk landed briefly on next door's roof early evening.

Otherwise I caught sight of a Bat flying around a couple of times in the evening, likely to be a Pipistrelle, but it did seem quite big. I didn't see it again despite an extended vigil.

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Blackbird and Dunnock are both still singing but otherwise quiet birdwise.

The pond is quite lively as there are dozens of tiny froglets planning their first escape into the wide world.

Only one butterfly so far, a Large White.

Lots of low growing flowers in the lawn and even more tiny orange fungi than last week!

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A short break from work this afternoon

10 Swift hawking over the garden

Not much else going on in the bird world over the garden

Other wildlife

The tadpoles probably won't be too long before they leave the pond as most seem to have developed one pair of legs now

Also some tiny orange fungi on the lawn.

There were also some small field mushrooms on the lawn earlier in the week



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I've been sat inside working for the majority of the afternoon today.

A Blackcap was singing late morning
Early afternoon a Grey Heron flew over the front of the house
3 Swift over the front of the house early evening

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A bit quiet over the last few days

A young Jackdaw has been a frequent visitor to the garden today. Amazing to see how quickly its learnt how to get food from the fatball feeder.

A Greenfinch was wheezing at the front of the house and Scratchy the Dunnock has been singing.

One thing I have noticed is the dawn chorus is still alive consisting mainly of Blackbirds, but there a Wren also joined in one morning. One of the local Blackbirds is still singing during the day too.

A Large White was flying around the ivy on the patio in the brighter periods this afternoon.

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A Nuthatch was calling nearby when I was out in the garden just now. The first I've heard in the vicinity since April.

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Feeding has definitely been stepped up at the Blackbird nest today. Both male and female are arriving frequently at the nest, almost bumping into one another at times.

Scratchy the Dunnock is still singing although less frequently now.

Otherwise the usual birds have been in the garden This afternoon a Small Tortoiseshell

-- Edited by Karen Foulkes on Thursday 11th of June 2020 02:31:12 PM

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Female Bullfinch, male Greenfinch, a pair of Goldfinch and a separate youngster were among the birds seen in the garden yesterday. The Blackbird pair are going in and out of their nest on a regular basis now, so hopefully there'll be young Blackbirds before too long. The Coal Tit was visiting the feeders again the other day.

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The local Blackcap was singing again yesterday evening and this morning.

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At least one bat on Saturday night flying around the outside of the house and garden

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I just went outside to identify a butterfly I could see from the kitchen. It was a Green-veined White, the first time I recall seeing this species in the garden.

A Jay flew over too.



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Yesterday when I was out in the garden doing some tidying, the Bullfinch pair came down to drink from the shallow part of the pond. Both birds were only a few feet from where I was standing and when both birds had finished the male flew onto the feeder about three feet from where I was standing. I stood frozen to the spot as he fed. He was only disturbed when a Woodpigeon crashed out of the trees at the back of the garden. It was great to see these usually shy birds so close up.

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Yesterday the first juvenile Goldfinch of the year was in the garden. It has visited again this morning too.

The Bullfinch pair seem to be visiting on a daily basis again.

Jackdaw and 2 Magpie have visited the garden in the last 24 hours.

The only birds singing around the garden seem to be Blackbird, Dunnock and Wren


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The Bullfinch pair were present again, being seen both in the morning and afternoon.

House Sparrow and Goldfinch were regular visitors with a maximum of three present, but probably more birds involved.

A pair of Woodpigeon copulated on next doors chimney.

A female Blackbird spent most of the day building a nest in the ivy. I think she started a few weeks ago. If they use the nest, I'm not sure how long it will last as one of the local Magpies knows its there already. She was collecting wet moss from the small overgrown pond in our garden and someone nearby must have mowed their lawn as she was returning with grass. Her mate, who will have a hard job if the nest is to succeed spent a large part of the day singing

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Yesterday the Bullfinch pair returned to the garden, the first time I've seen them for a while.

Otherwise windy conditions have kept any wildlife down to a minimum.

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Of course, the Dunnock isn't a particularly scratchy singer, I have heard variations in song where once or twice a Dunnock has come over quite scratchy, almost as if he had laryngitis! Scratchy is actually a sweet songster and blends in well with the local Blackbird population. I've only heard one competitor singing in the immediate area around the house this year, so he's been quite lucky. He was singing from the Magnolia earlier flicking his tail as he did so.

Plenty of Goldfinch around today and a Starling calling nearby. Otherwise a quiet garden apart from the Woodpigeons.

Usual insects around, the only butterfly again being a Large White.

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"Scratchy the Dunnock" ...... Not very P.C that Mz Foulkes, rather derogatory in fact .... Beauty is in the eye (or ear) of the beholder !

Yours Faithfully

Roger Baker.
Chairman of the "Prunella Modularis Song Appreciation Society" Tameside branch.

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Late yesterday a Swallow flew over the garden and Scratchy the Dunnock was still singing. A pair of Blackbird were looking for food in the garden.

I've only seen a Blue Tit and a few House Sparrows today, but one of the male Blackbirds is still singing.

Plenty of Buff, White and Red-tailed Bumble Bees and other stripey pollinators on the cotoneaster and also at least one Large White butterfly flying through the garden. No sign of any froglets yet.

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All busy at Jackdaw Central this morning. It's looking as if birds are fledging and at least ten birds surrounding the nest hole. A Magpie has been keeping a close eye on proceedings.

A male Blackbird is trying to get food from the fatball feeder and the Coal Tit has been visiting the feeders again.

A Blackcap was still singing yesterday.


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A quiet week, pretty much the same birds as I've been seeing through lockdown only in smaller numbers.

I went outside late in the afternoon and there were at least ten Carrion Crows all cawing. I wish I'd have recorded them on my phone. I've never seen so many around the garden at once!

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On Friday I was looking out from the front of the house when I saw a Goosander following the river direction of the river downstream.

Other than that, there has been nothing new over the last few days. The usual birds continue to sing and yesterday two Blackbirds were singing against one another.

This morning a Blackcap was singing despite the windy conditions.

Blue and Great Tits have been seen regularly on the patio searching through the ivy.

A Magpie decided to raid the pond on Friday after some protein.

No new species of butterfly, but Large White and Speckled Wood were still daily visitors and the last Orange Tip I saw was on Thursday.



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A Jackdaw was actually clinging to the fat ball feeder a few minutes ago and feeding from it. The third Covid Corvid species to actually drop into the garden!

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It's been fairly quiet the last few days. I've been spending a lot of time staring at the screen working, but in the times I've managed to get out into the garden, I've stared at the sky a fair amount, particularly late afternoon yesterday when I thought I heard a House Martin. I searched the sky for a few minutes but there was no sign of any House Martins.

Also a butterfly I caught only a brief glimpse of looked like a Red Admiral.

Otherwise nothing new.

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It was definitely worth going outside after tea as a Swift flew over the garden.

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I filled the feeders today and put some snacks out on the ground.

Long-tailed Tits and Blue Tits soon appeared.

The local Starling population are more than likely in full feeding mode and a posse of four arrived and made several return visits until one of the local Magpies arrived. Once the Magpie had left ten Starling visited the garden. It's great to see so many visiting our garden at once. A female Blackbird was also present.

Yesterday two Mallard flew across the front of the house.

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Nothing overly exciting this weekend, still waiting for a Swift to fly over.

A Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over the garden yesterday but didn't stop and a Jackdaw visited the fat balls.

A female Blackbird was still collecting nesting material yesterday, while her mate was seeing another male off. The Coal Tit continues to visit regularly and eight House Sparrows yesterday was a lockdown record.

Butterflies seen over the weekend included Holly Blue, unfortunately no sign of Brimstone this year as of yet.

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Yesterday the Coal Tit was a frequent visitor to the garden using the feeders throughout the afternoon sometimes within a few feet of where I was standing. A female Blackbird was eating some berries from the creepers where I think she is nesting, one of two pairs around the garden. Scratchy the Dunnock and the Blackcap continue to have sing offs against one another, particularly in the afternoon and three Goldfinch were on the feeders at the same time. One of the Robins visited and a Collared Dove flew through.

I forgot to mention that there was a young Woodpigeon at the front of the house on Thursday.

Also present in the garden yesterday, male Orange Tip, Large White and Speckled Wood butterflies and late last night I could hear a Fox barking towards the end of the street.

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Nothing new in the garden today, but a couple of decent sightings so far.

A Jay came into the garden early doors, pursued by a male Blackbird. The Jay clung to a pole and attacked the fat balls in the feeder and stayed for a few minutes while the Blackbird mobbed it.

Early afternoon on my return from the supermarket, a Buzzard first circled and then drifted north east over the garden.

I also heard a Nuthatch calling at the front of the house yesterday and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was hiding in the trees this morning

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Like most on here, it's been quiet in the garden.

Fewer visitors to the feeders, although a Long-tailed Tit bravely looked me in the eye as I was lying on the lawn with the ants!

After I'd been there over an hour, a few species came down, including Dunnock, House Sparrow, Woodpigeon, Blackbird, Goldfinch and Robin, although I didn't like the wicked look in the Jackdaw's eye!

The sky was cloudless as well as pretty much birdless, with just Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Lesser Black-backed Gull and a superb displaying Goldfinch overhead.

Dunnock, Blackcap, Goldfinch, Blackbird and Robin were still singing, although I'm sure there'd be a little more earlier in the day.

Large White was the only butterfly seen.

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The Blackcap continues to sing, but still hasn't entered the garden, or at least not when I've been looking!

Yesterday a Swallow did a fly past late in the afternoon.

The Bullfinches seem to have stopped visiting the garden, perhaps having moved to more suitable breeding habitat.

A smart male Greenfinch is a regular visitor and there were at least three Goldfinch on the feeders earlier today.

The Mistle Thrush was singing from the same trees as on 12 April.



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Sightings from the first part of the day.

A somewhat scruffy female Blackbird has been visiting the thick ivy on the wall between our back garden and our neighbours, possibly feeding young.

Also in the garden Jay and Magpie collecting food from the lawn. A Coal Tit visited the feeders, a bird that doesn't visit the garden frequently at this time of year.

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was calling from the trees at the front of the house, but I couldn't locate it.

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It was going to happen eventually, or at least I hoped it would!

Two Oystercatcher, flying first south, then east at around 1730 today. A brand new species flying over the garden!

I probably wouldn't have even seen them under normal circumstances, but at least they were calling as they flew over.

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Blackcap and Dunnock are both still singing, but a nice addition to the lockdown list was two Swallow which flew over the garden.

A pair of Long-tailed Tit appears to be building a nest around the beech hedge. I spent some time watching them this afternoon.



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Further sightings from later yesterday

Around 7pm, there were a few birds in the garden

The Bullfinch pair arrived and the female was giving nice views on the feeder nearest the house
House Sparrow, male
Two Great Tit fighting
Male Blackbird
Blue Tit
Robin

Around 820 pm a bat flew across the front of the house, quite likely a Pipistrelle

Also a dot moth caterpillar (I think) was on the wall at behind the house around 10pm

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Five Canada Geese flew across the front of the house this morning.

I started cleared some of the mess out of the pond. The petals from the magnolia flowers are blowing into the pond and the beech hedge is now losing its brown leaves which also blow into our pond. The pond is alive with tadpoles which are growing larger by the day.

Three species of butterfly in the garden today. Apart from the daily Orange Tip and Large White, Speckled Wood was an additional species.

The Blackcap was singing throughout the day and the Goldfinches seemed far from happy that I was doing work out in the garden. A Woodpigeon is nest building somewhere. One flew over the garden with a huge twig and made a further journey with some smaller twigs.

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Yesterday was a very quiet day in the garden, but the pair of Bullfinch are now being seen daily.

Scratchy the Dunnock seems to be singing most of the day in and around the garden and we have two flying rats visiting.

Dunnocks and Long-tailed Tits are favouring the fat balls and other species are favouring the seed either in the feeders or on the ground.

There are several Greenfinch singing around the garden

I've not had much chance to look today due to work commitments, but when I finished a Large White came into the garden.





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Another hour or so in the garden and a singing Mistle Thrush on a nearby tree, no doubt warning of the impending bad weather, was added to the list.

I think the birds were fed up with me being out in the garden as a Wren sang from next to me and a Dunnock just above me.

A pair of House Sparrow visited and a Sparrowhawk again drifted over.

Several Gulls, mainly Black-headed flew over.

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Quite a flurry of activity in and around the garden this afternoon between 1300 and 1500 hours.

Plenty of birdsong with Dunnock, at least two Blackbird, Blackcap, Wren and Greenfinch all singing.

A bit of sky watching and two Buzzard drifted west at high altitude. Also Sparrowhawk mobbed by two distant hirundines.

A distant Grey Heron flew through too.

The Bullfinch pair were in next door's garden briefly and most of the regular species have been present at some time or another.

Male Orange Tip was again in the garden and two Peacock were seen over the drive.

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I finally saw lockdown Bullfinch in the garden, when a pair visited the feeders. Admittedly they are always shy birds, but it is good to see them. Four Goldfinch were fighting about one feeder, there's three for them to go at! A Dunnock was on the fatball feeder. Blackbird, Robin, Dunnock, Blackcap and Wren have all been singing around the garden today. Unfortunately in a couple of hours watching the sky only a Lesser Black-backed Gull flew over, other than several Woodpigeons.

This morning was a good time for seeing butterflies as when I went out to check that the butterfly I had seen was a Peacock, a male Orange Tip and a Small Tortoiseshell also came into the garden and a Large White was also present for a short time.



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I went out for my daily walk this afternoon and stood briefly at the front of the house. I could hear a Blackcap singing, but a Willow Warbler was also singing, the first time I've ever heard one on the close. Although it wasn't visible from the front garden, it was visible just a few metres away!

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The Blackcap was singing again just after my previous post. It sounded quite close at first, but then appeared to have moved a couple of gardens along.

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No new birds, but a Large White butterfly was in the garden this morning.

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After my post yesterday, I saw a Peacock butterfly!

A Wren was also in the beech hedge, perhaps they might nest there this year.

The four regular Woodpigeon are also spending most of their time chasing each other around, perhaps two pairs are involved here.

A Feral Pigeon actually came into the garden this morning, the first I have seen in the garden for a while.

A Collared Dove also came in for some seed, which is the first actually in the back garden since lockdown, although I am seeing them more frequently from the front of the house.

Dunnock and Blackbird are both heard singing on a daily basis.

The usual species are still occasionally on the feeders although I suspect they may be finding natural food sources too.

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I've been set up to work from home in the last couple of days!

I've still been able to look out of the window occasionally.

There was a Collared Dove singing in a tree across the road yesterday and two Canada Geese flew through low over the rooftops in the evening.

A Magpie came to investigate what I had put out for the birds a few minutes ago as I have filled the feeders and obtained a new one. The Dunnock was using a feeder yesterday, something they seem to have adapted to doing last year.

All in all, it's interesting watching the behaviour of the birds that come into the garden.

The tadpoles are starting to appear in the pond and there are plenty of bees and hoverflies around, although not many butterflies are about yet.

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I flushed a Wren from the cotoneaster as I went outside this morning. They have nested in there a couple of times.

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In the last hour, two Collared Dove flew past the lounge window at the front of the house.

This now brings the lockdown total to 26 species seen and another 5 heard.



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One of the regular Goldfinches has polished off a feeder full of seed this week. I haven't seen another bird apart from Goldfinch using the feeder in question and I presume it is the same bird each time.

Two Magpie were in the garden earlier and the Jackdaw nest site seemed very busy.

I am currently being serenaded by a Blackbird, a wonderful song.

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A couple of new lockdown birds for yesterday.

A Coal Tit was perched on the ivy just outside the back door.

A Pied Wagtail flew over the front of the house.

The feeders are busy with the usual Goldfinches and House Sparrows, etc, but still no Collared Dove around!

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