Blackbirds

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Blackbirds

  • Hi All, Not posted for a while. Not through lack of interest but other things clamoured for my attention. In 2017 the blackbirds stopped coming into my garden on the first of August. They were back later in the year but I am unsure when. In 2018 it was exactly the same date, 1st of August. I checked my diary as I note what species visit. This year I made particular note of when they returned. The first one appeared last Wednesday 19th September. He/she was accompanied by two others. Was it a she or he then Hooky? Not sure, the beaks were all of a none-descriptive shade. A sort of brownie shade. I live in the midlands. Has anyone else come across this funny shade of brown? Not really the she shade. Also does anyone else note when the "blackies" leave and come back? I was wondering if these three came from Russia or Scandinavia. Of course I have no way of knowing. The only way would be if they were tagged. I am still using the sultanas to feed them which I stopped in early August. If they appear again soon, I will start again. I am looking forward to your observations as who doesn't have a tail about "blackies"? Best regards to all who read this, Hooky.
  • I was just thinking today that I haven't seen a blackbird for a while.   Usually I have two or three around.   Hopefully they will return as they have with you Hooky.   I think the difference in colour in the beaks is the age of the bird, the young or first year birds have a dark beak, or so my book says:-)   I too feed them with sultanas, they have always loved them, as do the starlings, though at the moment I only have one of those visiting.   Plenty of sparrows around though.

  • Last time I saw my Blackbird he was extremely tatty with the moult & seems now to have gone into hiding so Starlings are getting all the raisins to themselves!  Have loads of Cotoneaster & Pyracantha berries waiting for his return!!

  • I suspect they are moulting. Adult Robins disappear for several weeks at the end of breeding season for their annual moult. That might well be the case with your Blackbirds. I don't think the adult male yellow beak shows on juveniles until the following Spring, but I could be mistaken.

  • Hi Gaynorsl,

       Thank you for your comments. Sparrows are a rarity around here. They disappeared late spring although they only visited two or three times a month it is nice to see them. Strange, as I moved 150 metres five years ago and the main seed feeder was the sparrow. During the winter and spring the Dunnock is a daily visitor. None seen as yet.

    Starlings have started to visit again. In the last week they have become more regular. I keep seeing the blackbirds fly through at pace, as yet they haven't spotted the sultanas. With regards to the blackbird's beak colour your observations seem to make sense. These birds must be the second brood as the first were brought by mum and dad to visit Hooky's restaurant. The starlings visited yesterday, about twenty. It was like a viking raiding party! They feed very skittishly and walk as they they are on hot coals.

      It would be good to hear if your blackies have returned now we are in October.

  • Hi Wendy,

      The berries will attract the blackbirds eventually. Do you get waxwings eating the berries in the winter?

  • Hi Monkeycheese,

      Your post must have been a signal. Friday morning 05.10.18 I saw a Robin for the first time this Autumn. Unlike the Blackbirds they

    stopped visiting when we started the long hot spell. I had two visiting in the spring which surprisingly were in the same bush. One would pick up a meal worm and offer it to the other. I wonder if

    they were mates that had fallen out and now one was presenting a peace offering.

  • Hooky

    Hi Wendy,

      The berries will attract the blackbirds eventually. Do you get waxwings eating the berries in the winter?

    Never seen any yet Hooky but only third year for Cotoneaster  with very few berries first year ... live in hope!

  • Hooky

    Hi Monkeycheese,

      Your post must have been a signal. Friday morning 05.10.18 I saw a Robin for the first time this Autumn. Unlike the Blackbirds they

    stopped visiting when we started the long hot spell. I had two visiting in the spring which surprisingly were in the same bush. One would pick up a meal worm and offer it to the other. I wonder if

    they were mates that had fallen out and now one was presenting a peace offering.

    Hi Hooky. I suspect that your Spring time Robins were a pair and what you witnessed was Courtship Feeding. The one offering the meal worm would have been the male. They give the females occasional items of food. This is usually prompted by the female shaking her wings and calling. Your recent sighting might well have been the same male, assuming he has retained his territory.

  • Hi Hooky, welcome from me up in the very far north of Scotland, in Caithness. We have blackbirds but have not seen them for a few weeks, they will return soon. I have a lovely cotoneaster that is full of berries, waiting for them. Have not seen the waxwings in the garden, but have only a mile away, in the woodland. They are lovely looking birds. Our robins are about again and back at the singing, gettng very cheeky flitting about the bushes. Hopefully in. Hoperully in Tim they will get friendly, and feed even nearer. Hope you enjoy here.

  • Hooky
    Starlings have started to visit again. In the last week they have become more regular. I keep seeing the blackbirds fly through at pace, as yet they haven't spotted the sultanas.

    Still no Blackbirds yet but this ishow the day has been starting

     

  • You are doing well for Starlings Wendy, and like the slow flypast of Mr. Robin.

  • If the Blackbirds have been busy breeding and maybe had two or even three broods they,along with many other species,disappear  into woods and quiet areas to moult and grow their new posh plumage. Many of the "odd" looking birds seen at the moment may be this years youngsters who have not their adult plumage yet. It may be a little bit early for winter visiting Blackbirds although Redwings have been reported on the Yorkshire coast and we have loads of berries ready for them to gorge on.One of my favourite seasons for birding is Autumn when the wintering Thrushes head our way and our bit of N.Yorks seems attractive to them.

  • Likewie here in Essex, some starling's, woodie, but no  spadger's or Blacbird's

  • Hi Catlady, I have never had them tame enough but I know gardeners that have had robins feeding around their feet whilst digging. I hope the waxwings come into your garden this winter.