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I have recently joined and am another twitcher too. My favourites are the Goldfinches, hence fourteen, which, last year I managed to attract into my bird service station in one sitting, it was a personal best for me, having had regular large visitor numbers from the guys in red, white and brown. i I happen to work on a service station where birds are a part of fixtures and fittings and I like to think I give the local birds a similar experience. There are places to stop and chill out and there are lots of different things to dine on. The service station is made up of two bird feeding stations, main site, which currently offers bird cake, peanuts, wild bird seed from our local pet centre in stafford, and a bird bath. The second site, the smaller one, holds bird fat balls and nyjer seed in smallish feeders.
Come the busy season and we will return to offer Nyjer and Sunflower hearts as the main food type, which draws in the swarms of Goldfinches along with the Great, Blue and Coal Tit types. The bird service station is located on a back garden in a street where the backs of the properties are on the edge of a wildlife corridor and I think this opens the gardens up to a wide variety of wildlife and in particular birds, for which the intensive bird feeding station, has attracted various birds, including my first ever Bullfinch which was a nice surprise back in August having never seen one in the wild before.
I have always been interested in birds from a very young age and love to take time out to watch the comings and goings in the garden. It is my goal in 2012 to get a bird camera nest box set up and to start uploading footage to youtube, having seen some brilliant footage on there in the last few days, especially of blue tit families (Search ''Nicholson's Blue Tits''). As a child, I saw a documentary about bird feeding and a twitcher whose garden backed onto a wood, and he used to bring birdseed out in a wheel barrow and they said he used to empty the forrest. This inspired me to create my bird service station, hopefully in 2012 we will manage to lure the other species found in this area into the garden more so, especially long tailed tits, which I have seen, but not regularly. It is another goal of mine to learn about individual dietary requirements which might favour such a bird species.
Today is a bit of a milestone in the 2012 calendar, it is the 8th February and the first day of the return of the Goldfinch which has inspired me to start posting and writing this now, he came about ten minutes ago and has settled on the further smaller station where the nyjer feeder is located. He has been joined in feeding by several blue tits, a coal tit and about 3 or 4 house sparrows, rather them than me though, it is freezing out there today.
I recently did the RSPB garden bird watch survey and the birds did a bunk off, so, I did it twice, one each day of the survey time and the 2nd time, I did the hour at an earlier time in the day in the hope of seeing more birds, where I saw five, instead of two lol. I am not sure if there was any concrete scientific logic as to why I saw more then, but it felt good. Two obviously was a disappointment, the garden is located in a prime time wildlife environment and whilst maybe not being bordered to a wildlife haven, it can certainly be said to be in a place where birds are in good numbers, I opted not to include the birds I saw in the surrounding area, such as magpies and a few starlings which were in neighbouring gardens and the area to the rear of my property, as they werent really visiting the garden as such. The area where I live is on a green corridor running to an area of South Stafford where there is an extended stretch of green belt land and a river which ajoins the River Sow. I have seen Herons, a number of migratoury birds flying back and forth in the direction of this area and a regularly sighting of a family of buzzards who are also back and forth.
Right, thats that for today. Happy twitching!
Hi and welcome 14Goldfinches - but please watch your terminology.
Twitcher is considered a derogatory expression to many birders who don't go twitching. One of my early straplines was actually "Don't call me twitcher!" (and I meant it too).
Welcome, 14Goldfinches. Sounds like your garden birds are performing well for you :)
Just to add to what John said... 'twitching' is the practice of travelling around to particular places to see specific rare birds - that you know in advance are there because your pager told you (!) in order to tick them off on your list. It is a bit of a marginal interest - most of us here are just birdwatchers or birders rather than twitchers :)
Welcome 14GF from Yorkshire, that was a very detailed post, great to read, looking forward to seeing some pics of your birds and feed station.
Hello and welcome 14GF from me in Lancashire.
I'm a bird watcher by the way!!
Hi 14G, welcome to the forum from me in the West Midlands.I'm a Robin Stroker....can I say that on here?
You can Viv in fact it looks like you can say it twice lol.
Nice article that mentions Robib Strokers LOL www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp
Gawd knows what I'm doing reading The Times Higher Education pages LOL
A great read 14GF! Welcome from London ...well the outskirts anyway! I too love goldfinches....and I'm building up my garden feeding too, but have never attracted GFs with my feeders. They come in the garden and pick around on the shrubs sometimes. I don't suppose you read my post (and I'm not trying to "up" your 14 but at the weekend a flock of about 40 flew in, landed for a few minutes in my trees( I was in a state of near hysteria...rushing around trying to find binnies) and flew off just as quickly! They are such beauties, aren't they? My other pash is sparrows. only dream of a bullfinch.
Can't wait to see some photos of your station! Did enjoy your posting....
Welcome to the site. 14 is a great number - mine only have come in 5 at the maximum, though i have seen more than that on a conifer across from the house. They are a very beautiful bird !
Thanks for the link Galatas. "Robin strokers" rule!
Hi 14G, and welcome from Sheffield, and may I say, what a polite and informative introduction. I must admit, I've never heard of the term "Robin Stroker" before, so thanks, Galatas for the link. I wouldn't consider myself as a "twitcher", just a birder, or birdwatcher.
Another welcome from Yorkshire 14GF,I for one do not mind being called a "twitcher" when I am chasing a Lesser Spotted Whatmacallit as long as it is not derogatory but on a normal day I am a birder or birdwatcher.
I don't care what you call me , as long as you don't call me early in the mornings.