Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Home to Roost

The garden seems to be full of Blackbirds lately, there were several successful broods raised last summer and now it seems they have come home to roost, literally! I was sat at the computer in the wee small hours a few days ago and suddenly heard a Blackbird's alarm call. This was repeated several times over the next forty five minutes or so. I suspect the Blackbird had been disturbed from its roosting site by a neighbours cat and it certainly sounded very cross judging by the furious chip chipping noises.

On the day of the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch I recorded nine in the garden and during the recent snowy weather they were well into double figures.

Now with the arrival of milder weather they are busily jockeying for position and trying to establish their territory, quite how they will resolve this, considering they all seem to consider it 'their' garden I don't know.

It is amusing, if slightly annoying, to see them trying to balance on the small hanging feeders which were purposely aimed at the small birds. They have plenty of easily accessible food on the bird table, a feeding station and the ground but they still have to have a go at the acrobatics!

It will be interesting to see how soon they start nest building, not very long I suspect.

The photo below was taken in the garden by me today.


  1. Hi again ShySongbird :-)

    Very interesting! I too am often up in the wee small hours blogging but I’ve never heard the blackbirds then. Their call is quite distinctive isn’t it? You must have jumped with fright the first time you heard it coming at that time of night. Ah… you may well be right with the cat. In the past I have seen one climb up inside our hedge – quite a funny sight at the time.

    Yes, we too have more blackbirds coming in to the garden at the moment. Thanks for this posting you have reminded me to protect my blackbird nesting box from cats. It wasn’t used last year and perhaps that was the problem. I love to see the blackbirds collect material for nests and with you being in England you will see this before me by approx two weeks. Look forward to seeing it here first :-D

    LOL… yes the books may well tell you which birds you should expect to see at which feeder, but like other things in life, things don’t always work out as expected especially where birds and animals are concerned ;-)

  2. Hi Shirl,
    Thanks for visiting again, yes it was a bit of a surprise at that late hour although I have heard one singing in the middle of the night before and that is a truly magical sound and if I recall Paul McCartney recorded a song called Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night.

    Yes I bought small hanging seed feeders especially to deter the larger birds as they are well catered for elsewhere. Even though the perches are tiny they do still have a try sometimes and it does look funny!

  3. Hi Shysongbird, I've finally had a chance to get to view your blog. A good mix of wildlife, countryside and gardening. Good to see a posting about the blackbirds, I think they are much overlooked as a wildlife treat. All he best Andrew

  4. Hi Andrew,
    Thanks so much for visiting, sorry there was a problem viewing. Someone else noticed this was happening on IE I think and maybe other browsers but not on firefox which I use so I had not realised. After deleting and then re posting it was thankfully ok.

    Yes Blackbirds are very entertaining and pose well for the camera unlike some other species which are gone before you know it!

  5. What a beautiful bird. I don't think we get those black birds here in the states. We do get the red winged blackbirds though. I am hoping they come to my feeders for pictures, though I have heard what hearty eaters they are!

  6. You have a very interesting and lovely blog, I love your pictures!
    I love watching birds but not very good at knowing what they are, I will look forward to coming back.
    Thanks for your lovely comment…love Lou xxx

  7. Hi Kallen and Lou,

    Kallen: Thank you for visiting again. The red winged ones (which we don't have here) look amazing and if they are anything like ours they certainly are very hearty eaters! Keep up your good work.

    Lou: Thank you for your very kind comments. I will be keeping a very close eye on your blog as I love anything crafty although I'm not too good at it, confidence being the biggest problem I think. I do dabble with knitting and tapestry from time to time and sooo wish I could draw and paint. Please give the delectable Poppy a big X from me. PS. Have a wonderful time in Salzburg.

  8. Hi Jan,
    A very nice blog you have here and another to my growing list of RSS feeds.

    I normally get 2 or 3, sometimes 4 or 5 blackbirds most days. My record is 8 seen at once when we had all that snow early in February.

  9. Hi Steve,

    Thanks very much for visiting, I have followed your blog for some time and find it very interesting.

    I too noticed how the Blackbirds were even more in evidence during the bad weather. During that time we had a visit several days running from a Pied Wagtail which we don't usually see in the garden and the Blackbirds behaved in a noticeably hostile manner towards it, thankfully it didn't seem too bothered by them.


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