Sunday, 12 April 2009

Back on my Perch

I thought it was time to do a post on the garden birds again, as that is, after all, where I do most of my observing.

Earlier this week I was very pleased to get another photo of a Long Tailed Tit and this time without the fat ball feeder which was nice. The photo below is the same one but cropped closer.

I thought I would also show a few plants that are blooming in the garden at the moment. Below is a photo of Japonica (Chaenomeles) or flowering quince.

The Greenfinch is one of the most common visitors to the garden.

This is Drumstick Primula (Primula Denticulata).

I am lucky to see plenty of Goldfinches in the garden they and the Greenfinches are here every day and constantly vying for perches at the feeders.

This male House Sparrow is an uncommon visitor to the garden nowadays where it used to be probably the most common.

The picture below is very poor as it was taken from a good ninety feet away and is badly focused, but the birds do seem to prefer the far end of the garden, where there is nowhere for me to photograph them inconspicuously. Perhaps I should get one of those camouflaged portable hides! Anyway, this male Blackcap was photographed a couple of weeks ago.

This is Bergenia or Elephant's Ears as it is commonly known.

The photo below is not from the garden, it was taken on a walk with the dog a couple of days ago and the light was difficult as it was after seven in the evening, but I wanted to post it as I can't decide if it is a Willow Warbler or a Chiffchaff. I believe one of the best ways to distinguish between them is that the Chiffchaff has black legs and the Willow Warbler pinkish yellow, the problem with the light means it is difficult to see the true leg colours but I'm leaning towards it being a Willow Warbler. I am very pleased to have seen either of them but wonder if someone might be able to make a definite identification.

I photographed this Robin on the same walk but an hour or so before.

These Violets have seeded themselves in various places around the garden.

The photo below of a Great Tit was taken in the garden a few weeks ago.

Finally I would like to wish everyone a Very Happy Easter and to thank you all for visiting and for the support you have given me since I started this blog just two months ago, it has been a pleasure to get to know so many nice people and I look forward to lots more happy blogging.

Easter eggs courtesy of Wikipedia.


  1. What beautiful photos!! I've never seen some of those birds before. What neat colors on them. Thanks for all your kind comments on my blogs too!! Hope you have a very nice Easter!!

  2. Good selection of pictures. I've a pair of Goldfinches visit every day, like little jewels flying in. Lovely birds. Greenfinches seem in short supply here for some reason, I must have your share of House Sparrows :)
    Portable hide sounds a good idea to me.
    Enjoy the rest of the Easter break.

  3. Well done on getting the LTT shot. They seem to spend even less time on branches than they do on the feeders. Such busy little birds.
    Plenty of House Sparrows here. The numbers visiting dropped during the Winter but they are back with a vengeance now.
    Overall I think I see more Chaffinches than anything.
    Thanks for sharing your birds and flowers with us.

  4. Lovely photo's yet again, I love these blogs becasue it gves me the inspiration to practice my camera skills in order to get them as good as yours (again she says hopefully!!)
    And a Happy easter to youtoo shysongbird!!

  5. Lovely photos, I'm unsure on the willow warbler/chiff chaff too. Sometimes it's easier just to call them wiffwaffs :D

  6. LTTs are soooo cute you could cuddle them.

    Looking in my book I think you might be right on it being a willow warbler as a chiffchaff has a "white crescent under the eye".

  7. You get the coolest birds in England! The long tailed reminds me of men with the receding hairline. Happy Easter.

  8. Happy Easter to you too ! Enjoy the birds, and keep us informed.

  9. excellent photos yet again, thanks for sharing.


  10. fabulous,clear photographs shysongbird,lovely to see

  11. ShySongbird ,
    Chiffchaff/Willow Warbler and Willow Tit/Marsh Tit are probably the most difficult species to separate , unless they sing . Fortunately mine was in full song , so no problems .

  12. Hello Shy.
    I agree with a lot of other Bloggers. about your pictures. I like them too, also if I had to pick from W/Warbler or Chiff, I would opt for W/Warbler.
    Sounds like you have a nice big garden.

  13. Ginny, thank you for your very nice comments and I hope you are having a nice Easter.

  14. Keith, thanks for the kind comments and I agree totally about the Goldfinches looking like little jewels, almost too exotic for this country somehow.
    The portable hide would be a good idea but not sure if I could put up with the silly remarks from the neighbours!!
    Hope you enjoy the rest of Easter too.

  15. John, thank you for your kind comments as always. The LTTs really are such entertaining little birds, fairy like I always think, if that doesn't sound too fanciful.
    It's very sad that we don't see very many Sparrows any more, they used to be so common here, however my brother who only lives a short walk away has quite a few visiting, so it is a bit of a mystery.

  16. Jayne, thank you so much for your lovely comments. It means such a lot to me as I am not at all confident with my camera and trying to get to grips with all the settings is difficult to say the least!

  17. Liz, thank you very much, I love the name wiffwaffs, it really made me smile.

  18. Steve, yes I agree they are like little fluffy chicks.
    Thanks for taking the trouble to look in your book and yes I'm still leaning toward it being a Willow Warbler.

  19. Kim, I think the birds in your part of the world are pretty cool too!
    Your LTT analogy is so funny, I hadn't thought of that but can see what you mean.
    Hope the rest of your Easter is good.

  20. Warren thanks, I will try to keep your comment in mind when it gets frustrating trying to take photos, you remind me that my love and enjoyment of nature is the most important thing to keep in mind.

  21. Denis, thank you very much for visiting and for your lovely comment.

  22. Sheila, thanks so much. It's lovely to have comments like that as a beginner.

  23. Greenie, thanks so much for visiting. I have noticed how difficult the Marsh/Willow identification is. I am not good on identification by song but I do keep trying!

  24. Ken, thanks very much. You are so kind, and not feeling qualified to call myself a birder your comments are much appreciated.
    Our house was built in the thirties so the garden is quite a good size compared to some more modern houses and does keep me busy.

  25. Hi Shysongbird,

    Nice posting. I had exactly the same ID problem last weekend at a nature reserve. I think my sighting was a Chiffchaff though. I have just posted on this. Looks like that probably is a Willow Warbler. Apparently, the wings of the Chiffchaff are slightly shorter, as well as the leg colour as you mentioned. I think the Marsh/Willow Tit ID is even worse than this, especially when at a distance.

  26. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures, they always bring a smile too my face.
    I hope you had a lovely Easter!
    Love Lou xxx

  27. Joe, thanks very much. Some of these IDs certainly aren't easy! It would help if I was better at identifying by song but do find it particularly difficult.

  28. Lou, you are always so kind, thank you for your lovely comments. I had a quiet but very nice Easter thank you and I know you enjoyed yours as I read your post earlier and am going back to comment now while I have a moment.
    Lots of love and XXXX to you and Poppy.

  29. Thanks for sharing your photos. House sparrow is now one of the rarer visitors to my garden as is the starling. No need to chase the birds when they are in such good supply in your garden! My garden blog is

  30. Hi Shy songbird.....lovely to see your birds and blooms....

    I really love the Long Tailed Tit and still have not been able to get a decent photograph. I love the one that you have taken, it shows there charm perfectly.......

    Violets do selfseed, but I love them, so they can bloom wherever they like.....

  31. C. Green, welcome and thank you for your comments. It really is very sad to see how the once very common House Sparrow has declined, I do still see quite an abundance of Starlings in my garden although sadly both species are on the red list. It seems almost unbelievable that two species once so very commonly seen in our gardens are now in such a perilous position.
    I'm so pleased you found me and do please visit again.

  32. Cheryl, thank you for your kind comments again. It took me quite some time and patience to get the photos of the LTTs, they flit about so much, which of course is part of their charm.
    I totally agree with you about the Violets, they are welcome wherever they appear in my garden.

  33. Happy Easter to you! Lovely photos--of both birds and flowers. I did not realize that you have only been posting two months! You do such a good job, I thought you were an old pro! I am so glad that you have decided to blog, because I truly have enjoyed seeing your world through your eyes.

  34. First time to your blog...very nice ..and you have beautiful photos!

  35. Hi SS - sorry I'm so late visiting but I've not been around much over Easter.

    It sounds as though we have very similar visitors to our gardens, but I can't remember the last time I saw a House Sparrow especially when I used to get so many.

    Great selection of pictures and well done on getting the LTT!!

    Hope you enjoyed your Easter break

  36. Dear Morning Glories, thank you so much for visiting again and for your lovely comments, I hope you had a nice Easter.
    I was surprised myself to realise it has only been two months since I started this blog. I feel like I have known you all so much longer but that is probably because I was visiting a lot of blogs for almost two years before having the courage to comment let alone start my own! Yours was one of the blogs I visited regularly during that time so I am honoured to have you visit me now.

  37. dAwN welcome! Thank you for visiting, I am fairly new to photography as well as blogging so your comment is much appreciated.

  38. Tricia,thanks for the nice comments and no need for apologies. I know myself it is difficult to keep up with all the different blogs and post regularly as well, indeed I don't know how you manage to publish every day! My ironing pile along with other domestic chores has been noticeably neglected since I started my own blog!
    It is an event when a House Sparrow visits me now which is unbelievable as it really was the most common bird in our garden a few years back.
    I had a nice quiet Easter thank you and hope you enjoyed yours too.

  39. What a wonderful display of the birds and blooms in your neck of the woods! I love the Goldfinches, and we used to have many. They have greatly decreased in numbers these past couple of years, which I'm sure my outdoor cats had something to do with that. My birds have been my source of enjoyment through the winter while my dragons were absent. I hope that you had a great Easter!

  40. spookydragonfly, thanks for visiting again. I love Goldfinches too, such colourful and cheery little birds.
    I agree that watching the birds definitely makes the long dreary days of Winter pass more quickly.
    I had a very nice Easter thank you and I do hope you did too.


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