Saturday, 9 January 2010

Song Thrush and a Jay

As the snow is still around and is likely to stay for another week or so, any photos I take are going to have that cold white stuff in it…

I realised I’d forgotten to post photos of a Jay we had coming in before Christmas… I haven’t yet seen it since we got the deeper snow, but I see no reason why it wouldn’t be visiting… Unless, of course they’ve moved elsewhere to find more food.

First he sits on the station and checks for danger…

Then he moves a little closer and judges the flight path

A quick flutter

And onto the ‘clinger’s only’ feeder!

I know the photos aren’t great, but as I’m sure you’re aware, snow is not the easiest to take photos in…

Today the Song Thrush has begun to get braver and is now venturing relatively close to the house in its search for food.

As I have a couple of very aggressive Blackbirds, I’ve been attempting to broadcast the food around the garden as much as possible to allow all the birds the chance to eat in relative peace.

First Song Thrush was right at the back of the garden… There’s little for him up there other than fallen seeds.

A little closer, quickly chased off by a Blackbird…

And finally, very close to the house… He quickly gobbled up some bread he’d stolen from the lawn.

A couple of Starlings even braved the garden… Normally they never come down.

It's my mum's birthday today so we went into town, had a bite to eat, went up in the wheel and battled our way around the city trying our hardest not to break our necks by slipping over.

I've had enough of the snow now... Will someone please come and take it away. Can't even get up to our house, it's such a struggle in the deep snow. And just to make me even more happy... We had more snow last night and today. Not a great deal, but enough to make me fall down the steps after throwing more food out for the birds... I was being soooooo careful too! Well, I'll have a nice bruise across my back tomorrow no doubt.

I'm annoyed my parcels still haven't arrived, I want the post back to normal and I highly doubt we'll have our bins collected on Monday.

Grumble, grumble, grumble. Moan, moan, moan.


Anna said...

Great photos Liz especially of the thrush. We have not seen our jay who is a regular visitor for a few day but we do have an aggressive blackbird - must be related to yours :) No post here since the big snow on Monday and no refuge collected either. Sorry to hear that you took a tumble. Have a good soak in a warm bath. Take care.

Rebecca @ In The Garden said...

Great pictures, I've never seen a jay like that before. I wholeheartedly agree about birds being hard to photograph.

Joanne said...

I agree it is time to take the beastly stuff away.

I like your bird photos they always disappear when I think of taking their photos.

Joanne said...

Sorry you had a fall. I had a fall in the ice before Christmas both legs went and I landed flat on my back and cracked my head, really bad headache for five days and a huge bump. Now I have started having blurred vision in left eye floaters and flashing lights so need to go and get checked out on Tuesday at the eye clinic bit of a nuisance but hopefully it will be ok.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Liz what great shots of the Jay. This one is so different from our Blue Jay. I love the one where it is flying into the feeder. Wonderful catch. They look so pretty in your snow.
Stay warm!

Carol said...

Liz I love your photos of the Thrush! Great shots! It is such a sweet plump little bird. I love the song of our various thrushes ... Not sure what yours sound like but surely as lovely as their cousins across the pond. I bought some cleats that slip over my shoes when going out in icy conditions. You can get them at most sports outdoor hiking stores. I hope you are not too sore tomorrow.

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

How lovely to see the songthrush - so sorry about your tumble. I agree it is time the snow was gone, I would just like to feel warm again.

Town Mouse said...

Great pictures! Birds here are sooo careful. Maybe they're not hungry enough...

Yoke, said...

Lovely pictures, Liz.

hope your back is alright?

Thrushes (including Blackbirds, Robins) are all very territorial and here too it is a lot of battling between 5 Blackbirds, 2 Song Thrushes and The 2 Robins, so I'm not surprised you get battles in the garden too.

Liz said...

Hi Anna,

Blackbirds are often aggressive, and I imagine with the cold weather they're even more so - even if it is wasting more energy chasing others off, as well as wasting valuable time where they could be eating instead!!

The fall didn't hurt particularly when it happened but today my leg does seem to be hurting, I think I might've pulled something in the groin - probably twisted my leg as I went down... My hip feels slightly off too, but nothing major.

Liz said...

Hi Rebecca,

Our Jays are related to crows and Magpies - they're Corvids, are Blue Jays in the US also Corvids??

As nice as it is taking shots of birds, I need a much better lens to do so... I cannot see myself being a wildlife photographer, however given the lens no doubt I'll find it much easier! It doesn't help that I broke my telephoto lens so the image stabiliser no longer works. I ought to send it to Canon to fix it...

Charlotte said...

Love the photos Liz and must say this snow is certainly bringing all the birds into my garden too.... but I would really love to look out and see the sunshine!

Liz said...

Hi Joanne,

We're just not used to snow hanging around for so long... I think that's why it's so much more painful for us in England!

Normally it lasts a day or two, so having snow almost constantly since before Christmas is becoming a nightmare.

Ouch, I think definitely it's time for you to visit the doctors about your fall... I hope you'll be ok, I assume it'll be some sort of concussion!
I landed on the steps so didn't fall far and it didn't particularly hurt at the time either. My groin and hip seem a little off today but isn't painful, I can just tell they're not quite right.

Liz said...

Hi Lona,

It's proving difficult to stay warm today, I've had the heating on almost all morning and it's still very chilly. I think I'll be wearing my fluffy dressing gown all day!!

Are Blue Jays Corvids? Ours are, so they're large birds, not far off Crow size :) Very pretty and usually very shy, most people don't welcome them into their gardens as they are like Magpies and will take eggs, chicks and fledglings... We've had ours since Summer sometime, usually it's a brief glimpse or them cackling away in the large cherry!

Liz said...

Hi Carol,

The Song Thrushes do have a wonderful song, all the Thrushes do with the Blackbirds probably being the best. There's nothing quite as uplifting as listening to the Blackbirds singing in the Spring-Autumn. (Blackbirds here are Thrushes)

I had missed hearing their song since leaving home as I never seemed to hear it living in Terraced housing and having tiny gardens, but here we have lots around us and it's wonderful to sit out in the evening during the summer as the sun gets low and listen to them singing.

When I went outside I just popped on some ballerina pump trainers, so that's why I fell as they have no grip at all... Even the grit on the steps has done very little to stop the snow turning to ice. I've been very careful today and no slips so far!
My hip anf groin feels a little off but it's no painful, more like they've been pulled/knocked.

Liz said...

Hi Karen,

We've had a small amount of snow today, it seems to have constantly snowed all day but it's so light, it hasn't made any impact at all.
A lot of the snow on trees and shrubs has melted but it's going to take a while longer before it melts off the grass!

I'm going to attempt to get the snow off out steps today, I've had enough!!!

Cheryl said...

Love the jay Liz....we get them here...they are lovely birds (at least I like them)

You must encourage that beautiful song thrush to stay in your garden. Can't you tell him about all those juicy snails you have in your space.....

I am so fed up with the snowed all day yesterday. Our electronic gate froze, and snapped along the length. Mr P has spent many hours today repairing it...thank goodness I live with a practical man. It would cost too much to call someone in to repair it, meaning less money for me to spend on plants!!!

Hope your back is better soon.....and that you havn't done too much damage.....

Liz said...

Hi TM,

The birds here are getting more tame as hunger sets in... Usually in the morning they're very wary of me hanging around in the kitchen, then later in the day they take more chances.

I generally do not feed the birds close to the house, so they are not used to being so close to us... I also try not to ground feed because of the high volume of pigeons in the area... I know my neighbours would not appreciate droves of pigeons - they are the reason I have strange wooden bits on one of my feeders and why I bought the globe guard feeder. They were sitting on them and stopping all the smaller garden birds feeding.

Liz said...

Hi Yoke,

My back is ok thanks for asking :)

My groin, hip and shoulder blade seem to feel off though so no doubt I pulled muscles/knocked places but it's not painful as such.

Yep I know Thrushes like to argue, especially the Robins... I've spread the food around as much as possible so it's more difficult for any one bird to guard.
I had two Robins happily sat near each other this morning, so I have to assume they've paired up :D

Liz said...

Hi Charlotte,

As exciting as it is to see all the birds in the garden, I would rather they were feeding naturally and weren't putting themselves in danger by being easy targets for cat/raptors...

But for now I will have to help them out as much as I can. I do worry for when I'm at work though and I cannot continually throw more food out for them. I've had to top up three times today. The Sparrows have taken to eating on the ground with the Blackbirds now too.

We've had sun, and to be honest it's worse than cloud because it's even colder! Today's been cloudy all day but it's also been warmer and I can see snow melting quite well in patches on the garden.

Now I've said that, I bet it'll dump even more snow on us!!!

Liz said...

Hi Cheryl,

I would really love the Song Thrush to stay around but sadly it just won't. They live in the park across the road and I know it will go back home as soon as the snow goes.

Oh now, you've had even more snow?!!!
Argh, was there a lot of snow? It's snowed pretty much all day here too but it's been so light it hasn't made any difference... And because it's been cloudy all day it's warmed up a little and some snow has melted.

I hope your husband managed to fix the gate... We can't have your plants suffering ;) lol
I need to cut back this year and use only my seeds... Much will power is needed to stop me... I need to buy a couple of main plants for my new border but I plan on sowing everything else.

My back is ok thanks for asking, I think I just pulled some muscles - my leg and hip aren't 100%.

Nutty Gnome said...

I wondered where my jay had gone.......turns out you'd lured him away with the promise of sunflower hearts!!!

Hope you're starting to feel a bit better after your tumble. Get some Tiger Balm on your hip if the pain continues (white is best as it doesn't stain your clothes or the bed!). All the Chinese herbalists sell it and it's wonderful stuff!

Even I am begining, just begining to get fed up of the snow - but it's mainly because the Land Rover coolant hose broke on my way back from taking Ruth back to uni (*sob*) so I've got to spend tomorrow buying and fitting the new hose and refilling the coolant ...then hoping I've not knacked the engine! :(

Get your steps cleared and take care! :)

Liz said...

Hi Liz,

lol, the Jay came all the way from Chesterfield just to eat my bird food :P

The muscles just feel a little bit pulled rather than in pain. I wish I'd stretched my muscles after to help stop the strain...

Sorry to hear about your car, sometimes they're more hassle than they're worth!! :)
I've cleared the steps now... But no doubt there will be more to come!

leavesnbloom said...

I've never ever seen a Jay in my garden yet. I have a song thrush who visits the garden on a regular basis and comes quite close to me when I am weeding. We had a mistle thrush in the garden too. I too have noticed how aggressive the blackbirds have been - especially the female one in our garden. Lovely photos you have taken here.

Amy said...

That thrush is very cute and you got some great photos! It all reminded me that I need to fill up our birdfeeders. Your post made me cold...brrrr. Try to stay warm. :)

Kate said...

Hi, Liz; Terrific photos. Sorry to read of your struggles with the snow.. I live far from you, in a ski resort, and we don't have any snow! This is the strangest winter... Stay warm.