Very early Winter Bits and Bobs.2016

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Pa Snip
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Re: Very early Winter Bits and Bobs.2016

Postby Pa Snip » Sun Nov 13, 2016 4:28 pm

Primrose,

Please don't feed the kites. I know they are lovely to look at and I am constantly trying to get shots of them but this area is beginning to get too many of them.
Someone close to our allotments had a visit from council official and a bird organisation asking them to stop feeding. They have continued to do so and it is not uncommon to see 20 > 30 birds congregating for food some days.
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Re: Very early Winter Bits and Bobs.2016

Postby Johnboy » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:00 am

Hi Pa Snip,
We are overrun with Kites here and what they have managed to do in this area is to make the Buzzard a rarity. The Buzzards have Buzzed off and I frequently would have up to 12 birds on the thermals over the hill behind me now there are none. A nest in one of my Ash trees was not used this year and that is the first time in over thirty years.The Kites however beautiful are simply such good scavengers that there is nothing left for anything else. A pheasant was sadly knocked down on the road outside my plot and the Crows were tucking in and down swoops a Kite and swipes the whole thing. I don't think a Kite could lift a recent roadkill Pheasant but the buggers wait until they are half eaten and then swipe the remains.
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Re: Very early Winter Bits and Bobs.2016

Postby Arnie » Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:02 pm

Hi johnboy,
Up here in liverpool don't have any red kites, but have seen an increase in Buzzard's over the last couple years which is an absolute joy to watch. In september of this year we watched and listened to two families of buzzard with there brood soar over the allotments always calling the youngster to make sure they didn't go to far away form the group.

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Re: Very early Winter Bits and Bobs.2016

Postby Westi » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:29 pm

Only sparrows, starlings, robins & the very big menace seagulls down here! My house backs onto a school field & every morning there are probably 100 seagulls on it! You have to time your outside wash drying - not too early for sure & take it in before the starlings attack the neighbours seed balls!

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Re: Very early Winter Bits and Bobs.2016

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:05 am

I've managed to clean and dry the quinoa that I gathered last week and had enough for a couple of meals with a bit of rice. I washed it thoroughly several times to remove the saponins and it tasted just as good as that I've bought from the shop. If I had planted more, planted it out earlier and given it some attention, I think it would have produced a really big crop. It was surprising how much I got from the few I did grow. I'll definitely be growing it again next year.
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Re: Very early Winter Bits and Bobs.2016

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:08 am

We've no Kites here, and it is only recently that Buzzards have moved in. They seem to be doing well though and there are a few more pairs this year.
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Re: Very early Winter Bits and Bobs.2016

Postby Primrose » Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:21 am

Do whitefly have the capacity reincarnate themselves I wonder?
After two nights of frost recently I went out and shook my kale plants.
No sign of them and I heaved a sigh if relief.
This morning I went out to pick some and the little bu**ers are back in the same numbers as before.
Perhaps they all lie comatose on the soil until to the temperature warms up !
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Re: Very early Winter Bits and Bobs.2016

Postby Westi » Tue Nov 15, 2016 6:56 pm

Funny you say that Primrose. Very happy when I shook the frilly sprouts & kale on the weekend to find but a few, but when I went to take some chard, I found they had migrated. Maybe yours did the same & hid somewhere else for a bit.

Tenacious little blighters aren't they?

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Pa Snip
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Re: Very early Winter Bits and Bobs.2016

Postby Pa Snip » Tue Nov 15, 2016 8:20 pm

Smothered again................and that's just me after shaking the stalks
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Re: Very early Winter Bits and Bobs.2016

Postby Primrose » Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:27 am

Pa, I don't feed the kites as a regular habit. Just occasionally our butcher will give us some scraps which I do use for feeding the bigger birds otherwise they'll go in his disposal bin which seems waste. I take the point about not encouraging them too much. We too sometimes see more kites on a clear flying day than we see blackbirds. I wonder that they are breeding so successfully. I wouldn't have thought there was enough roadkill and prey around to sustain such a growing population
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Re: Very early Winter Bits and Bobs.2016

Postby Pa Snip » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:26 am

Agree Primrose, Sparrows are rarer than Kites around here.

Now we have filled the Niger feeders again the Goldfinches have returned, and consequently so has the sparrow hawk !!
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Re: Very early Winter Bits and Bobs.2016

Postby Primrose » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:34 am

We have a regular sparrowhawk round here and I keep a beady eye out to protect our two (and sometimes three) goldfinches who are our favourite little birds. We do have small flocks of starlings who come regularly to feed and it's annoying that the sparrowhawk always seems to go for the rarer birds rather than the common ones. Perhaps it has more exclusive tastes.
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Re: Very early Winter Bits and Bobs.2016

Postby robo » Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:20 pm

It's strange how different birds live in different parts of the country ,kites are as common as golden eagles around here sparrows are common we have had up to twenty this year all lining up waiting their turn to use the rock in the pond that just breaks the surface to have a splash ,it's been a good breading year for sparrows and starlings,when I was a lad we had far more industry belching out black smoke from their chimneys every bird was jet black with grime any thing with wings was called a shepie we had different sizes of shepies but all were black now with the industries all gone the birds are all showing their colours
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Re: Very early Winter Bits and Bobs.2016

Postby Primrose » Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:33 pm

Sparrows seem to have completely disappeared from around here years ago and it's very rare that we even see a greenfinch which were common up until about 10 years ago. That's strange because their chaffinch cousins are still quite common and their breeding habits are apparently similar so I don't know why one branch of the family should prosper and the other one fail. Siskins too used to be regular visitors but sadly no longer. Colder weather seems to be a better time for seeing the rarer varieties when hunger perhaps drives them from their woodland habitats to more residential areas where people put out bird feeders.
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Re: Very early Winter Bits and Bobs.2016

Postby Geoff » Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:45 pm

This seems to have become the bird thread. Had a treat today when I took the bin to the end of the drive, two Goldcrests flitting about in the neighbours conifers, not seen any for a few years.
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