19 May 2007

Garden birding

While my morning's birding (see The Cubbington Triangle below) was a little lacklustre, my garden birding has surpassed all expectations since moving to this house nearly five years ago.

I mention this now because while gardening this afternoon I not only heard a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker - my first for ages - but also enjoyed the spectacular sight and sound of two Ravens flying low over the garden, calling as they went. These were the first Ravens I have seen in the area since the spectacular occasion some months back when more than a dozen of them gathered on a nearby hill.

This takes my garden list to 46 - 35 in the garden, eight flyovers, and three heard only (Green Woodpecker, Cuckoo and Skylark). Highlights (apart from those three birds) include several Sparrowhawks, a female Pheasant, a fairly regular Hobby high overhead, a Great Spotted Woodpecker on the feeders, regular Mallards and a Grey Heron (my pond, while created to attract nature, is both small and relatively new), and a collection of warblers including Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap (a regular winter visitor).

While not small, the garden is certainly no more than a regular suburban size, with about half given over 'to nature' - a pond, longer grass, feeders etc. All in all I'm pretty chuffed with the results - you can add hedgehogs, smooth newts, frogs and toads to the list, plus stuff I'm sure I never see. I'll be intrigued to see what birds take me to 50!

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