Monday, May 24, 2010

My Garden

I will try, despite my previous post, to write about animal life in the garden. Thanks to some encouraging comments I have decided to blog about all the topics I mentioned, and I take the easiest option to begin with.

I never thought that I would turn into somebody being teased by his wife for observing and learning about the birds and other animals who visit our garden. Since we moved here over six years ago and I started feeding the birds, I have spotted approximately 30 different species. There have been everything from one-offs like a sparrow hawk to the ever-present greenfinches. Since our garden backs onto a copse, once part of a large mixed forest, we get a great variety of birds.

Before we moved here I had never knowingly seen a greenfinch, but I know them very well by now. One immediately noticeable characteristic is the aggression they show, in particular towards each other. I have blogged about this before, but they never cease to fascinate me.

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They are also the only species who stay on the feeder peg and keep munching away at the seeds. Others, like the great tits, long-tailed tits, blue tits, crested tits, black caps, nuthatches and even robins, pick their seed and fly off to a nearby branch and start trying to crack the seed open.

Some other birds are happy to patrol the ground under the feeders to look for seeds discarded by other birds with a much more acquired taste. So there is room for everyone.

As soon as I see a new bird I try to photograph it and identify it using my European bird book. In doing so I have learnt a lot over the years, their names in both English and Swedish and also something about their habits.

I have in the past blogged about sunbathing birds (getting quite a few search hits), but since I have introduced water I have seen many birds both drinking and taking a refreshing bath.


I even saw a jackdaw clumsily landing to get a drink.


Then of course there are the red squirrels, very agile, quick like lightning and rather unafraid. I have posted many times before with squirrels in the leading parts. Sometimes you see them at their playful best, chasing each other up an down and round our big conifer trunk trying to outwit each other. The other week I managed to catch some of them in full flight across the lawn. Rather special don't you think?

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Expats Again said...

You have inspired me to get a book on European Birds. We also live near the forest and have a river in front of us and a canal behind us. The place is over run with wildlife and I couldn't tell you one from another. Your photos are great--especially the one with the agressive bird. Wow. Thanks for posting this.

oreneta said...

Those are amazing photos, especially the squirrel! You must have an impressive camera and a lot of patience!

Rositta said...

Awesome photos...considering that squirrels are just big rats with bushy tails they are kind of cute...ciao

Zuzana said...

Great post and these photographs are truly out of this world. As a nature lover, I would be right there with you studying the animals. I only wish I had a better camera.;)

swenglishexpat said...

Expats Again - Thank you. Sounds great with water as well. Have you seen a kingfisher yet? They are beautiful little birds.

Oreneta - Thank you. I have a Nikon D60 (good starter DSLR camera)and an extra 200 mm lens so I can get closer. And yes, I don't easily give up!

Rositta - Thank you. Waddayamean big rats? ;-) Ours are just cute! (I think)

Zuzana - Thank you. You're welcome. It is a wonderful spectacle you don't have to pay for. Who needs TV? I am sure you could afford a D60 like mine, no?

Flowers said...

You have posted awesome shots of your garden. i admire those lenses you are having. They are so vivid and charming.

oldfartz said...

At work we are working through (read struggling with) a somewhat messy departmental reshuffle ... I can relate to those greenfinch at the feeding tray. Oh boy, can I! Maybe I should introduce a water bowl... hhmmm!
Great photos again! R

swenglishexpat said...

Oldfartz / R - Thank you. But I thought the water cooler was the meeting place anyway. Maybe you feel like pouring some over somebody sometimes?! :-0

Anonymous said...

No not the water from the water cooler for pouring ... the water from the tea lady's troller is much better!!!
R - incognito tonight ;-)

Anonymous said...

oops ... meant trolley, not troller. but then again, I suppose I could troll until the best fish comes past. tee hee!

Peter H said...

The top photo is absolutely superb

swenglishexpat said...

Peter H - Thank you so much for that. It's always good to hear other people's opinion. It is truly motivating.