Monday 28 April 2008

Birdwatching in suburban Manchester

My parents house in suburban Manchester has a lovely garden and is surrounded by other lovely gardens. It's great to see so many birds all thriving there. Although there are significantly fewer starlings, house sparrows and song thrushes than there used to be (following UK wide trends) and the increase in magpies and jackdaws isn't always welcomed, its great to see that there are good numbers of blue tits, great tits, woodpigeons, collared doves (which have only relatively recently colonised the UK and now are everywhere!), blackbirds and robins as well as occasional visits from more unusual birds. On my visit we saw greenfinches and a coal tit, and my parents have also recently seen long tailed tits and goldcrests. These are three species I don't remember seeing when I was growing up there and I was a keen birdwatcher from a very early age! It was really nice to see signs of breeding behaviour from the blue tits, song thrushes and blackbirds (including one male blackbird with a white patch on its head but a particularly fine song!).

My parents really look after the birds in the garden, having several feeders filled up with good bird foods. Two blackbirds have particularly developed a habit of visiting the garden first thing in the morning for their special fruit snacks!

We also enjoyed a rainy walk round Rivington where we heard willow warblers and robins singing.


Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Jackdaws have arrived in Venice too, recently, I think they first appeared no more than eight-ten years ago.
Don't they produce a smacking sound like a loud kiss or a dry, very short clap?
I associate their voice with that of a loud, warm, full light between rooftiles and deep blue sky.

Nia said...

This weekend I went to a beach that's on the edges of DoƱana national park. I was so proud to identify two or three birds, in the sense of noticing they were new birds I had never seen before, but I'm awful at identifying birds in flight. So until the next beach weekend, they are "orange swallows" and "the sea one that is not a seagull".

LA Nickers said...

Love the picturesque imagery in this post!

Nickers and Ink - on blogspot

Larry Kollar said...

Birds can be amazingly versatile creatures. The big-box stores here often have garden sections; they often turn into one great big aviary and sometimes manage to infiltrate the main part of the store. They also nest in the letters spelling out the store name up front and chatter away at people passing by. If you chirp back at them, they'll often get quiet and watch you.

I was also wondering how you're faring there, what with the refinery strike.

Janice Thomson said...

You really do have colorful birds over there compared to here. The goldcrest is very beautiful! as are the tits. Even your crows are quite colorful.
Liked the barn at Rivington - a spectacular roof indeed.
I love these posts where the birds are highlighted as well as areas of interest.

RG said...

Two happy Audubon Warblers dancing in the tree outside the window this morning!

virtualjourney said...

Interesting to see what's going on up North - certainly see very few sparrows now in Kent, but we have nesting colonies of green parakeets (originally escapees from a Tarzan film set in Elstree) which are spreading across the south. Get plenty of woodpeckers, too - but these are heavily 'treed' areas.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful place for a birder to visit.

Juliet, I think most of the starlings must be here by now. We have huge flocks passing through all the time. What I notice the most about them is the joy they take in the birdbath. It is not unusual to see 10 or more bathing at one time, as the water flies!

Anonymous said...

I enjoy hearing about all the different birds you get there (compared with here, west coast of N. America). We have an older family friend who was doing some birding in the UK awhile back and managed to bumble his way into an area he wasn't supposed to be. He met a woman who also seemed to be out birding and chatted with her for quite awhile before realizing she was the queen.

Anyway, hope I can get over there to see some of those jackdaws, swifts, etc. one of these days...