Young Robin - taken 2009 in back garden - Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow, Ireland


When was the last time you actually watched wildlife in your back garden?

Today? Last week? Can't remember? In today's modern world, we are finding it increasingly difficult to relax and take time out from work or family. This blog is to remind you all of the free entertainment that we can enjoy each and every day - WILDLIFE!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Corvids are Cool!

Today is a definite duvet day, given the terrible weather outside!

So I thought I would use this as an excuse to post about my favourite family of birds - the Corvids. Although I love all birds, there is something extra appealing about corvids, they have a character about them that makes me smile every time I watch them!

When it's blowing a gale outside, the Rooks & Jackdaws near our house all seem to 'play' in the sky & have way too much fun! I love the way the Rooks in town strut their stuff and don't move out of the way - they even look at you as though to say "go on then, I dare you!"

Whilst I go on about their cheeky character, I also admire their cleverness - scientists have run series of tests which demonstrate sequential tool-use, and then there's the Crows in Japan that drop nuts from a height onto the road and wait for the traffic to break open the shells, they've even learnt to do this on pedestrian crossings so when the lights change it's safe for them to retrieve the food!

I always have to go back to their cheeky side though, and the link below from You Tube shows an advert which has their character down to a tee........ something to make you smile on a dull, wet day ;-)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dry Spell

We actually had a bit of a dry spell this afternoon and the birds certainly made the most of it! At one time I counted 4 Blue Tits, 4 Coal Tits, 2 Great Tits, 1 Robin, 1 Long Tailed Tit, 7 Chaffinches and 1 Greenfinch all darting to the seed tray and feeders. The Great Tits were chasing the Blue Tits off the nuts, the Blue Tits were chasing the Coal Tits off the fat square and the Coal Tits were chasing anything that moved!

Great Tit

Long Tailed Tit


I spotted this fungi growing out of a branch high up the old Oak tree, I've no idea what it is but I thought it looked cute (if fungi can ever be described as cute?!)


This is Ireland.
Can't see it?
That's because we're under the wet blue stuff that dominates the map!
I think the poor garden birds might get a bit wet today!
Need I say more?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I have to say thank you to those who commented on my last post advising me to wear my camera around my neck at all times!
This afternoon I managed to capture (not literally, of course!) my favourite garden bird - the Long Tailed Tit.
There were 3 of them that landed on the nut feeder only to be immediately bullied off by the Blue Tit!
Only got the 1 photo and it's quite dark but I don't care - at least they know where my garden is now!
Also managed to get a rather poor shot of the Redwing - it was hiding behind some ferns for a while but I just spotted the "red wing" and waited with my camera poised.... emerged about 20 minutes later and the only shot I could get has a branch in front of it!!

Never mind...will keep trying. Things are definitely looking up though!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Conspiracy Theory

I've come to the conclusion that my garden visitors (aka birds) are conspiring against me!

Example 1 Whilst washing the breakfast pots this morning, 2 (not 1 but 2) Goldcrests decided to chase each other up and down the branch of the tree right outside the kitchen window in front of where I was standing. Where was my camera? In the living room!

Example 2
After just refilling the feeders, I happened to look over to my right and what did I see watching me? A Redwing! My first ever Redwing - I was so pleased, I have never seen one before! Where was my camera? Inside the house!

Example 3
Whilst watching TV this afternoon, something caught my attention......approx 7 Long Tailed Tits were flitting and hanging upside down in the tree outside the living room window! Where was my camera? In the kitchen (in case the Goldcrests came back)!

I need at least 3 different cameras, one for each room overlooking trees/garden!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


When I say "dinner", I actually mean "all day" buffet! The garden has been a hive of activity this weekend. I was going to call this post "Tits Galore", but I thought better of it :-)
I've had Great Tits, Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Chaffinches, Magpies, Dunnocks, Robin, Wren, even the Long Tailed Tit paid a fleeting visit (of course my camera was nowhere near me!) and the Bullfinch has been lurking in the background.

I love this time of year!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


I knew I could hear the low, depressed sound of a Bullfinch! Spotted him rustling through the undergrowth, searching for berries I guess.
The photos not brilliant but its the best I could do through the upstairs window!

I wonder what food I can put out to attract him closer, maybe blueberries or something? I'm not sure if they eat the usual seed or nuts.
The garden has still been just as busy today with the regular "diners", it's a shame I miss all the activity during the week now being as its dark when I come home from work!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Told You!

I knew today was going to be good.............

Faithful Coal Tit.......

Faithful Robin.......

........And 2 new visitors - an adult & a juvenile (I think) Greenfinch, first time seen in our garden!

Busy, Busy!

I have a good feeling about this weekend! I've refilled the feeders this morning and already the garden is buzzing with activity - Great Tits, Coal Tits, Blue Tits, Robin, Chaffinches, Wren, Dunnock have all fed so far today and it's not even lunchtime yet!
And I've heard the depressing whistle of Bullfinches close by (can't see them yet though).
There is a definite wintry chill in the air which is probably why they've all come down for a feed and the trees are almost bare of leaves making it easier to spot (& photograph) the birds,.

Yes I definitely have high hopes for this weekend.......

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Impatient So and So's!

I can tell the new feeder is working (or should I say the sunflower seeds are) as it was empty after 3 days! The Coal Tits have been busy. Decided to refill it this morning before going to work, mainly because it's dark when I get home now. Whilst I braved the strong winds trying to re-instate the full feeder, I was "moaned" at by 2 Blue Tits, 3 Coal Tits and a Robin all waiting impatiently in the ferns - anybody would think they hadn't eaten for weeks!!
Hopefully the weather might be calmer / drier this weekend so I can take some more photos..... fingers crossed Siskins might be around by then too!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Our Back Garden

This is our back garden - not very big at all and no room to put up proper bird tables etc so we improvised and bought an extendable pole which we fixed onto the fence (when I say we, I mean my other half!). We only rent the property so we can't make too many adjustments to the place!

As you can tell from the photos, we are almost surrounded by trees and undergrowth providing plenty of cover for birds, unfortunately it also provides plenty of hiding places for cats too. One down side of the trees is all the leaves which are constantly falling at the moment, making the garden look "untidy" (I prefer to use the term "wild"!).
But if we didn't have the trees / bushes then we probably wouldn't have the fox or the badger so I can't complain!

This is the hole that the badger has dug in order to sniff around our garden. We have tried scooping all the soil back but he just digs it again the next night so we just leave it now.

Business or Birdwatching?

How do you choose?
I'm trying to set up my own part time business but I'm easily distracted by the back garden "activities"! My problem is that our office/study overlooks our back garden so, while I'm trying to sort out my marketing strategy, all I can see out the corner of my eye are birds flitting back & forth (admittedly sometimes these are just leaves falling from the trees!).
I've tried closing the curtains but that's even worse, then I hear the birds but can't see them and I'm thinking what if it's a bird that hasn't visited me before?! I've even tried setting up the computer in a different room away from the garden, but then I'm thinking about whats in the garden - I can't win!
So I have a "break", make myself a cuppa and watch/photograph them for 10 minutes.....of course 2 hours pass by and I'm still watching!
The only motivation I have at the moment is that if i can get my act together and the business takes off, then I can work at home all day every day and watch the garden to my hearts content!