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Tina Sallis

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Re: Garden Friends-Welcome to the Garden
8/14/2006 8:37:52 AM

Hi Mary,

Living in the UK and fairly close to the countryside, we have a large variety of birds that are attracted to our trees and feeders. The most prolific are sparrows, starlings (noisy greedy little devils always squabling among theirselves), and blackbirds. We also have several robins, bluetits, woodpigeons and collard doves. Less common but regular visitors are coal and long tailed tits, crows and magpies, not my favourite birds as the steal eggs and hatchlings from other birds nests.  The tiny wrens, bullfinches, green finches and jays occassionally pay us a visit. In the winter we get a pair of woodpeckers and the occasional seagull even thogh we live hundreds of miles from the sea. In the summer house martins and swallows perform their airial ballet in the act of catching insects. Spring and autumn the geese and ducks fly over head in their v formation heading for their various destinations. Our neighbours pond attracts the odd heron and a pair of mallards, who create much hilarity by perching on the house roofs. We used to have a pair of thrushes, but I have not seen them for a while, I miss their beautiful singing, but they too are becoming a rarity. 

We get frogs, fieldmice and grey squirrels ( they steal all the nuts but are fun to watch), and at night foxes who we leave food for and a hedgehog who is partial to a bit of cat food. The people who live over the road from us back onto a golf course and they get visiting badgers, but they do not venture our side of the road. There are sparrow hawks that live on the golf course, which is bad news for our feathered friends but I suppose everything needs to eat.

This summer has been very good for baby birds and I love watching them flapping their wings to get their harassed parents to feed them, they even try their luck with other birds but to no avail. The ones that always make me smile are the baby robins as they are just developing their red breasts and resemble tatty patchwork quilts. Did you know that robins are the only birds that both male and females sing? We have several baby squirrels visiting, they are tiny and they roll and play on the lawn and in the trees.

Well I think that is about all, this world would be a much sadder place without our wild friends and if that means not having a perfect garden it is a small price to pay for the hours of enjoyment they give us.

Kind regards to all out there in adland.



Mary Hofstetter

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Re: Garden Friends-Welcome to the Garden
8/14/2006 4:41:40 PM


It sounds like to live next to a wildlife perserve.  Wow, what a chorus you must hear when those birds sing.  As I stated on the thread, the mean birds like starlings, crows, black birds have affected our song bird population.  These were not native North American birds but were brought here by the British, because somone thought they needed them for Shakesperean plays (so t he story does).  You have very active feeders.

Thanks for all the wonder images you have provided for our readers. 

Re: Garden Friends-Welcome to the Garden
8/16/2006 1:59:03 AM
Hi Mary, Sounds wonderful, we have many birds in our garden including blue fairy wren which decided to make it's new family in our sweet peas.Thanks for your invite! Leanne Busby
Re: Garden Friends-Welcome to the Garden
8/18/2006 7:29:23 AM
In the past month I moved from MS to WI and miss sitting on the deck or simply looking out my window overlooking a small lake with many trees on the bank.  Daily in warmer weather a white heron and geese would come regularly.  The turtles would come to sun on the prominent fallen log.  Hummingbirds would visit the feeder ( I had no personal garden in the ground because I lived on the second floor) and listening to all the song birds was one of the greatest pleasures!  And did I mention watching the squirrels running through the trees and chattering.  What a daily, expected pleasure all this became. And there was the swimming through the water of a cotton mouth moccasin to cause a shudder and avoid if walking near the edge of the lake.
Now that I am in WI, I am wondering just what to expect.  I hear birds, but do not always recognize the song.  Will the humming birds  come to a feeder this far north?  Though there is a meadow  and a few trees,  I have seen no squirrels. There is construction happening and that may be the reason.  Will the deer and rabbits wander through?
Any suggestions from reader of what to expect would be interesting. 
Can $5, $40 or $150 Return $1,000,000? For over 15 years providing above average income for average people!
Dave Fergusson

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Re: Garden Friends-Welcome to the Garden
8/19/2006 7:23:46 AM

G`Day folks,

You are lucky to have humming birds, but I suppose our honeyeaters almost make up for them. There are about 60 varieties around Australia that normally feed on blossoms such as banksias, calistemons, eucalyptus & grevilleas.They also have a liking for some exotics such as Fuchsia fulgans & many of the salvias.  They have long tongues that they insert into the flowers, but not the agility to really hover in front of the blooms.

Many of these species are smaller than goldfinches while others are as big as crows & a couple even sport little wattles under their chins like chickens.  Of course these are in the class called wattlebirds.  All of these birds are a delight to have in the garden & they can assist with pollinating the fruit trees particularly plums. nectarines, & peaches.  They also eat their share of insects.

Many of the birds that visit us seasonally are in the cockatoo & parrot family such as crimson rosellas, sulphur crested cockatoos & yellow tailed black cockatoos. They feed on the various seeds & seed pods of native trees. One variety the Galah is deep pink with grey wings & they hang in clusters on the wattle trees feeding on the seeds in late spring. A wonderful sight!

Among the smaller birds we have are grey fantails that can loop the loop in their quest for flies, & the willie wagtail who does just that to stir flies from vegetation.  The little gems of our garden are the Suberb blue wrens. The males have amazing electric blue backs & heads, & the tribe will spend many hours checking over & looking for insects after my weeding session. They are very cute with long thin tails that stand up over their backs.

There is no doubt in my mind that you are closest to God in a garden, & frankly I dont like meeting him anywhere else.

            Regards to all our nature lovers . Downunderdave.



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