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Birds - and a bird-watching garden!

Sitting in the Conservatory looking out, or sitting out in the garden on one of the patios at Redgate Smithy, the birds can always be seen visiting and feeding, or wheeling and soaring overhead.

Watch the birds over breakfast!

Watch the birds over breakfast on our feeders
Looking out from the Conservatory and Breakfast Room to the bird feeders
(on the right feeder, there is a Nuthatch already feeding)

Among our visitors and regular feeders on and around the patio are Nuthatches, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Willow Tits, Coal Tits, Robins, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Bullfinches and Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

NuthatchWoodpecker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An unusual sight - a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
spotted visiting our feeders! We have had both
Greater and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers

 

Nuthatches (left) are very frequent visitors

Goldfinch
We are very lucky to get a good many Goldfinches taking advantage of the niger seeds

Great Tits feeding Frenzy
Great Tits having a veritable feeding frenzy!

Mouse feedingVole feeding

A pair of perhaps slightly less common visitors to our bird feeders,
are some of our other rather shy, though very bold, residents - Maurice and Victor (Mouse and Vole!)

Buzzard overhead
...though if the Buzzard hunting overhead were to notice, it may be a different story!

Buzzards are very beautiful creatures, and can often be seen and heard wheeling and mewing overhead. They have also come much closer, and we even had a fine handsome example perched on a fence post at the top of the garden one morning. I'm not sure who was the more surprised, him or me, when I walked around the corner and saw him, and then just stood stock still, eyes boggled, while we both looked at each other for a few seconds. Then the buzzard just simply turned and lifted off with a couple of flaps of his big wings, and glided gracefully across the field and up and over the opposite hedge. Amazing.

Zebra Finch
This was VERY unusual! Identified as a possibly escaped Zebra Finch, presumably out on a wild spree!

Baby Thrushes

 

One of the loveliest things that we've had happen, was to have a Thrush family take up residence in our Potting Shed. The nest was built on a concrete ledge just above the bench where I do the potting. Once discovered, I was very careful entering and leaving, but very soon I seemed fully accepted working at the bench, while the parents came and went feeding the chicks. One of the parents would just sit there while I then came and went! After a few short weeks, the chicks had ventured out, and were heard loudly chirping round the garden.

 

The nest full of baby Thrushes (right)
on the ledge in the Potting Shed

Thrush Nest and Family
Mother Thrush and Chicks at feeding time - not long before the chicks left the nest

Apart from all the birds, and the resident mice and voles in and around the logstore (not in the house I might add!), we seem to get a large variety of other animals come visiting... rabbits, squirrels of course (though not always wanted!), bats flying about at dusk, a hare up the field, and even an odd escaped sheep wandering by!

Rabbit and Mouse
Quite a wild moment - both a rabbit AND a mouse caught near the log-store by the patio!

...and lastly! It's not always easy to spot our little mammal visitors under the bird feeders, but they can be spotted when you wait and look very patiently. So just for fun... have a go at...

SPOT MAURICE

Other nearby Birdwatching Sites

Golitha Falls

Draynes Wood and Golitha Falls are home to the three woodpeckers - the Great Spotted Woodpecker, the Lesser Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, as well as Buzzards, Sparrowhawks and Kingfishers. Also to be seen are Tawny Owls, Jays, Grey Wagtails, Dippers, Redstarts, Wood Warblers, Song and Mistle Thrushes, Pied Flycatchers, Marsh Tits, Treecreepers and Nuthatches. The mine shafts and adits are also home to many bats, including the Lesser Horseshoe Bat. Featured in Bird Watching Magazine "Go Birding" in March 2002.

Siblyback Lake

Siblyback Lake is another excellent birdwatching site, and has its own hide at the secluded northern end of the lake. The lake plays host to many birds, with Buzzards and Ravens frequently seen overhead, together with Peregrines and Ospreys. Kingfishers are resident. Other key birds include roosting wildfowl and gulls; Wagtails, Plovers, Dunlin, Sandpipers, Curlew, Wimbrel, Pipits, Stonechat, Wheatear, Redstart, Flycatchers, Goldfinches, Linnets and many others. Featured in Bird Watching Magazine "Go Birding" in July 2005.

Bodmin Moor

"Bodmin Moor is the most south westerly upland area in Britain, and numerous bird species have made this wild place their home... as well as being important for birds in Spring and Summer, Bodmin Moor also supports important numbers of birds in Autumn and Winter" (taken from "The Birds of Bodmin Moor - the results of a survey by the RSPB in 1999"). Among the key birds to be seen are Snipe, Wheatear, Skylark, Reed Bunting, Lapwing, Curlew, Sedge Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, Stonechat, Redstart, Golden Plover and Meadow Pipit.

Camel Estuary

The estuary of the River Camel on the North Coast (near Padstow) is very popular, and is a bird watching paradise. Follow the Camel Trail from Wadebridge to Padstow, for wonderful views across the open estuary of creeks, sandbanks and rocky shores. Wintering wildfowl include Wigeon, Long Tailed Duck and Goldeneye. Divers, Grebe, and many other waders can be seen. Many migrants during Spring and Autumn, plus Heron, Little Egret, Cormorant, Oystercatchers, and Gulls in the Summer.

Cornwall Wildlife Trust Nature Reserves including...

Cabilla & Redrice Woods - Ancient woodland, river and wetland; 190 acres. Off the A38 in the Glyn Valley, turning to Cardinham (next to White Lodge). Possibly the finest ancient woodland in Cornwall. Birds include the Pied Flycatcher during the summer. Remains of an old mine; the old adit is home to many bats.

Helman Tor & Redmoor - Heathland, grassland, wetland, woodland and open water; 536 acres. Two and a half miles south of Bodmin, with several access points, including at Tredinnickpits, Breney Common and Helman Tor itself. Many birds typical to these environments; also the remains of a neolithic hill settlement.

Loveny/Colliford Reservoir - Reservoir with moorland; 316 acres. Access to the reserve is available from Deweymeads car park, just south of the A30. The reserve is an important site for birds, including the Lapwing and Golden Plover. Colliford Lake was constructed in 1981, and flooded in 1984. Tracks all around it.

St.George's (Looe) Island - Cliffs, maritime grassland, scrub, woodland, sand/shingle; 22 acres. Boat to the island from East Looe; Easter to September and possibly other times. A haven for wildlife, the island has the second largest colony of great black-backed gulls in Cornwall. Remains of a Benedictine chapel built 1139.

Tamar Estuary - Tidal mudflats and saltmarsh; 998 acres Just over a mile north of Saltash, the foreshore can be reached from Cargreen village, Landulph, lanes from the A388, or Moditonham Quay. Among the many birds to be seen here are resident Shelduck, Kingfishers, and a large wintering population of Avocet.

For more information on these reserves, visit the Cornwall Wildlife Trust website.

Redgate Smithy B&B     Redgate     St Cleer     Liskeard     Cornwall     PL14 6RU
Proprietors: Clive & Julie ffitch   ~   Telephone: +44 (0) 1579 321578   ~   Email: enquiries@redgatesmithy.co.uk

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