Bull in a Willow (China Shop)?

By

Took a 2hr walk around my nearest Local Nature Reserve this morning, lured out by glorious sunshine. The birds had been flocking to my urban garden early on, for breakfast, so decided to make the most of the weather.

Saw dozens of different birds, and took a mere 532 pics, lol, nearly all of which went straight into the recycle bin, alas. Have temporarily saved the following, only because they will remind me of a lovely scene.

A Bullfinch – haven’t seen (probably should read “noticed”) one of these since I was a boy, when a friend and I found one with its leg impaled on a barbed wire fence We took it to our local bird lady, who took in all injured birds found locally, but did not hear any more about ours.

This one, today, however, seemed to be particularly attracted to this “Pussy Willow”, as I call it, being, for me, a sure sign of Spring, and a fave with my Mum.

I had to move round to the other side of the tree for a better view, although the light, and my camera aim/zoom, was even worse.

Very difficult to see, here, but the bird, beak open, is about to pluck the downy willow fibres from the catkins, for nest material.

Action replay………….

Although the pics are not at all good, alas, I just really enjoyed watching through this little “window” on the natural world. Guess you could say that I “killed 2 birds with one stone” here, so to speak, with my Bullfinch sighting and its work for today.

“We’re CLOSED! What are you staring at????”

G’night, me old chinas!!

My Other Blogposts From this Area:-

http://www.ispyabird.co.uk/blogs/1424 “Transition”

http://www.ispyabird.co.uk/blogs/1334 Beating Those “Monday Morning Blues”…..

http://www.ispyabird.co.uk/blogs/1329 “New Kids on the Block”

http://www.ispyabird.co.uk/blogs/199 Freezing Feathered Friends

http://www.ispyabird.co.uk/blogs/112 A Favourite Place

http://www.ispyabird.co.uk/blogs/19 A Tail from the Riverbank

Comments

2 Mar, 2011
P1000246_edited_1
muddywalters said:

Nice blog and photos David. Would liked to have seen that myself - thanks for sharing.

2 Mar, 2011
Avatar_tf_tourmalet
johnponting said:

Nice blog david. Your pic count beats mine - I only managed 288 in a little under 3 hours. being generous, I could have 50% keepers but probably only 10 pics that I would want others to see.

3 Mar, 2011
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lincslass said:

Lovely set of pics of a smashing bird David, they do work hard when building their nests.

3 Mar, 2011
Wren_nest_building_edited_2
littlewren said:

brilliant David......how lovely seeing this bird collecting nesting material ...a rare sight I am sure

3 Mar, 2011
Dipper
david said:

Many Thanks, folks. Have just emptied my recycle bin, John. It had 1434 pics in it, lol!

3 Mar, 2011
P1220732
bonkersbon said:

Aw David well would love some photos of such a charming bird we rarely see.

Looks like you ve captured male and paler female too so well worth the high disposal rate.

Despite that you seem to be getting some great opportunities in your area .. sure with a bit of sun your recycle bin wont be as busy .

4 Mar, 2011
P1150022_1
jane said:

Glad you had a sunny day David...and that you made the most of it too !! Love the photos with the beaks stuffed with pussy willow !!! Bet thats set to be one of the cosiest nests around !! Lol....

5 Mar, 2011
Dscf1248

Thank you David, for your nice Blog & great pics of the Bullfinches
male & female. Thank, you also for making me decide to purchase
a 'Willow to plant in my Wildlife area ~ helping the birds at nesting time, as your pics show...

5 Mar, 2011
Dipper
david said:

Many Thanks, Bb and Jane. Yes, there were 2 birds in the tree, and thought that they were a male and female, lol! Think the recycle bin will become less full with better weather (hopefully?).

You're welcome, Freesia! if you already know someone with a willow, twigs cut off root readily in moist soil, so you could, perhaps get one for free? Depends on how soon you want the catkins. I agree that a willow would be a valuable addition to your garden's wildlife area (they grow best in moist/boggy areas). If having to buy, the readily available, weeping Kilmarnock Willow produces the same catkins, and doesn't take up much space, or attention, other than one haircut every year or other to maintain its ornamental "umbrella" shape - if wanted - and you could root more willows from those clippings, too, to pass on to others???

When I was a child, we had a large pussy willow tree at the bottom of the garden, which was on a fairly steep slope, as my Mum loved it (and still does) . She always has indoor arrangements of pussy willow with furry catkins with early daffs. The willow twigs nearly always root, even in the vase. Just something to consider if planning to have one? :-))

6 Mar, 2011
Dscf1248

Thanks for all the Info. David, much appreciated....Your Mother
really loves her garden, & i can imagine the indoor arrangement
looked wonderful & so cheery!! Another great idea you have given me when i have my Willow planted, & established a great combination for indoors....It just goes to show how many uses
you can obtain from 1 Shrub besides sharing it with the Birds
& Wildlife...

6 Mar, 2011
P1150022_1
jane said:

Oh no !!! Reading all this and now I want one !!! Excuse? To make up for all the plant casualties from this winter...lol...wish me luck both of you ! Oh yes and David...tidying the garden today in the SUN ! Wonderful...:o)

6 Mar, 2011
Dipper
david said:

You're very welcome, freeesia!That garden was a long time ago, now, but Mum still lives near a plentiful supply of wild pussy willow, and still has her lovely indoor arrangements. Am certain that this is also valuable for other wildlife species, too, as an early nectar supply.

All the Very Best of Luck, Jane! Had to chase the weather here today, with both dull and mediocre sunny patches. Had a whole day yesterday in my garden, which was great! :-))

6 Mar, 2011
P1150022_1
jane said:

Thats brilliant David :o) !! Cannot remember ever longing for the sun quite so much as this year.Noting every new shoot,bulb and tiniest bit of new life as never before.Strangely...losing all our yellow/orange crocuses as fast as they are appearing ! The culprit? Female blackbird spotted today ripping one to shreds !! How ungrateful after all that feeding and care she has had over the winter !! LOL...

7 Mar, 2011
Dipper
david said:

Well, Jane, what do you expect from growing those crocus? LOL!
One very ungrateful bird, indeed!! :-D))

8 Mar, 2011
P1150022_1
jane said:

Lol David...thing is the purple and the white crocuses are untouched !!! Moral is...dont plant any more yellow ones !!
PS going for the pussy willow at the weekend...YES !!!!

9 Mar, 2011
Dipper
david said:

Hopefully, Jane, the insects will, therefore, have been left in peace to benefit from the early energy benefits from the purple/white ones?

Good Luck with the willow!!! X

9 Mar, 2011
P1150022_1
jane said:

Hope so David ! Thanks for the good wishes....just hope there are some left...if not it will be back to the drawing board !! Lol...

12 Mar, 2011
515
donna said:

lovely photos

12 Mar, 2011
P1150022_1
jane said:

Seen the weather conditions this weekend David...thinking of you and hoping you are coping with the latest snowfall.The best laid plans eh???

15 Mar, 2011
Dipper
david said:

Thankfully, Jane, it was a "One day wonder" here, and had all gone by Sunday. :-)

15 Mar, 2011
P1150022_1
jane said:

Glad to hear that David!!! Enough is enough ...:o)

15 Mar, 2011
Dipper
david said:

Have also started back in my friends' garden, so hoping to see many birds there. On Monday, when there, I saw massive flocks of geese flying overhead, going south. The long-tailed tits are back, too, apparently. Looking forward to seeing them, again.

15 Mar, 2011
P1150022_1
jane said:

Thats wonderful David...looking forward to your updates and hope your nests will be used too.Lovely setting...good luck in the garden.

15 Mar, 2011
Dipper
david said:

The titbox entrance hole showed signs of alterations, but no sign of any inhabitants. As for the robin/wren box, my friends had moved it into a totally inappropriate site at some point during winter. guess that they were just trying to help, lol!!

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