Friday, 24 July 2009

Film Friday

Catching up on a few videos.

Yesterday I spotted a Song Thrush with a snail in its beak hopping across the lawn. It was heading for some stepping stones so it could use one as its anvil to crack open the shell.

A few days ago I heard an unknown, to me, songbird close by. Right near the top of a dead tree next door was a Goldfinch singing its little heart out. This is the first time I have seen one singing so that is another bird song I have learned. The contrast is poor as the light was on the wrong side. It was very breezy so the top of the tree was waving about in the gusts of wind. You can also hear the constant chirping of the House Sparrows which were a lot closer.

From six months ago when I was bemoaning the fact that Goldfinches never visited my garden they are now regular visitors. I only ever get two adults at a time but as there are a couple on and off all day there may be more than one pair. A couple of days ago there was a baby but it didn't stay long enough to be photographed.

This is the same Goldfinch I filmed singing. As soon as it had stopped it came down to recharge its batteries.

The Goldfinches are endearing birds. Often when two are feeding one finishes before the other and waits on the cables above the feeders. The second one eventually joins the first and then they fly off together. They never bother other birds and always seem very laid back. When Bobby goes out the back door most of the feeding birds scatter but the Goldfinches just ignore him and carry on feeding.


  1. Great videos John! I've often seen the shells on the ground broken but haven't seen them being broken in my garden. We are getting regular Song Thrush visits too... a lovely visitor.

    The goldfinches... I always feel special that they decide to visit my garden. There are few branches that I could see a bird sing from at the moment. I love to hear the tinkling sound as a group flies past and arrives at the feeders. Thanks, I should be able to ID their song now too :-D

    I've a lot of posts to catch up on... Have a great weekend :-D

  2. Thank you Shirl. Some years ago I used to see many snail shells on the front path but, like you, had not managed to see a Song Thrush at work.

    That dead tree next door is ideal for the birds and for me to be able to observe them.

  3. I like to see the ingenuity in bird behaviour ~ and the stepping stone served to be a good location for a clear video of the snail being smacked about ~ snail innards are a bit yucky, but I guess not to a bird! How lovely that the goldfinch sang for its supper! Yes, that dead tree does offer a perfect spot for clear viewing. Are those sunflower seeds it is eating from your feeder?

  4. Hi Glo. It was indeed fortunate that the Song Thrush brought its snail where I could see it clearly.

    The Goldfinches will eat Sunflower kernels but love Nyger (Niger) seeds which are much smaller. None of the other birds go for the Nyger seeds so they get that feeder to themselves. The feeder has very narrow slits so the tiny seeds don't fall out.

  5. Your videos are always interesting and I especially like the ones where I can hear the sounds of the birds.
    You say on your profile that you like church organ music - do you play the organ too?

  6. Interesting clip of the Thrush John. He's really bashing that snail. lol
    The Goldies are a real treat to watch when they visit, and the singer was certainly going for it.

  7. Thank you Mick. I want to build up a little video library of birds singing if only to enable me to learn who sings what.

    No Mick. I am a one finger keyboard player. My father was a church organist. Some years ago we dismantled and moved, with some willing helpers, a chamber organ from a disused church to a local church which didn't have one and then rebuilt it. It was a delicate operation as the metal pipes have a high lead content and can get bent easily if not handled properly.

  8. Hi Keith. The thrushes really have to work hard to get a meal. The Goldie wasn't very far away and it really was loud.

  9. Great post John and what an eventful time you've had. Wonderful shots of the dragon and I'm glad you finally got one in your neck of the woods.

    Interesting your comments about the Goldfinch singing. I get these lovely visitors all year round and this year, for the very first time, I've become aware of their singing whilst perched up in the Eucalyptus tree. Normally it's just the normal "twittering".

  10. Thank you Tricia. I did try to get some video of the dragon but it was too fast but at least it rested every now and then.

    Birds seem to behave differently in different parts of the country. I've never heard the Goldfinch twitter though that may get drowned out by the squabbling Starlings and the constant chatter of House Sparrows. I now know I have heard the goldies singing for weeks, not in the garden but on our morning walks in less built up areas of the village but there I haven't been able to see them.

    Have a great weekend.

  11. The Goldfinch song is lovely and always a welcome sound in my garden and the twittering which Shirl mentioned is really magical sounding. I do think the Song Thrush at his anvil shows the ingenuity of birds as does the Goldfinch at the Niger seed feeder, it never ceases to amaze me that these lovely little birds instinctively know that the man-made tubes contain the food they like and that they have no trouble finding the tiny feeding ports. Lovely videos John.

  12. Hi Jan. Thank You. The goldies really are my favourite visitors these days. There used to be a group of six or more feed at a house just down the lane. The people there took down their feeders when the Rooks were forever unhooking and dropping them on the floor. That was when the Goldfinches started visiting me.

    When I was teaching (Primary School) I used to tell the children to look out for a pile of empty snail shells which would indicate a Thrush's Anvil. The present Song Thrush doesn't seem to have one favourite spot which gives me the chance to watch it when it chooses a nearby hard surface.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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