Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bird watching...

in London, and I don't mean checking out the ladies!  Although that may occasionally happen, too.

Since moving into a place with a garden and having Greenwich Park almost at our doorstep, we've had a wonderful "eye load" of bird watching.  The bf received a groovy, little bird book for his birthday mid-May, and, since then, we've supplemented that mini-tome with another one that includes raptors.

Bold Robin chilling in our garden.

One of the most common birds to be spotted here in our Greenwich garden is the Robin.  Unlike an American Robin, the English Robin is sparrow-sized, and, as you can see, has orange covering his face and upper chest.  When I first saw the Robin, I thought of it wearing a little, orange ski-mask and imagined him breaking into bird houses looking for grub to steal.  This particular Robin is a "regular" to our garden having been fed by the kids who used to live here.  We see him daily, and, as he's so familiar, were able to shoot this picture of him with great ease before he flitted off over the back fence.


Another bird of note, and I did mean that pun, is the Black Bird.  The male, replete with large yellow-orange beak and yellow-ringed eyes has a bit of a whacked-out look to him.  He's more the size of an American Robin, and has the most amazing song consisting of a variety of notes sung loud and long.  The female is all brown.  There was a female Black Bird in the garden today, and I felt like telling her, "you're supposed to be black!"

Say it loud!  She's brown and she's proud!

Tits, I told you we're not talking about the ladies, are another feature of English garden life.  The most viewed Tit is the (well, we think) Coal Tit.  Both males and females boast black 'caps' with white cheeks.  They don't seem to be particularly fond of being in the garden when we're out there.  We usually spy them from the kitchen window hopping about the soil looking for things to eat.

Tit on a Wire

One of the most startling features of the English garden is the occasional appearance of the Wood Pigeon.  In contrast to the Common Pigeon that also inhabits this area, the Wood Pigeon is a fairly dignified-looking sort.  Full-figured, gray-breasted with a white collar and yellow eyes, this tidy-looking bird is a rather attractive addition to Greenwich Park and the surrounding environs.  However, when rocks up to your back garden to nosh on the seed that you've laid out for the other birds, then, well, it's sort of a bummer.  I'm glad, at least, it's not a bum-legged, scurvy-looking, mongrel pigeon that comes to scrounge food, but I still want it to fly away back to whatever park it came from.

Wood Pigeon

We're hoping to install a bird bath, some feeders, and, maybe, replace the crusty, old, rotted-out bird house that's been lodged seemingly for years behind a bush along the back fence with a new one.  Our garden could well become the vacation spot for local birds around town.  -so long as no pigeons or, maybe, even, more importantly, no crows show up to gate crash, then I'm happy to welcome them.


  1. I remember waking up and walking outside to have a hot cuppa with my friend David while we were all up in the Scottish highlands the year or two before I moved there (it was my first time, he's a scouser) and as we stood there bundled up, with hot mugs keeping our hands warm in the chilly highland air, a bird landed on a tree branch right next to our faces. David looked at the bird, then looked at me, and rather politely asked "Do you have blue tits in America?" To which I replied "you mean like now?", as I looked down my top, "I think only when it's freezing out, otherwise they stay fairly pink."

    Yeah, he spit his tea at that point... THEN told me what he really meant. ;p

  2. Blue Tits! Hahahaha! I can barely talk about Tits without cracking a smile. The juvenile in me will never die.

    Thanks for the "tit talk", GG!

  3. Like, I can totally hear your English accent. Dude, that was fast! Woah! ;)

  4. Tits like coconuts, sparrows like breadcrumbs.

  5. The birds in CH don't seem either as loud, or as plentiful both in number and variety as their British counterparts. Super big bummer.


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