Please, do not hamper a young bird's life by picking it up, and taking it home with you. It is calling its parents to help them in locating it.
After fledgling from the nest, the parent birds will keep feeding it, and look out for it, until it will be able to look after itself.
And the reason you cannot see a parent is because of your own proxomity to the young bird. And while you are ebating if or not you should take the bird home, you keep the parent from giving it well needed nutrition in the form of a meal!


The photos on this blog are all taken by me. If there is any picture you might want to use for any other than personal use, please drop me a line to the email address shown in the sidebar on the right.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

New, Old, and Funny Faces.

I’d promised Crow the recipe for peanut cake for my birds, and although Carin provided Crow with her peanut cake recipe, because I’d been failing to post mine yet (due to tiredness) In contrast to Carin, I have no measurements for my 'recipe', but here goes:

Lard or Suet.
Seeds, (Sunflower, Mixed, any melon, papaya, and or other)
Niger Seeds,
Peanut butter
Uncooked Muesli
Raisins or Sultanas
Anything else which is at hand, or comes to mind.

Chop your peanuts, seeds, or other nuts, finely in the food-processor.
Melt lard in the microwave, and mix all other ingredients in until all liquid has been absorbed by the dry ingredients.
Spoon into your moulds. Choose whatever you think suitable, which can be plastic tubs of any size or shape.*
Then let it set in your refrigerator or freezer.
Whenever you do not have any lard available, the easiest is to mix the above ingredients with an egg and fill a bread tin. \Then put in preheated oven for a spell.
I always cook my food without salt. And therefore they often get those little leftovers too. These will go into other bird food, most of the time, depending on the situation, and food.

*In contrast to Carin, I myself find grape/or other soft fruit punnets unsuitable; the little loose–soft-plastic cover at the bottom is stuck to the bottom on two places with glue and getting the glue off the bottom of tub, I have not managed yet. Some of it is always left behind at my house, and using it as a serving tub with peanut cake, seems very unsuitable to me. I just pierce some holes into other plastic tubs, leftovers from shopping. Fruit, vegetable, grated cheese or mushrooms, and with so many products coming with an excess of plastic, I could choose anything from the collection, waiting to be put into the purple recycle bin.

Last year I had one sorry Sunflower which had germinated very late, and grown during August September before. However it was much too late and when I got Lynn’s Olympus it was still only about 1 ft. tall. This was mid to late October!
Today I noticed another Sunflower seed, which has germinated. It is still late, but we’ll see how far it will come.
The main problem it will face is that it germinated just a few cm.s away from the Fennel. This means that it won’t get too high anyway. And if it will be able to get high enough and ripen its seeds? Not like they used to when I was a child and the neighbours begged my mother to have me get me get rid of my little birdtable of my bedroom window feeder. Which of course stayed put!

It has been silent here for some time and it is about time that I post something here before it is September!
Mainly, the weather has been too wet to get out these last weeks, yet it was not too wet for a pair of Bullfinches. Most other birds find it often hard to stay put in the planter, on the wall, shelf because of the strong winds. And with some not having completed their moult, it can be extra awkward, cold and wet on you, being a small bird.

Junior has been keeping me company in the rain though, and thought it best to bring his other young mates too. Well, probably I should stick with the term “Friends”? In Avian worlds, as in most other wild animal terms, and the meaning behind mates often describes a different kind of friendship. I had to get used to this way of thinking, because most of my writings are set in the world of wild creatures. And it takes a lot not to impose human ways of thinking.

The Swallows have been flying to and fro about and beside the house; still, there is a lot less of their chittering, their lovely way of chirruping, as only Swallows can. And my Coal Tits, which had been busy elsewhere this summer, are back too. It felt as if they had been on some kind of holiday, or as if they were moulting over the last 12 weeks or so. Perhaps their breeding failed, then tried again and after that settled down for a moult. ?
I remember that when I only just had my camera, I set myself the challenge to get my best Coal Tit picture. Everyone who has a camera and Coal Tits in their garden/balcony, allotment or yard, will know the task I set myself. And although my Coal Tits were quite good in the beginning in not doing the grab, leave and hide their food, from the birdtable, which was still standing then. Also perhaps because they would line up on the wall/Fennel or planter for their turn on the peanutfeeder. And they still line up on the Fennel; it is the perfect spot from which to see who’s about, is there a tense atmosphere between species? Only yesterday, there were a lot of squabbles between Robins (adults and juveniles, alike) Sparrows, Great Tits and Chaffinches. I also think that the winds played a part in these. The birds were all trying to hold on, to stay on course, and to feed whilst rain was bucketing’ down, Atlantic winds were targeting them, all the while they were trying to raise their energy levels and to gain a little weight to help them through the cold nights. We, like many others in these islands, most likely, have been having a cold spell recently. The highest, daytime, temperatures are often not more than 15/16Cels. I wouldn’t mind usually, in combination with these winds, however, it is feeling a lot chillier.
A few times I got myself ready in the hope that I would be able to leave quite sudden if the weather would let up. A few days there was a mixture of Bright Spells and Scattered Showers, yet, as soon as I waited, it was soon clear that these would be a bit more than Scattered within 10minutes or so, after I’d leave.
Of course the Wild Flowers would be flattened too.
Tomorrow, it looks like rain till say, 4pm. And with low tide at 6pm, this would be perfect. Who knows? Will it be favourable to me, tomorrow, for once?

Some of mySparrows'GangCoal TitsBlue TitsSurprise visit of this Bullfinch male, last week.RobinOne of the Great Tits (female)Regular Visitors, Pied WagtailsNewest Robin juvenile, which has been using our dinerSome of-yesterday's-peanutcakeand some of last week's peanutcake, made with other fats and different consistency


  1. Thanks for the recipe Yoke. I'll certainly use it. You're peanut cakes look wonderful. It looks like you're getting quite a variety of birds. Love the colours on the Bullfinch.

  2. I used to get the assortment of Green/Goldfinches and Siskins too, during the autumn/winter. Then last year these all bred here and have only seen one or two since, very sporadically.

    Oh, if you've got a fatball/cake feeder, then you could make your peanutcake to suit that feeder.
    the Bullfinches are living somewhere around, no idea where.
    He comes onto the cage now and then, observes the feeding frenzy below before leaving again. They'd never been as close as this time.
    I suspect she was after the Dockweed, or Sparrow seed as I used to call it. It is everywhere in the garden and sparrows used to fight over it and feed on those spikes in front of my window at the front of house. Bullfinch male appeared on front wall, couple of years again and stayed there for 10 minutes; now I understand- he was testing/checking the ripeness of the seeds. Hope they'll come and feed on Dockweed seeds, I want a few more photos.

  3. Yes, I have suet cages so the peanut cakes should go nicely in them. Being curious about the dockweed, I googled it and am sure I've seen it grow along the sides of the highway in places. I'm thinking of maybe digging up a couple to place in the garden. Maybe the birds here would go for it. Thanks for giving me another great idea.

  4. Oops, Crow!
    I do not know about Canadian Laws regarding Wildlife. Here, and in UK, you'd be prosecuted for digging up any Wildflowers.

    Anyway, regarding Dockweed; be careful, once it grows in your garden, it is there to stay. Mind, I am also sure that in a garden like Wytchwood, there is plenty of room for these weeds. As I said, it is very invasive.

    As I've stated somewhere previously in my posts/blog, my Gang of Sparrows, {living in the Hawthorn behind the garden-running down to the river} was infected with the Trichomoniasis disease.

    The adult Sparrows I've got now, are not into Dockweed. (yet)

    In Previous generations, it would sometimes take till late winter before they would all suddenly discover the brown and ripened spikes of plants not very sturdy really. Once they would get the taste for it, the birds would line up each morning, feed and even fight each other over position on the highrise seed chambers.

    I really like the lovely green and tiny flowers of these weeds, they have an even more minute red spot within and I'm sure you'll love it.
    If your birds will take to it? I don't know. Here it is only a few species, House Sparrow, Bull Finch, Gold Finch, even Jackdaws I've seen tdrying to get a {failed!]grip on it, so I guess your Blue Jays might love it too.
    If you see it grow around Wytchwood, local birds should know it too.
    Let us know what happens via your blog and if they take to peanutcake. {I've got to make more! again! }

  5. Hi Yoke. I don't think there are any laws here about digging up wild flowers. In fact, I've never heard of anyone bothering. Most people here look on wild flowers as weeds and seem to have little interest in them. I have an assortment growing naturally on the property and have left them as the insects like them. I think it's against the law to remove our provincial flower though, which is a very interesting carnivorous plant that traps insects in it's pitcher like leaves. http://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com/WildlifeAndNature/PitcherPlant.aspx you can see what it's like on that site.

  6. Sounds like nice people then, Crow! And a lovely flower to leave alone too. {even more so if you were an Insect..}

    It sounds as if there is still room enough in Wytchwood for one or two {LOL} Dockweed Spikes. I'll get some pics of them, once I'm home. Might be able to get out a few hours later, although not many Birds would be able to fly in this srtong wind. and I'm afraid that most Wild Flowers are flattened.
    But need to check it out for myself.


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