Doorstep wildlife

I live in a rather unprepossessing looking block of flats built in the 1930’s. The view out front is mostly of parked vehicles and the flats on the other side of  what is usually a busy main road.

However the narrow strip of garden that you can see is full of trees and shrubs which attract plenty of birds.  Yesterday I heard an unmistakeable bird sound and looked out to see two ring-necked parakeets up near the top of the large tree just along to the left.

The view out back is little better but there is a wide strip of grass and plenty of trees.  As the service road is now blocked off to vehicles and there are few cats and dogs around it has meant that the wildlife is relatively undisturbed there.

Last week when it was snowy I started  scattering some bird seed and porridge oats on the concrete areas that were still clear.  This morning I did that, made a cup of tea then walked into the back room to see if anything was out  there.  I was delighted to see four squirrels, a handful of  starlings , two magpies, about ten wood pigeons, the  robin and a pair of blackbirds (the female being brown with a dark beak, unlike the glossy black male with a golden beak). Yesterday I saw a lone female chaffinch and some blue tits flitting about in the trees.

The squirrels are resident and provide endless entertainment both on the ground feeding and scampering through the trees. Mind you I got a shock when one fell out of the nearby palm tree yesterday but thankfully it seemed unfazed!

I would love to get some good photos but with my camera that seems unlikely but I’ll keep trying!  I took this through the window this morning and you can see some woodpigeons taking flight, and can you spot the squirrel!


About Flighty

...allotmenteer, armchair gardener, blogger and sofa flyer.
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17 Responses to Doorstep wildlife

  1. mrs K says:

    Yes Flighty, I can see the squirrel.

    I loved your description of the male blackbird – all glossy black and yellow beak. I rarely see a blackbird all black, as we have watched over the past ten years – blackbirds with a genetic fault line – they all have some white on them. When I get my new camera, I am going to try and take a picture of them.

    1930’s flats were built to last, I loved mine when I lived in Hampton Wick.

    I checked with the RSBP and yes, sometimes this happens. The first one we ever saw, just had two white feathers in his tail. So sons of Whitey are now more numerous.

    The females do not have any white on them at all. Its odd.

    • Flighty says:

      Mrs K typically there were two squirrels half way up the trunk just a moment beforehand!
      Apparently such blackbirds aren’t that unusual but I’ve never seen any. I know that (part) white ones often confuse people who see them.
      I think that I must consider getting a new camera!
      They were indeed! The flats that you can see in the ‘out back’ photo were built in the early 70s and they’re nowhere near as good.
      Take care, and best wishes for the New Year! xx

  2. nikkipolani says:

    It’s nice to see a little of your neighborhood, Flighty, and know that you can enjoy the birds and squirrels that hang out in the greenery. And with your invitation of seed and oats, how can they resist?

    • Flighty says:

      Nikki thanks! I’m surprised at just how much wildlife I’ve seen here during the past week.
      I was surprised to read that porridge oats are probably the best all-round bird food, and it’s relatively cheap! xx

  3. Hi Mike,

    How lovely to see a bit of your neighbourhood. Glad to know that there is some green and some wildlife there for you to enjoy. Saw a movie that played in New York yesterday which depressed me very much as the only things you saw there were buildings and traffic, not my cuppa at all.

    Wishing you all the best for the New Year and may it be filled with loads of garden and blogging fun!

    • Flighty says:

      Yolanda hello, and thanks! I’m lucky as there’s an ecology park, two allotment sites and a large park/playing fields all just a few minutes walk away.
      Cities aren’t my cup of tea either.
      Thanks again, and happy gardening in 2010! xx

  4. Ellie says:

    What a fantastic wildlife turn-out – it shows that a bit of effort can have great results. I used to live in a block of flats in Edgware, and I loved seeing the squirrels chase each other, despite there being only 4 trees or so around the building.

  5. Glo says:

    Sorry I’ve taken so long to answer posts, but I’ve been otherwise pre-0ccupied 😉

    Wonderful to know you have wildlife in front and back ~ and a lovely assortment of such. Interesting about the oatmeal. It’s very useful – you can even put it in a bath, but I advise putting it in a cheesecloth bag first. I’m sure the animals prefer it dry, though 🙂

  6. Glo says:

    An oatmeal bath is very soothing to the skin ~ the cheesecloth bag saves one from being immersed in a vat of porridge 🙂 Also slices of cucumber placed on closed eyes, refreshes eyes …

    • Flighty says:

      Glo that sounds good but I think that I’ll keep with my bottle of Radox Muscle Soak thanks! I’ve tried cucumber slices on my closed eyes and as you say it does refresh the eyes. xx

  7. re says:

    Squirrels are endlessly entertaining you are lucky to have such a view. Hope you had a lovely Christmas and best wishes for 2010.

    • Flighty says:

      Re they certainly are! I’m trying to identify individuals so I know how many there are but not having much luck so far.
      A nice quiet one thanks, and to you too! xx

  8. Liz says:

    I think I see the squirrel in the tree limbs. They are entertaining creatures and don’t seem to be fazed by much. They can cause problems here when they blow transformers on utility posts and electrocute themselves. That happens at least once a year.
    As for building construction. Much has changed in attention to detail and craftsmanship and quality has suffered in recent decades.

    • Flighty says:

      Liz I think that the squirrels keep away last year as the building roof was retiled which took over 4 months. As you say they’re entertaining but can be a nuisance.
      I agree what you say about building construction. xx

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