Any garden bird enthusiasts help me ID a bird,please?

(46 Posts)
crazynanna Mon 14-Jan-13 21:37:53

Well, I have been decorating my kitchen these past few days, so obviously been gazing out of the window into the garden wink, and I am noticing all kinds of lovely birds I have never,ever noticed before only know a pigeon. I have seen a woodpecker (looked it up), some tits on my blackberry bushes (looked it up), but there are a pair of birds I cannot find anywhere on any of the sites.

I will try and describe them.

Bigger than a robin/tit/etc...but smaller than a pigeon, maybe the same size as the woodpecker/magpie.

Brown body

Longtail (I think maybe white and a bit of black in the tail)

Bright colour bits on wings

Has a call with 2 sounds, not a song, more like a crow sound.

They are so beautiful, and seem to visit every day

Any ideas?

Oh and one more thing.

I have foxes in my garden, and yesterday evening, I heard squawking from over the fence next door, and the bloody fox balanced on the garden fence bending over. I banged the window, and it scarpered, and the noise stopped.

Do foxes kill birds? sad

Thankyou for your help.

iseenodust Mon 14-Jan-13 21:43:23

Ideas but no expert

You might get much better answers if you post in great outdoors.

Porkster Mon 14-Jan-13 21:44:42

Could it be a Jay?

We get loads on our garden, they love peanuts.

I don't think foxes get them.

lovelyredwine Mon 14-Jan-13 21:45:37

Could be a jay. They are lovely- bright blue bits on the wings. Is the body more a beige than a dark brown?

And yes, foxes can kill birds, but domestic cats tend to do more damage to the wild bird population (I have 2 cats and love them, but wish they would leave the birds alone!).

SkaffenAmtiskaw Mon 14-Jan-13 21:47:27

try the RSPB bird identifier and let us know what it is if you find out!

crazynanna Mon 14-Jan-13 21:52:47

ooh that Jay looks like it...and yes more light brown body. But that birdie in the pic looks smaller,they are quite big in my garden. But does look really similar. I am in the middle of North London...who knew all this wildlife? smile

I thought about a cat killing the bird, but the fox was so close by literally leaning down...wouldn't a cat just leg it and not be so near a fox?

Virgil Mon 14-Jan-13 21:56:07

Jays are quite big. We get loads in the garden and it was my first thought in reading your description.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Mon 14-Jan-13 21:56:55

I'd have said Jay before I read your update.

And no, I watched a cat beat seven bells out of a fair sized Collie the other day. It was definitely Cat 1-Collie 0.

coffeeinbed Mon 14-Jan-13 21:58:12

they are big.
and nasty - i've seen them steal baby tits from nests.

Porkster Mon 14-Jan-13 22:00:02

Yes, Jays are quite big.

coffeeinbed Mon 14-Jan-13 22:00:11

they belong to the magpie family, so no surprise you thought of magpies when you saw them.

Startail Mon 14-Jan-13 22:08:35

Do you have any reasonable sized trees, especially oaks near by?
Jays love acorns and tend to be found near woods or gardens with mature trees, rather than open fields.white arse very obvious as it flies away

If it gets colder you may get redwings and fieldfares, flocks of which come down from the north in cold spells.

similar size, not as pretty.

crazynanna Mon 14-Jan-13 22:13:46

ooh they look too beautiful to be nasty! But the call was quite loud and aggressive...and come to think of it, when they are there, I don't think I see any other birds around. Isn't it amazing what you see when you actually look? My garden is a bit of a jungle and has been since I moved in (funds are lacking to fix it atm), so I never really venture out there, but being in the kitchen has made me see it in a whole new seems to be home for many.

I think my favourite is the woodpecker, and the little tits.
It must have been a cat then with the distressed sounding attack...I didn't think foxes killed birds,anyway.

Will let you know of anymore weird and wonderful creatures...and thanks smile

Maybe a giraffe it's so overgrown...or Indiana Jones?

PoppyWearer Mon 14-Jan-13 22:17:51

Jays are my all-time favourite birds. Must remember to put out some nuts for them in the morning!

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Mon 14-Jan-13 22:18:34

They are credited in some circles with re-foresting the country after the ice age. Jays bury acorns every winter to retrieve later, naturally some of those acorns germinate and grow into oak trees so they are not all bad.

crazynanna Mon 14-Jan-13 22:18:54

Yes startail, all the gardens sorrounding mine have verry mature massive trees. And yes...that is definitly it. A Jay. Wow. Jays and woodpeckers and tits. All in my inner city garden <proud>

So,the redwing...does it have red wings?<thick>

Will look out for it. going to charity shop tomorrow to get a bird book, to sit at my window. wink

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Mon 14-Jan-13 22:20:45

And a fox's diet consists of small mammals, snakes, lizards, fish, berries, fruit, birds, eggs, insects and anything it can scavenge from our leftovers.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Mon 14-Jan-13 22:22:34
crazynanna Mon 14-Jan-13 22:23:13

Yes hellhas....I see the foxes pulling up worms in the early morning. They put their paw down, and yank their head up and down pulling it out of the earth.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Mon 14-Jan-13 22:26:21

I have spent most of my parenthood feeding my Asperger's DS's obsession for all things nature related but particularly birds (especially birds of prey), reptilian and anything related to British wildlife.

It paid off because he is now a full-time falconer but I miss our chats.

crazynanna Mon 14-Jan-13 22:26:46

oh the redwing is beautiful.

Just reminded me of another I saw hopping about in the hospital carpark where I work the other day. and white sort of speckly.

Tincletoes Mon 14-Jan-13 22:28:26

That one sounds like a wagtail.

RustyBear Mon 14-Jan-13 22:30:28

If you're still going to be looking out of your kitchen window in two weeks' time, do the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch survey.

CointreauVersial Mon 14-Jan-13 22:30:55

Jays are lovely, but quite shy. Most people see them just as they are scooting back into the nearest trees. I saw a couple in my garden yesterday.

DoodlesNoodles Mon 14-Jan-13 22:32:28

Wow, great career choice hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman DS.

Turniphead1 Mon 14-Jan-13 22:34:28

Lotsa Jays in North London. My DS is a twitcher. I now know WAAAAY more about birds than I ever wanted to. But secretly love it - having only been able to ID a magpie or pigeon.
Get some RSPB feeders - it's great!

HazeltheMcWitch Mon 14-Jan-13 22:34:47

Yep - tiny, balc and white ad hoppy, hanging about in carpark (or street!) is def a pied wagtail

They do literally wag their tails. I love them, they're so bold and curious!

HazeltheMcWitch Mon 14-Jan-13 22:35:37

balc and white BLACK and white

HazeltheMcWitch Mon 14-Jan-13 22:36:09

er, and AD was meant to be and

<gives up>

Willy Wagtails are my absolute favourite birds.

Always in car parks or playgrounds. A little scuttle, followed by that gorgeous tail-dip boogie.


crazynanna Mon 14-Jan-13 22:38:02

I think I will,Rusty! I didn't think I would be into the garden critters so much...well not the blardy fox...but the birds are just beautiful and relax me.

No,I don't think it was a wagtail, just looked it up. The one I saw was more black than white, and really quite dotty.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Mon 14-Jan-13 22:38:56

How small?

RustyBear Mon 14-Jan-13 22:43:13

We had a wagtail build a nest in a plant pot in the courtyard of the school I work at last spring - poor thing built the nest in the Easter holidays when it was nice and quiet and must have got quite a shock when the kids came back! We had to lock the doors into the courtyard and put up a screen on the window so she didn't get disturbed too much. Two of the chicks died, but she managed to raise one.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Mon 14-Jan-13 22:43:34

Blackbirds can have partial albinism and look like some of these on the RSPB pages

crazynanna Mon 14-Jan-13 22:45:44

Really tiny,hellhas, like the size of a small robin.

crazynanna Mon 14-Jan-13 22:46:53

Aaahhhh rustysmile

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Mon 14-Jan-13 22:48:43

Coal tit? Though I don't think that really fits the bill.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Mon 14-Jan-13 22:53:03

Black redstart is also a possibility with you being in London.

crazynanna Mon 14-Jan-13 22:53:58

No hell...don't look like it.

It probably was a wagtail if they are seen in carparks, and it was bold, just walking beside me! But it did look spotty and mostly black.

crazynanna Mon 14-Jan-13 22:56:03

I am saving all these pics and going to print them off in a poster to stick on the wall in the kitchen. seeing as I have only painted half of one wall

HazeltheMcWitch Mon 14-Jan-13 22:57:43

It does honestly sound like the archetypal description of a wagtail!
See here for google images of them... they can vary in degrees of blackness, and they can look a bit speckledy.

RustyBear Mon 14-Jan-13 23:03:19

Some pied wagtails have much more black on them than the one in Talc's video - our school ones looked more like this one

We had an albino starling in one of the families visiting our feeder at home the year before last - haven't seen it since though - albino birds often don't last long,as they don't have any camouflage.

Rather bad video (taken from behind the curtain) here.

crazynanna Mon 14-Jan-13 23:06:01

this could be it

But it was tiny...maybe a young one?

crazynanna Mon 14-Jan-13 23:07:51

Yes Rusty..that's a good likeness.

Anyone know why they tend to hang around carparks?

Is it for the crisps in thrown out of the cars?

Or are they on a ciggie break? wink

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Mon 14-Jan-13 23:13:25

Wow Rusty, that's the most albino bird I've seen in the wild.

RustyBear Mon 14-Jan-13 23:15:00

They have very sharp pointy beaks and they eat tiny insects that other birds miss - the ones at school get into all the cracks between the paving stones in the courtyard. My desk is in the library that was built in the middle of the courtyard and it has both ends all glass, so I can watch the wagtails in between mumsnetting working.

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