Great tit feeding youngster, originally uploaded by Laura Whitehead.


In amongst the flurry of youngsters in the garden, spotted the first of the baby robins out and about for the first time this morning!

Feed me!

Feed me!, originally uploaded by Laura Whitehead.

Have a fair few (noisy!) starling youngsters in the garden currently.

Apart from their loudness, they are rather fun to watch. Very toddler like currently and full of character, exploring everything and anything to test out if its edible, or if they can bath in it, or stand on or in it. Even though they are quite loud and occupy many of the feeding areas, the other birds don’t mind too much and manage still to nip in and get a good feed too. The blackbird youngsters (currently at 6!) are in throughout the day too, along with the young blue tits, great tits and lots of young sparrows too.

Thankfully though, these quirky little youngsters all head off back to their roost fairly early in the evening, which brings a ‘calmness’ back to the garden and all the others then come out for their relaxed evening feed.


Magpie scooping up mealworms to take back to the nest. Lots of noisy starlings in the background!

First of the starling youngsters arrived in the garden today (joining in with dunnocks, more blackbird and blue tit youngsters seen over the last couple of days). ‘Youngster’ starling was very curious (and loud!) and eventually joined his family and friends further up the garden path near to the end of the garden to receive a quick snack.

‘Dad’ starling (note the blue on the beak!) had just fed the youngster, and they struck this wonderful pose, just after the feed.

Sparrow youngsters!, originally uploaded by Laura Whitehead.

Busy parents

Blackbird in the grass

The warm spring has brought out a few butterflies and bees and hoverflies and lots of new spiders creating webs too. The birds are mostly paired up and busy rearing their young (especially with the blackbirds neatly stacking up mealworms in their beaks to take back to the nest).

The Crow has begun to appear more regularly in the garden, he’s frightfully shy, as the garden isn’t too large and quite sheltered with trees and bushes inside, and he has to navigate carefully to make it down onto the grass. Thankfully the other birds are not to fearful of his presence, and can often be seen alongside the blackbirds and starlings feeding from the path.

'Bird Heaven in Devon'Our garden birds have helped to win this months (May) heat of Best Bird Garden 2011 which can be seen in Mays edition of Bird Watching Magazine on pages 44 – 45 with some pictures of our feathered friends along with an article of how we manage the garden and all the winged visitors too.

The prize is a variety of sacks of special seed mixes for feeders and ground feeding birds from Wild About Birds which they have welcomed and already started to munch on!

You can enter your bird and wildlife garden over at –

The garden has had a different tempo this last couple of weeks, with the birds still feeding, but to a lesser extent. They have been very busy working in their pairs together to gather nesting material ready for the spring and summer season ahead of them. Goldcrest has been gone for a few weeks now, and has hopefully travelled safely back home. The Blackcaps (2 males and a rather shy female) have been away from the garden for four days now, and we think that they headed back to their summer home too. Most of the Brambling have left also, apart from a male and female that still visit daily and although we’ll miss them hope that they set off on their travels soon too. The little wren has become a fun character in the garden, very visible and not so shy, and can often be seen hopping along the flower pots and in and out the bushes looking for food.

Today, was the first sign that one of the pairs of blackbirds has hatched its first chicks. Instead of the usual coming down to eat the mealworms from the path, the male blackbird came down and didn’t feed himself, but instead managed to scoop and stack up neatly over 10 mealworms in his beak neatly in an orderly row, before flying off back to his nest. After a few minutes returned again and did the same. It’s always an exciting time of year, and we’re looking forward to seeing the first youngsters out and about in the garden in the coming weeks ahead.

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  • About

    In this blog we'll describe the day to day comings and goings of the birds in our Devon garden.
  • About us

    Tony is a naturalist and environmental artist. Laura is a free range creative web and print designer. We've recently moved from the village of Ipplepen to the town of Newton Abbot with our two children Ralph and Oli, our dog Henry, and numerous cats (none of whom would ever dream of eating birds).
  • Species List

    List of species, including only those birds that land in the garden:
    Blue tit
    Carrion Crow
    Chiff chaff
    Coal tit
    Collared dove
    Great spotted woodpecker
    Great tit
    House Sparrow
    Long tailed tit
    Mistle thrush
    Pied wagtail
    Song thrush
    Wood pigeon