At The Feeder

Visitors to my Garden Bird Feeders and Others

22nd June 2021
by walter hampson
Comments Off on At The Feeder May 2021

At The Feeder May 2021

April brings the showers, May brings the sun and spring begins to bloom – well it did when I was a lot younger, now days it appears to rain until mid May.  However the weather was kinder, the birds were beginning their courtships and fledglings would soon be on the scene.  Thankfully no further damage to the garden, feeders etc.  May’s visitors included a rarity (well for this garden)  we had a visit from a  Great Tit (Parus major).  Last time we had a Great Tit visit the garden was way back to 2010.

22nd June 2021
by walter hampson
Comments Off on At The Feeder April 2021

At The Feeder April 2021

At last normality returns.  Storms died down and the sun broke through the clouds several times.  No more destroyed feeders loss of seeds etc. Visiting birds began to return some old some new:  I do try to discourage the bigger birds but with such bad winter we did get:



19th June 2021
by walter hampson
Comments Off on At the Feeder January-March 2021

At the Feeder January-March 2021


Looking back at my folders for the above months I was reminded that when 2020 went out it did not go quietly or gently into the night. It went screaming and promising that 2021 would come in like a roaring lion.  2021 (as far as Livingston was concerned) came in like an angry vengeful year.  January and February we had snow and very little relief from the apparently continuous snowfall.  Birds were scarce with only a few brave souls venturing out.. March was a disaster (again).  Bad storm on the evening of March 7th lifted my Aluminium shed from its base and blew it against the fence and feeders. Once again feeders were damaged.   New shed ordered delivery timescale was 3 weeks to arrive on site.

On the 7th April 2021 the new shed arrived and with the assistance or rather the hard work of my cousin Scott Tough and new neighbour George Ritchie work commenced on yet another garden make over.  Not only was the shed erected, fixed to site but the interior fence was covered with cloth and willow/reed panels attached – these were to act as wind breaks.  Work was completed by 10th April.



Erection of New Shed & Windbreaks on inner fences.





Dunnock (Prunella modularis)



202101-03 At The Feeder January – March 2021


18th June 2021
by walter hampson
Comments Off on October-December 2020 At the Feeder

October-December 2020 At the Feeder

The weather gave fair warning that it was going out the way it came in – Cold, wild, wet and very windy.  I was glad to see the back of that year.  Unfortunately the year ended on a bad note for me.  Whilst working on my model railway layout I had and accident-a fall-and suffered concussion.  It appeared that I slipped on a small sheet of bubble wrap which had fallen from the packaging of a new model I was unwrapping at the time.  I spent the next 3 hours in hospital and threatened to keep me in overnight (Observation – standard procedure).  However I pointed out I had Home Help and neighbours who would keep checking on me so I was allowed home with the understanding I would check in with them on following day.

Robin (Erithacus rebecla)



At The Feeder October 2020





Due to inclement weather and the incident with bubble wrap not many pictures were taken in December.  This has resulted in a combined November/December album.

Grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)

Why the squirrel you ask?  It was a visitor to my bird feeders – poor creature must have been desperate for food.  He/she was very welcome to the seeds on the ground.  Alas my menu must have not met his/her standars as it never visited again.

At the Feeder November/December





We move on to 2021 – and more damaged to garden.  Oh what fun was the start of 2021.


18th June 2021
by walter hampson
Comments Off on July – September 2020 At the Feeder

July – September 2020 At the Feeder

The renovated garden as at 26th June 2020

Replacement feeders were purchased along with seed, meal worms and fat blocks.  These were placed between the raided bed and centre point at the fence. The location was ideal as it was across from the Livingroom window – where my PC was located and my trusty Canon 500D fitted with Sigma 150-600 zoom.  Visitors to the revamped garden were soon back to their previous numbers.

Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)



July 2020 Visitors




Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus) & House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)



August 2020 Visitors







September 2020 Visitors



16th June 2021
by walter hampson
Comments Off on April – June 2020 At the Feeder

April – June 2020 At the Feeder

As mentioned in January 2020 blog the March storms caused damage to the feeder and to the garden and the potted plants  (more of that later).  No maintenance work was possible on the garden but food was still made available for the birds.  April arrived with less turbulent weather (thankfully).  This allowed an assessment of the garden to be taken

Not garden - a Jungle

A wilderness

Plans were put in progress to have the garden made over see (Garden Make over during Lock down).  We would have to wait until Spring/Summer before work would be undertaken.  Meantime the feeders would be replaced, refilled and photos taken (whenever weather permitted):


April 2020 Album




May 2020 Album






June 2020



Next July, August and September 2020






16th June 2021
by walter hampson
Comments Off on January – February 2020 – At the Feeder Visitors

January – February 2020 – At the Feeder Visitors

As mentioned in previous blogs Winter 2019/2020 was bad.  Regardless of how I felt and my emotional state I maintained the feeders and ensured that they were filled at all times.  In addition to the seed feeders I had fat Balls, Fat block (with insects and/or meal worms).  I kept two feeders with mixed seed as well as two with Sunflower hearts. Rather than swamp the pages with lost of images I have provided links to:



January 2020 Album 




February 2020 Album




Regretfully due to Storms the feeders were damaged beyond repair and weather was not conductive to photography so no images available for March 2020.


16th June 2021
by walter hampson
Comments Off on Garden Makeover during Lockdown

Garden Makeover during Lockdown

UK and indeed the world has undergone a pandemic and still continues to do so.  Whilst we had been confined to our local areas I still managed to get some pictures of the visitors to my feeders during 2020 up to present time.  Unfortunately I did not have the inspiration to continue with my blogs Though I did post images to my Facebook pages.

Not garden - a Jungle

A wilderness

The winter of 2019/20 was a hard winter not just physically but mentally.  I struggled to come to terms with the loss my my partner and soul mate of 15 years and wife of  2.5 weeks. It is not surprising, considering the lack of attention I had given to it, the garden had run wild and overgrown.  I contacted a local builder/landscaper (Gardens R Us).  I chose them because I had seen previous work they undertook and also they supported my (our) favourite Zoo – (Five Sisters Zoo).

Later that week Brian came along and we discussed my requirements and what I hoped to achieve with respect to the revamped garden.

  • Must be bee friendly,
  • Easy to maintain and keep clean.
  • Be inviting to sit and enjoy.

Work began on the 14th June and completed on the 20th June 2020. A team of 5 worked for 6  days from 8am to 8 pm and on completion they handed back to me a little paradise. The garden had a complete makeover and exceeded my expectations.  I felt sure that Susan would have been overjoyed with the revamped garden.  I know I did.

Makeover Complete

Coming up Next – a review of the visitors to the revamped garden and bird feeders during 2020

19th February 2020
by walter hampson

January 2020 – A Bad Start to the Year

As 2019 stormed out and 2020 raged in the visitors to the feeding stations dwindled to nil. 2019 was not a good year for me, my partner, latterly my wife was dying of cancer and was in and out of hospital from January to August. Susan passed away at home on 15th September 2019.  Susan  loved to watch the birds from our living-room window.  I had sited my computer near that window and my camera was close at hand.  Looking back the years 2017 to December 2019 my photography dropped from 4093 in 2017 to 1953 in 2019.  January 2020 a total of 200 images were taken.

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)

Robin (Erithacus rebecla)

Goldfinch (Carduelis caeduelis) & House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)


Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

The star visitor for January was the visit and return visits of one of the most common birds the humble Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus).  I had not seen one in my garden in over a year.  Once a regular visitor they suddenly ceased to appear.  It was nice to see it back.

Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus)

18th February 2020
by walter hampson
Comments Off on Introduction-Setting the Scene

Introduction-Setting the Scene

I live in a mid terraced single storey house.  My front door leads to the pathway between the house in front of mine. My backdoor leads to a small garden.  My late wife (Susan) and I planned it to attract birds, butterflies etc.The garden usually gets a makeover at the end of February/beginning of March. Within the area are three bird tables and five birdfeeders .

Nikon D5300, ISO 6400 1/20th Sec f3.5 Tamron 18-200 zoom

Since 2000 the garden feeders has attracted many birds whilst I had time to watch them I never could take photographs.

This changed in 2005 when I bought my first ever digital camera a point and shoot simple look, press button Nikon Coolpix 7900 which led to a Pentax *istds DSLR then Pentax K10D.  I eventually came to rely on a Canon 60D fitted with a Sigma 150-500 APO Zoom lens to photograph the birds that visited my feeder stations, until that was stolen last year.  Since then I’ve used a Nikon D7100 with Sigma 150-500 zoom.  Today I bought a new Sigma 150-600 zoom Canon fit and testing with  Canon 500D. I’m thinking about buying a Canon 90D this month, I’ll decide when I finish testing the Canon 500D and the Sigma 100-600 zoom combination.