A new visitor, and, a poor soul

Big Garden Birdwatch

Big Garden Birdwatch
Big Garden Birdwatch is the world's biggest wildlife survey. It's fun, easy and only takes an hour to do.
Big Garden Birdwatch

A new visitor, and, a poor soul

  • I had an amazing experience the other day, I opened my curtains, drew up the blind, as always I look into the garden, I normally see my little woodpecker every day, he always sets my day off on a good note, but, I had to look really hard as just on the other side of my garden fence, perched on a tree was a Merlin, I couldn't believe it, it was so beautiful, the blue/ black feathers on it's back, the paler front, I only just saw it and off it went, over to the fields across from my back garden, it was awesome !!! On a sad note though, I also spotted a female black bird or thrush with a broken lower beak, how it happened, no idea, it was only just managing to pick up a little piece of bread, then dropping it again as it couldn't hold it in its mouth, don't hold out much hope for the poor wee thing, I'm sure nature will take it's course, so sad to watch though, I feel so helpless and wish there was something I could do, does anyone have any idea how this might have happened to it ?????

  • No idea but how sad,you feel so helpless dont you


  • A window collision is most likely, transfers on the outside of the glass can stop this so worth putting a few up just in case this occurred on your property. Try feeding some soaked raisins, the blackbird might be able to pick these up easier than bread. The bill is made of keratin and is constantly growing so if it can figure out how to feed with the damaged bill it may survive long enough for it to regrow to a normal shape.

    A merlin, wow, top bird to have in the garden or nearby. The most common raptor to venture into gardens is the slightly larger sparrowhawk but if you border open country then a merlin is certainly a possibility! If you manage to get any pictures of it please share them with us!

    Wouldn't that be a great species to list come survey time in January!

  • Thanks for that info IanH, I'll buy some raisins and see if the poor wee thing can survive long enough, fingers crossed.  

    Yeah, couldn't believe it when I saw the Merlin, haven't seen it again, but,  who knows, I've been lucky enough to see some fantastic birds, Red Kites amongst the best, seen them a lot up in the North of Scotland, seeing them in flight is just FAB !!! you don't realise how big they really are until you're lucky enough to see one up close.

    I'll keep my eye out for the Merlin and of course my injured feathered friend and will keep you posted

  • I've had a male Blackbird with most of the bottom part of the bill missing in my garden for the last few months. The beak is gradually re-growing but seems a bit offset from the top part.

    Every day I throw it about 10 small worms (brandlings?) from my compost bin & it seems to be doing fine. It's amazing how resilient & adaptable living things are.

    As it gets colder & the worms disappear I'll switch to feeding meal worms in the hope of keeping it alive & giving the beak a chance to re-grow completely.  

  • I've been looking out both for the Merlin and my poor little injured blackbird, and have seen neither !!! I don't know how the injured bird will survive now that the ground here has been permanently frozen for days !!! I'm throwing out food every night and morning, suet pellets, nuts, wild bird seed, bread crumbs etc etc in the hope that if she is still around she can get something to help keep her strength up. I did see the return of the Long Tailed tits to my birdfeeder, always a joy to see them, and all my usual visitors, including my gorgeous Woodpecker, still, it would be good to see the little blackbird, poor wee soul !!