what are you doing ?

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Ant
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Re: what are you doing ?

Post by Ant » Sat May 23, 2020 4:38 pm

Went and got some sheet material for the new deck build, then it rained on me while out for a walk.
I then lost all motivation to do something :roll:
I then stuck some music on, and discovered that I'd not screwed the arm board on the big lenco down properly. Quite how I missed it Im not sure. Must've got distracted. Wouldn't be the first time.......
Sorted that out, and started wondering if I could mill out some slots in an audio technica at-mg10 headshell I've got instead of it having the tapped blind holes as I can't put the dynavector in it as it also has tapped holes.
Then lost interest again :roll:
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Ray P
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Re: what are you doing ?

Post by Ray P » Sat May 23, 2020 7:25 pm

A very productive day;
  • Made more progress asembling the 13E1 SE-OTL amplifier
  • Restarted work on the Valve DAC project, installing power supplies into the chassis fr testing
  • Did most of the assembly of a breadboard 'Aunt Corey' BUF-03 buffered passive attenuator
  • 30 mile bike ride
Hungry now!

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Greg
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Re: what are you doing ?

Post by Greg » Sat May 23, 2020 9:50 pm

I’ve been, after many years of good intention, finally come around to setting up a wild bird feeding station again after the last one was destroyed in a gale several years ago. It’s home made out of basic plumbing copper pipe and fittings. The last one had a 22mm shaft which buckled in the high wind but lasted a very long time before that. The new version has a 28mm shaft, complete with Squirrel proof inverted dome; essential here as we boarder dense woodland. I’ve recovered the original feeder hanging section from the old one and soldered it onto the end of this new shaft.

Today I spent time creating artificial verdigris on the copper using a mixture of ‘Miracle Grow’ plant fertiliser and red wine vinegar. It looks pretty good and should blend in well with the lawn and surrounding boarders. Of course, being an artificially made patina, future bad weather may wash this patina away. We shall see. I don’t want to seal it with a lacquer because I know that will degrade in time and it’ll become a visual mess. If it does wash away, I have a back up plan involving painting plumbers solder flux over the whole thing. :D

Tomorrow, I will be washing and sterilising the feeders, ready for the Sunflower heart, Peanut, Niger seed and Suet ball food I’ve bought in bulk. Ouch! Feeding wild birds well is not cheap these days.

Monday I hope to fix the feeder in the garden using a sack of post fix and some decorative bricks and slate chips to make a base surround. We prefer to avoid shearIng or strimming grass in the middle of the lawn around posts and things. Much better to just enable the lawnmower to override the edges of a feature. :D

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Cressy Snr
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Re: what are you doing ?

Post by Cressy Snr » Sun May 24, 2020 11:53 am

I’m about to start clearing the kitchen table. For the last ten weeks, it has been covered with bits of wire, electronic components, soldering iron and a pair of multimeters, with their leads, tangled round the bits of wire etc.
When the whole country’s waving paper flags and eating finger sandwiches, you need someone to moon their arse. - Rachel Joyce (2017) - “The Music Shop” - Penguin.

simon
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Re: what are you doing ?

Post by simon » Sun May 24, 2020 12:03 pm

Can you post a photo Greg, it would help to visualise your feeding unit. We also have families of squirrels and whilst it's fascinating to see their inventiveness as they try to overcome squirrel proof feeders (they jump on them to try to knock seed out on to the ground) they've expensive appetites.

Interesting that you use Niger seed - we gave up in the end as even the finches that are supposed to like them go for sunflower hearts anyway.

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ed
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Re: what are you doing ?

Post by ed » Sun May 24, 2020 12:18 pm

Can you elaborate on the use of plumbers flux Greg?

I only ask because my historic understanding is that it's the most toxic substance on the planet(after Marmite), and it caused alarm bells to ring.
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Mike H
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Re: what are you doing ?

Post by Mike H » Sun May 24, 2020 6:00 pm

Creating artificial verdigris! I am impressed. :shock:
 
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Dave the bass
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Re: what are you doing ?

Post by Dave the bass » Sun May 24, 2020 7:50 pm

simon wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 12:03 pm
Interesting that you use Niger seed - we gave up in the end as even the finches that are supposed to like them go for sunflower hearts anyway.
We've had a Niger seed bird feeder for about 6 years. No bird ever went near it for about 5 years, bah, we thought, must be our crap air quality and polluted location 200 yrds from the M25.

Then, one morning last year we spotted a Goldfinch feasting on the decaying crud that was once Niger seed. Then a pair appeared. Since then we get about 2 or 3 pairs a day feasting on each of the 2 Niger seed feeders. Goldfinches are awethumne looking.

Because locally there's less road kill and waste fast food thrown out during lockdown we've started getting Crowes and Sparrowhawks in the garden too. A Heron yesterday.

S'like flippin' naturewatch here in Dirtfud :)
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jack
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Re: what are you doing ?

Post by jack » Sun May 24, 2020 7:57 pm

Tree creepers, bull finches, bunch of tits, green woodpeckers, wagtails... Peanuts, mixed seed, sunflower seed and seedy fat balls (or fat seedy balls).

Oh, and loads of buzzards ... but not on the feeders...
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simon
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Re: what are you doing ?

Post by simon » Sun May 24, 2020 8:08 pm

That's the curious thing Dave, I've counted as many as a dozen goldfinches (yeah splendid birds) but they've always gone for the sunflower hearts.

Blackbirds and magpies go for our fat balls. And the squirrels.

I got fed up if using mixed seed - the birds pulled out and spat away the other seed to get to the sunflower seeds! Must have a picky set of birdies round here.

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IslandPink
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Re: what are you doing ?

Post by IslandPink » Sun May 24, 2020 8:19 pm

simon wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 8:08 pm
Blackbirds and magpies go for our fat balls.
Oooh :confused3: that's HARSH ! One of the disadvantages of more wildlife !
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Dave the bass
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Re: what are you doing ?

Post by Dave the bass » Sun May 24, 2020 8:59 pm

Tits! I'd forgotten about them, yes, we've got a pair of Blue Tits constantly feeding their babes, they've nested in the box I made for the Mega-Shed.
Video footage -> https://i.imgur.com/T9Cp7yh.mp4

And we've also got a litter of Fox cubs nom-nomming away early in the mornings...
Image

M25 is a lot quieter thesedays..
Image
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Greg
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Re: what are you doing ?

Post by Greg » Mon May 25, 2020 9:52 pm

Ok, wild bird feeding station is finished. Only hung the feeder a few minutes ago, so it’ll take a while for the birds to become familiar with it.

Image

I don’t bother with feeders with their own Squirrel guards because of my experience same as yours, Simon. Better to position the station far enough away from any surface they could leap from onto the feeders. Their only approach then is from the ground and the dome halts their progress. These domes are readily available on eBay or through the RSPB. Various types that will also do posts and different tube thicknesses. This one was a pain as it was made for a maximum tube thickness of 25.5mm. I had to open up the Delrin mounting collar to just over 28mm and I don’t have a lathe. I managed it in the end using sanding rings over rubber mounts on the electric drill. This included sanding back the brass insert for the thumb lock that fixes the domes position.

We shall see how the Verdigris patina survives when it’s subject to a bit of weather. Ed, I have not tried plumbers flux, just read about it’s use on the internet. The claim made was that when painted onto copper in the open air, it reacted and developed verdigris that was weather resistant and permanently fixed. I am well aware of it’s toxicity and causticity. I have historically worked with flux as I fitted our central heating system. I’ve laid and soldered many meters of copper pipe. Be sure that if I try this method, I will be well aware of the need to protect the Grandchildren and wildlife before it neutralises when the verdigris develops.

I agree Simon about general bird seed. The birds just reject much of it to get at what they want from the mix, dispersing the waste onto the lawn which then germinates and becomes a real nuisance.

We frequently always had flocks of Goldfinch passing through the garden, but they never stopped until we added Niger seed to the station.

The birds we see regularly and will do more so now are Dunlin, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Wren, Goldfinch, Nuthatch, Stonechat, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Jay, Crow, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Redwing, Blackbird and Song Thrush (although not this Spring so far). We used to get and miss Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Coal Tit and Siskin. We’d love to see them back, understanding that some are migratory. The feeding station also attracts Sparrow Hawks looking for an easy meal when the smaller birds are feeding which brings a violent flurry of activity and arrives and leaves in a moment. Wow!

simon
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Re: what are you doing ?

Post by simon » Mon May 25, 2020 10:47 pm

Interesting you have similar experiences Greg.

We have a dome but as we've so many trees there's not really space to get the feeders away from launch pads.

I used to use it above a feeder which was suspended on a wire from a branch above. There was probably at least 1.5m drop to the dome, which could rotate freely on its fixing to the wire. The clever so and sos learnt eventually to carefully descend the wire head first gripping it with their hind legs and putting their front legs on to the middle of the dome so it didn't rock. Then they could rest on top of the dome and reach around to the feeder.

Fascinating to watch but they are real problem solvers. The only thing we've found to work in our situation is a feeder where the outside cage lowers under the weight of the squirrel to cover the feeding holes. They gave up with this one, except occasional flying sorties to knock seed out.

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jack
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Re: what are you doing ?

Post by jack » Tue May 26, 2020 5:58 am

We also have crows, magpies, pigeons, doves, lots of blackbirds (lovely song), robins, blue tits, coal tits & great tits, house sparrows, green and gold finches, one or two jays & song thrushes etc. I simply don't know enough to comment on the rest (siskins, dunlins etc.). We also had a few (very social) long tailed tits. We used to get loads of thrushes, but in recent years they've become far less common (similarly wagtails). Likewise no nuthatches, swallows and swifts for some years. There are occasional sparrow hawks that go after the tits in the eaves - it can be quite disconcerting, sitting outside with a sundowner when one decides to make a play...

Quite a few owls too... We hear the barn owls, but haven't seen one for a year, and there are a number of little owls around who are easy to see as they sit on the fence posts in the field next to us.

The theft of fatballs is a problem and we're not sure who is doing it. We've tried securing the lid of the feeder, but the next morning they've all gone.

I have a trail camera set up. The next few days should reveal the culprit!

Separately, we have a fair few ordinary and sonata pipistrelle bats who are seen flitting about above the hedges in the evening. They seem to like going round and round the house too, always in an anticlockwise direction at the height of the eaves.

EDIT: Well. The fat balls are gone. The camera took over 400 photos... in #387, the fat balls are there; in #388 they are not and the lid is open. The feeder was thrashing around so much that whatever was attacking it was always out of shot. So, it's not squirrels, but something entirely different.
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