Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Winter visitors and the first snow of the year

Plenty of Fieldfares along Hornash Lane at the moment, and this one has taken up residence in the garden.

The first real winter weather arrived last Saturday, and compared to the weather forecast, brought a rather underwhelming amount of snow. It carpeted the garden with perhaps an inch and froze the ground and ponds with it. Frustratingly, not enough to close my boys' school (as certain people here wished), but enough to bring plenty of birds in to the garden and in a variety that will not be matched when the weather subsides.

So, two Fieldfares have been driving out our Blackbirds and hoarding apples. Rather pathetically, the bolshy Starlings easily fight off these much bigger intruders, leaving the Fieldfares to carry on chasing the hapless Blackbirds trying to keep their pride in store.

Further down the garden and minding their own business, two Mistle Thrushes are pulling Rose hip berries down from straddling branches, too thin and prickly to perch on. On the lawn, there is a mixed flock of Yellowhammers (7), Chaffinches (20) and House Sparrows (60) that together feed and watch out for our local Sparrowhawk. They are sharing seed with one Red legged Partridge, half a dozen Pheasants, Collared Doves and the odd Jay and Jackdaw.

The seed we have scattered on the lawn is also bringing in a troop of Wood Pigeons, accompanied by up to five Stock Doves. As I've mentioned in an earlier post the Stock Doves are the highlight, we've never had them coming into the garden regularly before. On the garden boundaries where the snow has thawed, Redwings and Song Thrushes and a Green woodpecker are going about there business trawling through leaf litter. Up in the trees, GS woodpecker are drumming away and occasionally coming down for fatballs. Coal, Blue, and Great Tits with Nuthatch and Greenfinch are frequent at the feeders - the cold weather and the winter bird bonazza will hopefully re-occur soon.

It might be winter, but Blue Tits are now looking at their best sporting some electric head gear

Having just seen off the Fieldfare it's time for some apple munching
Two of a group of five Stock Doves. They're very flighly, and this is as close as I can get at the moment.

1 comment:

Clare Gillatt said...

Fabulous photos but we have more snow up here in the frozen north!