Well did anyone do the annual RSPB "Big Garden Birdwatch" over the weekend? I write it in the diary religiously every January and never remember to do it, but seeing as those pages are eerily empty and I am a home bird these days we thought we'd go for it. On Saturday the feeders were full of avian life.....comings and goings all the time. Come Sunday feeders filled and pen and paper at the ready....did they all flock in . Did they heck!! In a whole hour we managed 2 blue tits, 1 robin, 2 sparrows and even the 3 wood pigeons were tardy and only put in an appearance at the last minute.
Thankfully, watching the birds going about their business in our garden has provided me with hours of amusement as you begin to see their little quirks. I find it very soothing in troubled times. Please allow me to introduce you to the cast of characters in our very own back yard soap opera.
Cocky Colin Corvid....he's some type of crow or rook and is to be found strutting his tail feathers along the branches of the nearby Silver Birch showing the laydees what a fine time he can show them.
Mr and Mrs Long Tailed Tit [they're the ones that look like a ball on a stick]. They're like a pair of shy newly weds who always arrive and leave quietly together. They like to share the same feeder and you never see one without the other. They don't stay long, but visit regularly.
Various blue tits all indistinguishable from one another, but apparently with different tastes. The one who likes seeds sticks around and has its fill whilst another one only favours the suet pellets. It waits patiently in the buddleia for its turn and then rushes back to it for cover with its quarry.
Then there's white feather robin who has been suffering a species crisis and is convinced that he was a starling in a previous life. He's been watching the starlings' antics as they argue and clatter over the suet pellets pushing one another off and have winged to wing combat in mid air. Several times he's flown as close as he can get to the feeder flapping wildly to keep himself in one spot to give him just time to snatch a pellet before he goes crashing to the ground. Last week he discovered that the feeder has a set of arms either side of it which he can perch on so now he's away and giving the starlings a good run for their money.
No such antics with the spadgers....they arrive and depart with a modicum of decorum unlike Natty the nut hatch who's a real show off....why stay on the feeder the right way up when you can hang upside down at will eh!!
Miss Jenny Wren sneaks in without a fuss. You have to be quick to spot her as she arrives without a fanfare and scuttles behind the compost bin in search of tasty morsels. We also see lots of pigeons [wood and feral] and some goldfinches and coal tits, but less often. Last week we were treated to the sight of a magnificent sparrow hawk sitting our back fence, but you know that any storyline he features in is inevitably not going to end well for the little birds if he were to become a regular visitor. Thankfully he hasn't been back and Humphrey has zero interest. We have set the feeders high enough and well away from any marauding invaders to keep our little birds as safe as possible.