Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Recent Garden Sightings.


At present we still have about 25+ Redwing that are in or around the garden on a daily basis, a varied selection of berries seems to attract them from garden to garden whilst trying to avoid 2 very protective Mistle Thrushes that are always guarding their territory. The Mistle Thrushes don't pay much attention to any of the Blackbirds but as soon as a Redwing appears they do their best to chase it off, the Redwings out-number the Mistle Thrushes so they do seem to get at the berries while the Mistle Thrushes are busy elsewhere.

Mistle Thrush

A flock of approx 9 Goldfinch and 8 Greenfinch are still feeding on the Rose hips and can be found together most mornings busily feeding on the seeds inside the hips, in the evenings they can often be seen washing in the large puddles accumulating outside. Despite the abundance of food about Chaffinch numbers seem to be very low, whether they are getting their pickings elsewhere is a mystery and over the last month I have only seen 4 in the garden. A small flock of Starlings can often be found and heard on the nearby TV aerials and tree tops with numbers fluctuating between 5 and 9 birds, certainly an added extra to the morning chorus of bird song. 2 Robins continue to follow me round the garden whilst I'm gardening and while they won't feed from my hand they are very happy sitting on the floor next to me waiting for me to uncover the odd earthworm, with the odd muttered warble when I uncover something interesting they quickly devour whatever's on offer. I think there must be a saying in Robin dialect that's says "if it wriggles I'm eating it" as there is little that escapes the attention of an on-looking Robin, the wet weather will obviously be bringing a few worms to the surface and aid their feeding at the moment and under the leaf litter hides an array of creepy-crawlies. 2 Goldcrests continue to feed around the Holly bushes and a pair of Nuthatches are regular visitors as is a Green Woodpecker and 2 Pied Wagtails. When then rain has held off during the evenings both male and female Tawny Owls have been calling to each other from the garden, I guess their finding it a little difficult to hunt at night with the weather being so bad. I haven't found anymore Owl pellets recently and after finding a helpful skeleton guide on the internet will soon dissect the ones I have found.


The nearby fields have been dredged of the stubble that Larks and Buntings rely on so much and have reduced bird activity hugely, a few months ago I was watching large numbers of Linnet, Skylark and the odd Yellowhammer in these very fields, now I'm lucky to see a few Skylark since they have been lightly ploughed, even the Corvids seem to be avoiding them with the exception of a few Jackdaws. Apart from 2 Little Owls, Bullfinches and Tit flocks the only other activity are the spread out flocks of Redwing, still no Fieldfare in the area although a flock of 26 flew over this morning heading south-east.


A sad find this afternoon was a dead Common Buzzard, it looks to have been dead for a couple of weeks as the carcass is bare but the wing feathers remain in place. It's entire skeleton is still attached and the yellowish legs and talons are still visible but it's so wet that it's difficult to look at without the feathers falling out, if the weather improves and it dries out the head might be a worthy edition to the collection of bird anatomy!

No comments: