(For part 1, click here.)
Although we have just been experiencing some welcome Spring-like weather over the past few days, it wasn’t long ago that the temperature did not get above freezing for about a week.
The birds in our garden were extra busy grabbing as much energy-filled food from our feeders as quickly as possible. It seemed like an excellent moment to sneak out with my camera and see if I could catch any interesting birds and behaviour.
I thought I would show you what I spotted in the snow while it is still reasonably recent. This is more of a photo-montage than a blog, but I hope you enjoy the photos.
Birds in the Snow
The inevitable Blue Tits – always chattering and the first to the feeders when I am there. We have a lot of Goldfinches in the garden; they are much more wary than the Blue and Great Tits when I am about, but the cold and snow meant they were more focused on the Sunflower Hearts. I love hearing them chattering and squabbling as they arrive at the feeders in force.
- Blue Tit on Superior Fat Balls (Feb-21)
- Goldfinches on Sunflower Hearts (Feb-21)
I see Robins in the trees and often on the feeders in the cold weather. I also spotted one getting a drink from our pond where I had broken the ice. I did try to keep the ice broken up, so there was somewhere for the birds to find fresh water. A Thrush also took the opportunity for a drink on the ice.
- Robin on a snowy branch close to the feeders (Feb-21)
- Robin on a snowy branch close to the feeders
- Thrush and reflection on the frozen pond
Chaffinches were abundant. They are more timid than the Tits, but always close by in the trees around the feeders. The Nuthatch visited regularly – this time for Sunflower Hearts. I could only photograph the Nuthatch by leaving the camera on a tripod and taking photos remotely – it is far too wary of me to let me get this close!
- Chaffinch on a snowy branch close to the feeders (Great Tit in background) (Feb-21)
- Nuthatch on Sunflower Hearts (Feb-21)
My biggest surprise was a bird I initially did not recognise on the Nyjer Seed with the Goldfinches. I have never seen one in our garden before, but after a bit of checking in my bird book I am convinced it was a Yellowhammer. However, I note from the books that they are regularly seen in gardens during harsh winter weather, when food is scarce. I often hear and get glimpses of a Yellowhammer in the field hedges ½ mile from our house, so it seems reasonable one would find its way to our feeders during our recent snowy weather. I certainly did not expect to have a photograph like that!
UPDATE/CORRECTION! It appears I may have got excited about the wrong bird! A kind and observant reader has pointed out that it looks like a Siskin, not a Yellowhammer. Having looked closely, they are probably correct – the female Siskin and female Yellowhammer look similar to me in all the books / online! Anyway, I stand corrected. I am equally, if not more excited, however, because I have never before seen a Siskin knowingly!
Happy bird spotting and feeding!
Read part 3 – From sad news comes great advice and why your choice of feeder matters