Part 2 of Ben’s Wild Bird Blog!
(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.
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.
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!
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!
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