Today my garden definitely had a buzz about it! This morning from 8.30-9.30am I sat at my window observing the birds for a morning bird count and I saw quite a change. Ah yes… I have noticed that different times of the day show different species of birds coming into the garden so I already had an idea of who might visit.
Mike and Joe have already mentioned numbers have been low in their gardens today. Perhaps it has been warmer in their respective parts of England but this morning in my slightly cold, wet and windy Scottish garden I noticed a serious increase in bird visitors.
It is difficult to count birds when they arrive en masse. I really don’t know how they do it at reserves! In my garden today the finches (including Chaffinches shown above) saw their first serious increase in numbers for this time of year. So much so that I wasn’t sure at all if I managed to count them all accurately as I had my camera in hand at the same time! In the photos here you can see how popular the feeder in my Acer tree is with them and the Robin, Blue tit and Dunnock – even the Blackbirds jump up there too.
My bird feeders are spaced around a relatively small area so when the birds do arrive in numbers I really cannot count them. I have said on many occasions that my garden is small but yet I really have a wonderful variety of birds visiting it. Today the foods on offer were sunflower hearts, peanuts, a sunflower heart and seed mix, fat balls, and finally apples thrown to the ground and on an obelisk. I must stock up on more peanuts and sultanas for the ground feeders and the hedgehog bowls. There were also berries on a cotoneaster and holly.
How small is small? I guess that is relative but perhaps the video below will give you a better lay of the land in my garden. My boundary hedge (Leylandii) breaks the force of winds and acts as a place for the birds to hide in too – especially on windy days like today. It really is funny to see them pop out in pockets all over it before they buzz down to the feeders!
Drum roll please… Chaffinches stole the top spot today. I am guessing that there were around ten today. Next month I expect that number will triple. They seem to me to be quite clumsy birds as they arrive at feeders always struggling to land. However, they are very comfortable at landing on my small, low, domed Acer. I had so many photo opportunities this morning but the minute I got my camera on them they bounced through the branches to the feeder below sitting in this tree. They really were fun to watch – the top photos above show the male then a female on the branches then a couple of males at the feeder.
Robins, Dunnocks and Blackbirds find this a popular spot too but, as you will have seen in my video above, at this time of year I cannot see many of my feeders clearly at ground level. However, I am still able to see the action on the ground where Blackbirds chase each other and the Robin chases the Dunnock. Today, I had company with my bird watch and it isn’t a species you would perhaps expect.
At a guess, eighty percent of the time in my ‘hours count’ a Dunnock sat under the Acer beside my pond. It was there when other birds were spooked with gusts of wind and it was clear it was happy there with the plants and rocks as cover. I was able to see it so clearly from my window spot but I guess any swooping visits from a Sparrowhawk would miss it. Funnily enough on one gust of wind only a confused looking Woodpigeon and two ‘not bothered looking’ goldfinches remained.
Numbers? Okay, Chaffinches ten, Greenfinches seven plus one with Trichomoniasis – will need to clean the feeders now. Blackbirds six, House Sparrows five, Blue tits three including one going in a Nestbox. One Great tit and one Coal tit although three coal tits are regularly visiting at the moment. One Robin and Woodpigeon plus two late entries of Goldfinches. Oh yes… and a flock of Geese that flew over (pink footed I’d guess heading to fields to feed from a local reserve) which I know I shouldn’t include but I will.
I was hoping I’d see some of the partial albino Blackbirds that visit my garden but instead saw one with white tail feather only and another young male in its first year that just might have white feathers to appear on the top of its head. Not sure on that one yet. So yes, a busy morning and by the end of my count the rain stopped and although the wind picked up the sun came out a little too.
What birds visited your garden today? Oh yes… and I wonder what went on in Joe’s garden.