News Archive for 2012
- December 2012
Just as birds have been quite sparse during the last few months, December is starting the same.
A couple of Blackbirds are in the garden much of the time, though there are at least 6 or 7 in the immediate neighbourhood. A single Song Thrush has started to feed in the garden, looking for invertebrates among the leaf litter. No Redwings or Fieldfares have been seen for a while.
There are relatively few Tits about. Usually, just a solitary Blue Tit, a couple of Great Tits and a couple of Coal Tits are seen in the garden most days. Blue Tits and Great Tits are feeding on sunflower hearts, Coal Tits on black sunflower seeds.
The finches are being represented by a Goldfinch, a couple of Greenfinches and up to 3 Chaffinches. The Goldfinch prefers niger or sunflower seeds, Greenfinches favour black sunflower seeds and the Chaffinches spend most of the time feeding on the ground, but occasionally venture on to the sunflower hearts.
A couple of Collared Doves and Woodpigeons are quite frequent visitors, both species feeding mostly on spilled seed.
Jays are continuing to visit, collecting peanuts and flying away with them to hide them somewhere for later in the winter.
There are 2 Robins about still, though usually only one in the garden at a time.
A male Sparrowhawk is a quite regular visitor, but has not been successful in catching any prey.
- November 2012
After a rather quiet October, the colder weather seems to be bringing both a few more species and a few more birds of each species into the garden.
There are often up to 3 Blackbirds in the garden, feeding on the lawn and among the shrubs, with many others in the neighbourhood. Redwings and Fieldfares have been heard flying overhead but none as yet have been seen in the gardens.
Up to 3 Blue Tits are frequent visitors to the sunflower heart feeder, as too are a couple of Great Tits. A solitary Coal Tit continues its "snatch and stash" programme with the black sunflower seeds.
The numbers of finches may be starting to increase again with a couple of Goldfinches and up to 4 Greenfinches visiting the feeders quite frequently. There have also been up to 5 House Sparrows, which is a most welcome sight. A solitary male Bullfinch has visited a few times and a female Chaffinch has been seen briefly a couple of times. Siskins have been heard flying overhead on a couple of occasions, but not yet seen in the garden.
Jays and Magpies remain in the area, though Jays are by far the most common visitor to the garden.
A solitary Brambling was a most welcome treat, and it stayed for half an hour or
more, feeding on niger seed! Two Robins are about though only one has been seen in the garden - while this was feeding, another was singing somewhere nearby. Up to 2 Dunnocks are in the garden.
A male Sparrowhawk has made at least a couple of sorties but failed to catch anything.
A male Blackcap has been seen in a neighbour's elder tree.
Finally, Waxwings! First, a solitary bird visited and then a few days later a flock of about 40 or so birds. Spectacular!
- October 2012
Very little to report so far this month owing to holidays.
Up to 3 Blue Tits and a couple of Great Tits continue to visit often, feeding on the sunflower hearts, and the two Coal Tits are still busily fetching and stashing away black sunflower seeds!
Just one or two Goldfinches and Greenfinches are feeding on sunflower hearts and black sunflower seeds respectively.
There are now at least 7 Blackbirds in the garden at times, most look as though they could be continental immigrants.
Two Robins are about though only one has been seen in the garden - while this was feeding, another was singing somewhere nearby. Up to 2 Dunnocks are in the garden.
- September 2012
This month started extremely quietly but activity seems to be picking up.
Three Blue Tits and a couple of Great Tits visit quite often, feeding on the sunflower hearts. Two Coal Tits are busily fetching and stashing away black sunflower seeds - one from last year or earlier this year is growing from a neighbour's chimney stack, where presumably a Coal Tit had hidden one in a crack in the brickwork!
Up to 4 Goldfinches and a couple of Greenfinches are feeding on sunflower hearts and seeds respectively. A single female Bullfinch has visited a few times, but nowhere as often as a few weeks ago.
Four House Sparrows have been visiting the feeders.
A solitary female Blackbird has been seen occasionally in the garden, sometimes in the early morning, looking for worms in the lawn. Suddenly, however, there are now at least 7 Blackbirds, most look as though they could be continental immigrants.
There are quite a few Magpies about but only two have been in the garden yet. However, a couple of Jays have returned and is taking peanuts away, no doubt storing them for later in the winter when food is short.
Two Robins are about though only one has been seen in the garden - while this was feeding, another was singing somewhere nearby. A couple of Dunnocks have also reappeared in the garden.
As many as 4 Collared Doves and up to 2 Wood Pigeons are regular visitors, feeding on spilled seed underneath the feeders. The remains of one Collared Dove have been found in the garden, possibly killed by a female Sparrowhawk.
A Nuthatch paid several surprise visits one day, each time taking a sunflower seed, eating it in a nearby tree before returning for another.
A Wren has also been seen briefly once.
- August 2012
This month has seen the garden become a little busier at times, both with larger number of some species, such as House Sparrows, and more species.
There are up to 5 Blackbirds visiting the garden at any one time - 2 or 3 of them are juveniles with their reddish brown and speckled plumage. Neither Song Thrush or Mistle Thrush have been seen or heard for several weeks now.
As many as 4 Blue Tits, comprising adults and juveniles, visit the garden for sunflower hearts or seeds. A couple of juvenile Great Tits also continue to visit. A couple of Coal Tits are visiting regularly; surprisingly, for a change, they sometimes stays to eat instead of snatching a seed and flying away. A party of Long-tailed Tits is seen occasionally, though not in the garden as yet.
The finches are being well-represented with up to 3 Bullfinches, 7 Goldfinches and 3 Greenfinches at a time. There are more Bullfinches; we have seen two pairs and at least two juveniles.
A Collared Dove and up to 3 Wood Pigeons are regular visitors, feeding on spilled seed underneath the feeders.
We have had up to 17 House Sparrows in the garden, most of them juveniles, which has been a wonderful sight after having had so few for a year.
Three Robins - 1 juvenile and 2 adults - continue to visit the garden.
A male Sparrowhawk is also a frequent visitor, making at least 2 sorties each week, though none has been successful.
- July 2012
The garden is becoming quieter again with relatively few birds visiting.
A couple of Blackbirds remain regular visitors, but there is no male singing, which suggests there is no nesting and this seems rather premature, but perhaps a reflection of the incessant rain and cool temperatures.
Quite a few Great Tits continue to visit, mainly juveniles, and just a couple of Blue Tits. A Coal Tit has been heard calling but not seen.
At least 2 or 3 Goldfinches are on the feeders from time to time, as it is with the Greenfinches. The Bullfinches, however, are here most of the time, usually a pair of adults and sometimes one or two juveniles.
A Robin continues to be a daily visitor.
There are a couple of Collared Doves, including a juvenile, and one or two Wood Pigeons also visiting the garden most days.
A Grey Heron flew over the garden (14th).
- June 2012
The Blackbirds are still around despite their nesting attempt in our garden being brought to an abrupt halt by the Magpies. As well as an adult pair being regular visitors, a juvenile one has practically taken up residence. There has been no sight of the Song Thrushes since earlier last month, but a male is singing most days in one of our neighbours' trees.
A few Blue Tits are regular visitors, though we have not seen any young as yet; the same goes for the Coal Tits, a couple of adults are regular visitors to the sunflower seeds. The Great Tits, however, are represented by at least two adults and 4 juveniles. A party of Long-tailed Tits has also been seen on a couple of occasions, but none have been in the garden.
There are 2 or 3 Goldfinches at any one time in the garden most days, as well as up to 4 Greenfinches. The Bullfinches are back too - two pairs are often here, feeding on black sunflower seeds, and we have seen at least two juveniles A male Chaffinch can be heard singing most days from somewhere further down the road.
A Robin is a daily visitor but, as with other species, there is no sign of young. This cannot be said of the Dunnocks, a pair of which have been in the garden with at least 3 youngsters, who were busy vigorously quivering their wings, begging to be fed.
A Jay is quite a regular visitor, having mastered clinging on to the suet ball feeder.
- May 2012
There are still few birds visiting the garden but we have already had our first young birds.
The Blackbirds are still around but their breeding attempt has been unsuccessful - after a couple of Jays spent time watching and waiting for their chance, a Magpie simply finished everything. A Song Thrush has been seen a few times and by the first weekend of the month was feeding a fledgling in our garden.
A couple of Blue Tits and Great Tits continue to visit the feeders, and a pair of Coal Tits are very busy, dashing back and forth.
A few Greenfinches and up to 3 Goldfinches are regular visitors.
A couple of Dunnocks are seen occasionally and a juvenile is in the garden most of the day.
Two Robins continue to visit.
- April 2012
There are still relatively few birds visiting the garden, but plenty of bird song and nesting activity is evident.
The pair of Blackbirds are still nesting, the female spending most of her time sitting on the nest, while the male keeps a watchful eye over his territory and mate.
A couple of Blue Tits and Great Tits continue to visit the feeders.
A few Greenfinches and a couple of Goldfinches are often perching on the feeders - the Greenfinches favouring black sunflower seeds and the Goldfinches preferring the niger and sunflower hearts.
A Dunnock is seen occasionally.
A couple of Robin visit most days, very rarely together, so I suspect they are a pair - certainly one looks very dirty and dishevelled, which could be the female, who may be busy incubating or brooding.
The first Swifts were seen on 29th April.
- March 2012
As the days have got longer and milder, the number of birds visiting the garden has fallen quite sharply. There is plenty of bird song, however, including Blackbirds, Mistle Thrushes, Robins, Wrens, Blue Tits and Great Tits.
A pair of Blackbirds have decided to nest in our garden again and the female is busy building the nest. Meanwhile, the male keeps a watchful eye over his territory and mate.
Up to 6 Blue Tits are visiting the sunflower heart feeders as well as a pair of Great Tits. The Coal Tits are seen more rarely. A pair of Long-tailed Tits are nesting somewhere nearby as they are seen regularly flying backwards and forwards - collecting moss, feathers, spiders' webs and lichen.
A handful of Greenfinches and up to 3 Goldfinches are regular visitors to the feeders, as is a pair of Bullfinches. The Redpoll and Siskins have been neither seen or heard for more than 4 weeks.
Just one Dunnock and a Wren are seen occasionally, the Wren often taking a bath in the evening.
A Robin visits most days and is heard singing from before dawn until after dusk.
A handsome male Sparrowhawk has been seen pursuing birds in the garden on a couple of occasions but was unsuccessful each time.
- February 2012
The colder, wintry weather has made finding food in the wider countryside much more difficult for birds and so many more have been venturing into the garden, including a couple of surprises.
Up to 5 Blackbirds are continuing to visit the garden, chasing one another for as much time as they are foraging among the leaf litter underneath the shrubs. Neither the Song Thrush or Mistle Thrush have been seen so far this month. However, the weekend of 11th and 12th brought a small flock of 11 Redwings into the garden - a real treat!
Up to 3 Blue Tits are visiting the sunflower heart feeders as well as a pair of Great Tits. The Coal Tits have not been seen less often and we get an occasional fleeting glimpse of a pair of Long-tailed Tits.
As many as 21 Greenfinches continue to feed on the black sunflower seeds and 3 or 4 Goldfinches feed on sunflower hearts. A male and a couple of female Chaffinches are also often in the garden, feeding on the ground underneath the hanging feeders. The pair of Bullfinches have not been seen for a while. A pair of Siskins made a brief visit one day, which was delightful. Another surprise, at the same time as the Redwings, was a small party of Redpolls - 4 Lesser Redpolls and one Common "Mealy" Redpoll.
Just one Dunnock and a Wren are seen occasionally, and House Sparrows - when they visit, and that is not very often -never get above 3 in number.
A couple of Jays and a Magpie have resumed their visits to the garden.
There are 2 Robins and it does now seems like they are a pair.
A Collared Dove and up to 2 Wood Pigeons occasionally descend on the garden.
- January 2012
Most of January has been relatively quiet with only about a dozen species visiting the garden and relatively few birds of each of these. The cold spell towards then end of the month, however, has brought many more birds into the garden.
There are up to 5 Blackbirds visiting the garden. Typically, they spend their time chasing one another or foraging among the leaf litter underneath the shrubs, looking for invertebrates. A solitary Song Thrush has been briefly in the garden, though it can be heard most mornings, from before sunrise, singing its sweet, repetitive song. A larger Mistle Thrush has also been in the garden. A small flock of Redwings has been seen flying overhead, with a couple resting in a neighbour's tree.
Up to 3 Blue Tits are visiting the sunflower heart feeders. These are often accompanied by up to 2 Coal Tits and a pair of Great Tits. The Coal Tits continuing to do what they always do - snatching a sunflower seed and then dashing away with it.
A pair of Bullfinches have been visiting most days during the latter part of the month. These and up to 21 Greenfinches are feeding on the black sunflower seeds. The daintier Goldfinches stand their ground among the hustle and bustle, though they opt to feed on sunflower hearts or, less than in the past, niger seed. A male and a couple of female Chaffinches are also often in the garden, feeding on the ground underneath the hanging feeders.
Just one Dunnock is seen occasionally. This is the first winter in many that at least a couple of Dunnocks have not been an almost permanent feature in the garden. Likewise House Sparrows - even now we see no more than a couple in the garden. A diminutive Wren has been seen fleetingly on a few occasions.
A couple of Jays and a Magpie have resumed their visits to the garden.
There are 2 Robins though we usually see only one. On the few occasions both have been seen, there is no posturing or fighting, so I suspect they are a pair.
The male Sparrowhawk has executed a few surprise attacks on feeding birds, but none have been successful.
One of the biggest surprises of the month, so far, has been the appearance of 2 Starlings. They stayed only briefly and have not been seen since.
A Collared Dove and up to 6 Wood Pigeons occasionally descend on the garden.
21 Feb 2015
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