It’s almost time for the annual RSPB Garden Birdwatch but I do my own birdwatch on a daily basis! Perched on a stool at the breakfast bar, bowl of porridge in front of me, I have clear view every morning of the comings and goings of the local birds as they visit the feeders.
Many tits visit – blue, great, coal and long-tailed (a favourite – such pretty, chunky little birds). Chaffinches, greenfinches and goldfinches drop by. The occasional siskin too. Nuthatches cling to the sunflower seeds, bringing a burst of soft-coloured pinkish yellow and smoky grey/blue to the feeders. A tiny perky wren, with its loud singing voice, darts in and out of branches and undergrowth, and brown/grey, rather beautiful subtly coloured dunnocks, are regulars visitors.
There are two robins in the vicinity, so I guess they must be a pair as there are no territorial spats in evidence; they perch near each other then flit off towards the hedge where I think they will nest. Male and female blackbirds hop on lawn and patio, seeking ground food, appreciating what’s put out for them, along with a scattering of dried fruit on frosty days, and have recently been joined by a single thrush.
The pair of local bullfinches are always a treat to spot. They’re shy and sensitive to any nearby movements, even those behind windows. I’ve tried and failed to get a photo but they seem to suss out cameras and disappear.
A few days ago I spotted a minute bird on the feeders which looked different. A newcomer? Reaching for binoculars I was delighted to see it was a goldcrest, the smallest European bird. Tiny, attractive, and with a bright yellow punky stripe on its head, giving it its name.
Bigger birds come too, and frighten away the small tits. Whopping big wood pigeons land on the feeder making it rock from side to side, the odd jackdaw or two sits on a nearby roof eyeing the fare on the feeder then zooms in for a beakful, and the local magpies have a go at hanging on to the fat balls for a feast before losing their balance and flying off.