Friday, 28 January 2011

Poor pigeon

Got in at lunchtime to find this sad scattering of feathers on the lawn. The sparrowhawk had struck again. They strip off the feathers, eat as much as they want in situ, then carry the rest back to their nest.


There was a female thrush in the garden this morning. What a welcome sight. Haven't seen one in this area for at least three years. It flew off too fast for me to get a photo.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

An alarmed goldfinch!

This poor bird almost fell off its perch when the woodpigeon tried to muscle in on the feeder!

Great Spotted Woodpecker

This photo was taken from a distance of at least 50 feet, but it's just clear enough to show that this is a female as it lacks the red spot on the crown of its head.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Female Green Woodpecker

This woodpecker spent twenty minutes or more pecking the lawn for ants. We weren't sure how to tell the sexes apart, but I've discovered that this one is a female, because it has an all-black moustache, whereas the male has a red splodge in his.

Pair of goldfinches

It was sheer delight to watch this pair of goldfinches on the niger seed feeder this morning. I have no idea how many there are in this area, but I hope this pair will breed successfully this year. They are such beautifully marked birds, with the soft focus chestnut breast and sharp black, white and yellow wing and tail markings, plus that distinctive splash of red on the head. Unlike many species of birds, male and female goldfinches look very similar and the best way of telling them apart is to look at that red patch. In the male, it extends further behind the eye, so I think in these photos the male is on the right.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Very bright bluetit!

The brighter a male's plumage, the better chance they have of finding a mate. This one should have no trouble at all!


This pair of greenfinches ousted the goldfinch from the niger seed feeder on Friday. The goldfinch waited patiently in the cherry tree until the perch was empty again.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Muntjac buck

This beautiful beast was in the garden this afternoon, munching the hebe bush. He looks in peak condition, with shiny fur and good, firm flesh on him. Muntjacs don't have a breeding season. Does can produce young all the year round. I am hoping we might see the whole family in the garden soon.

Monday, 10 January 2011


The young hedgehog has survived the show and was out in heavy frost two nights ago. It didn't run away from me - perhaps it is in a semi torpid state - so I grabbed the packet of cat biscuits that the cat doesn't like and threw a handful out. They were gone by morning, so I hope the hedgehog got them and not a neighbour's cat.