Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Bags of birds

The first bit of news is that the goldfinches are back in our garden. We hadn't seen any all year and guessed that our next door neighbour must have been providing a superior quality of niger seed. But two days ago, I looked out and was thrilled to see one on the feeder. Welcome back!

We have sparrows galore, apart from last Sunday when there weren't any around at all and the feeder stayed well stocked all day. We think that perhaps they were all scared of being hunted for dinner by this fine specimen, a female sparrowhawk who sits in a neighbour's tree and every so often makes a low dive over the hedge to try and snatch an unwary sparrow or blue tit. Here she is, sitting on top of the hedge that you can see in the background of the goldfinch photo. What a magnificent bird.

We're also very lucky to have a jay family in the garden. I have hung up a new peanut feeder about twenty feet from the window, and my zoom lens has captured several half decent shots. This one, showing mum, dad and junior, was taken from at least sixty feet away, down by the apple trees. 

The lower photo shows the colours in a more natural light.

Now that the peanuts are closer to the kitchen window, we get frequent sightings of the great spotted woodpecker, another magnificent garden bird. This female is much more adept at hanging from the feeder than the rather clumsy jay is.

But for sheer agility and amusing cuteness, nothing beats the ring necked parakeet...

... though this pigeon had a jolly good try.