Saturday, 20 December 2008

Saturday 20th.December 2008

Today started very well . After breakfast , I looked to see if there was anything on the Cotoneaster berries . I found two Redwings feeding , and whilst watching them , I noticed something smaller further back in the shrub . Focusing in on it , it turned out to be a male Brambling , still with a lot of his Summer finery intact . I carefully put down my binoculars and reached for the camera , but by the time I looked back to the shrub , there was no sign . Given that the Chaffinch numbers have exploded again , up to 25/30 at any time , I think he must have tagged onto the new arrivals . I would normally have stayed put , hoping that he would show up again , but we had a family visit commitment , and due to leave in about 20 minutes , so I had to leave him somewhere in the vicinity . I put out more food , in the hope it would keep him around and we set off on our visit .
As soon as we got back , I replenished the food , and waited by the back bedroom window . Needless to say , he did not show up again , but I will be keeping a good look out for him in the days to come .
Whilst watching for the Brambling , I was pleasantly surprised to get a return visit from the male Blackcap , even though the Callicarpa berries are few and past their sell by date , but it did not seem to deter him as he came back on three occassions whilst I was watching .
Also making one of his many return visits was the male Greater Spotted Woodpecker . I know I have posted similar shots before , but I think these two really show the way they use thier tail for balance in the upright position . He seems to prefer getting food from the drilled holes in the vertical post than from the feeders .
Apart from the Chaffinch flock mentioned earlier , other species were marauding around the area as well . The Rose Ringed Parakeets were 'steaming' through in a noisy flock of up to 15 , and at one time there were 11 , on and around the Cotoneaster . From this shot , it can bee seen what a stripping job the birds have done , when you consider that all the green leaved branches , were originally weighed down with as many berries as those left on the lower branches . I have noticed though , that the Redwings are less reluctant to take the berries at low level . They will have to be really hungry to do so , and if they don't , the Waxwings will have them , in my dreams .
Also the local Jackdaws were around 'mob handed' , with 14 on the back path in this shot , with another half dozen or show in the air or out of shot .
The light has gone now , perhaps I'll get the Brambling tomorrow .


Warren Baker said...

Brambling and Blackcap ! can't be bad. Waxwings will be on the xmas list eh Greenie!
See you tomorrow.

Ken said...

Hi Greenie.
I would be very happy with a sighting of the birds you saw today. Sounds like your garden bird species is hopefully getting better and better. Nice shots.