Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Tuesday 27th. November 2012

An awful morning was followed by an even worse afternoon , at times feeling that it was already night , Winter is well and truly here . I had some bits to do around the shops this morning , then settled down to process some recent photographs .
I think the birds had the same feeling re. Winter , as during the afternoon , there was a feeding frenzy around the feeders . A large mixed flock of Finch sized birds were doing the rounds of the gardens , and having gorged on the sunflower hearts , retreated to the Sycamore next door to digest the meal ,
just part of the flock shown here , silhouetted against a very grey sky . Then , one by one , they returned to the sunflower hearts , leaving the mixed seed untouched . With so many trying to get on
the two sunflower feeders , there was plenty of squabbling , especially amongst the Greenfinches and the Goldfinches . It wasn't too long before the female/juvenile Blackcap showed up , very nervous
compared to the Finches , but after a few attempts and being scared off , finally started to feed avidly
on the Callicarpa berries . Then , without having been to the pub , I started seeing double .
I know Warren mentioned some time ago that the juvenile males get their black caps during the first Winter , so it could be two females , juveniles or female and juvenile , but no sign of the male today .
Well pleased with that , I then got another surprise in the form of a Marsh Tit trying to pluck up
courage to get to the sunflower seeds , the first record in the garden for the species . With persistence , and waiting till a couple of passing Jackdaws spooked the other birds , it finally
managed to get it's first , of many , sunflower heart . In all , 18 species were seen through the back bedroom window , which added to the poor quality of the shots . As I said , most were attracted to the
sunflower hearts , apart of course the Blackcaps , but , just as the light was almost gone , a movement
at the bottom of the feeder revealed that the hearts go down very nicely with the Callicarpa berries too . I had kept hoping that a Redpoll or Siskin would join the flock and come to the feeders , perhaps next time .


Alan Pavey said...

A nice couple of visitors there Greenie, Marsh Tit in the garden is a real treat ;-)

ShySongbird said...

A very enjoyable peek through your back bedroom window Greenie. It sounded like an entertaining afternoon. I'm pleased to see your Blackcap looks like being a regular for the Winter and that it has been joined by another. Well done with the Marsh Tit too, a lovely little visitor. I thought I saw one fleetingly in mine last year but it was so quick that it may have been one of the regular Coal Tits.

I find the sunflower hearts are definitely the most popular bird food in my garden and the Blackcaps that have visited in recent Winters love them too.

Warren Baker said...

Hi Greenie,
I'd say both your Blackcaps are females, any young males would now be showing at least a very dark looking brown cap.

Well done on that Marsh Tit, great birds to have in the garden.

My feeders here are almost devoid of anything except the tits, and the 3 Jays. The dire weather has kept me from venturing out on my patch for the past two days :-(

Nothing for the blog at all!