Friday, 1 January 2010

New Year, new Beginning

Happy new year to one and all! Many birders start new lists of various sorts on Jan 1st. The UK year list, the patch year list, the garden year list etc. Not all are list obsessed, but there are very few who don't keep at least one such list. I often start, but as it becomes apparent that the year will be yet another mediocre year my enthusiasm does wane. With the excuse that it is a new year I decided that I could get away with a few of the commoner birds in the garden today. I didn't venture far, coughing and wheezing was always likely to scare off anything out side, and the sudden busts of hard icy pellets at periodic intervals were enough to keep me in the environs of the Hidden House.

I did get out to the feeders yesterday, and I also put more seed down on the ground for the birds reluctant to use the hanging snack bars. It never snowed enough to properly cover the ground, but there was a thin coating for a while. Blackbirds continued to be quite numerous, although most of the berries on the Cotoneaster and Pyracanthus have gone, there are still some to be found by the diligent searcher.

Despite the cold the bath was popular with all species, the bunch of Starling that invaded in mid afternoon were the most vigorous. The Blackbird, above was rather more dignified in it's toilet.

Some of the male Greenfinches seemed to be looking extra specially colourful today, and although not as numerous as sometimes there were about twenty around the garden.

The majority of ground feeders were Chaffinches, and some are beginning to abraid into something like their breeding plumage.

THE little brown job, the Dunnock is always good to see in the garden. Numbers of Dunnocks had declined by over 50% over the years, however, recent BTO figures show that there has been a slow increase in their numbers. This one has actually learn to visit sunflower seed feeders, although it's visit are very short and mainly hovering, it does seem to succeed in getting a seed.

It was a while before a Robin visited, they really don't seem very numerous this year. This one was very bold, feeding just outside the window.

The garden list for the first day of the year was only 18 species.

Herring Gull
Feral Pigeon
Wood Pigeon
Collared Dove
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Carrion Crow
House Sparrow


Deslilas said...

Happy new year to you !
And many thanks.

Warren Baker said...

18 species is the same total I got Tony.

During the last snowy spell I had six Dunnocks in my tiny garden!

margaret said...

To you those are common birds, to me they are amazing. I get so few and hardly any except gulls and rooks land. Lately I've had a few robins and bluetits - great excitement - using my hanging feeders but despite putting out seed and water all over the bad period no-one has touched ground for it.

Happy New Year!