Despite the winter-like weather there are some seasonal changes in the make up of the birds visiting the garden. A little on the late side, but by the end of March the usual influx of migrating Siskins had started. They seemed arrive in batches with several for a couple of days then none on the 31st March or 1st April, but a few back again this morning.
The groups of Siskins coming down to feed in the garden are just a small reflection of what is going on at the "vis-mig" watch point near the Monument. where daily totals of over 100 are being reported.
The flock of Chaffinches shows little sign of diminishing yet, this morning I quickly got to 60 with still more in the trees around.
Meanwhile the excitement was happening not far away, as a Bluethroat had been seen near the large manure heap near Braeside Stables. It was found yesterday morning and Brendan Ryan posted a couple of stunning photos on the KOS website. Well I had a couple of tries yesterday but with no luck and spent a total of around four hours today in four sessions without seeing it. The worst thing is I can see the mountain of horse given by the regular Yellowhammers at this site.
As I went down to the stake out before breakfast this Grey Heron was standing in the middle of the adjacent field.
There were at least a dozen Yellowhammers around, some of the males are now exceptionally bright and even the females are quite striking. I'm not sure if the females become brighter as they age. Along with the Yellowhammers I was pleased to see a couple of their close relatives, Corn Buntings.
Nowhere near as colourful as the Yellowhammers the Corn Bunting is the ultimate Little Brown Job, but I think that they are still attractive in their own way. Like the Yellowhammer changes in our countryside and farming methods have brought about a large population decline nationally, but locally we are still not doing to badly. We will need some spring weather soon if these resident species are going to be able to get on and breed successfully.
There are always loads of Wood Pigeons around the area so it was good to see two of the smaller and shyer Stock Doves come n to feed. These are not to be confused with the feral pigeons, there are descendants of Rock Doves that plague our towns and cities.
One last shot of the brightest Yellowhammer on show today. It almost glowed when it was in the shadows.