Sunday, 13 October 2013

Back to the Garden

The weather was unpleasant today but at least the Pipit conundrum was solved. From yesterday's evidence and some views gained by Jack and Brendan today, the conclusion was a Richards Pipit. I did walk down to the area where it had been seen earlier this morning, but the rain and wind became increasingly unpleasant and I wimped out !
We don't have any real fresh water wetland in our patch, but the Bay Car park, beautifully constructed a few years ago, does become a small lake that is suitable for gulls to take their R&R breaks. This first winter Black-headed Gull demonstrated just how good the design was.

The visibility out to sea was poor and after checking through the Herring Gulls for anything more interesting I returned for some garden watching, from a comfortable chair in a nice warm and dry environment.

At this time of year there are always loads of finches in the garden, and they often mirror what's happening in the visible migration observed along the cliff top. With lots of Greenfinches and Chaffinches moving through the numbers in the garden have steadily built up. For the first time this Autumn there was a really handsome male Brambling coming down to drink, but unfortunately I saw it only for a few seconds and didn't manage a photo.
Goldfinches are getting more and more numerous but as yet I haven't seen any Siskins among them. There were also quite large numbers of Redwings overhead, but unless the weather gets very severe I don't usually see them in the garden.

Of course Blue Tuts are always popping in and out of the feeding area, hoping to find a space left by the voracious hordes of finches. They seldom stay long on  afeeder, prefering to grab a sunflower seed and take it away to consume in comfort. I often wondered at this strategy as they have to return within seconds for the next one. It doesn't seem a very efficient strategy, but presumably the increased safety gained makes it worth it..

Faqt balls seem to be a very popular choise at the momnet. Great Tits love them, but the main beneficiary at the moment seems to be the increasing flock of House Sparrows in the garden. Our feeding station next to the kitchen window has become their territory and they gather in the pyracanthus that holds the feeders. I never thought I'd say this, but the return of their noisy chattering is a real joy as I thought we were about to lose them for good a couple of years ago.

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