The school was shut today due to the bad weather, so I had the day off work. The early hours were spent watching the garden feeders, where plenty of frenzied feeding was going on by 9 BLUE TIT, 5 GREAT TIT, 2 COAL TIT, 11 GREENFINCH, 21 CHAFFINCH, 14 GOLDFINCH, 8 HOUSE SPARROW, 3 DUNNOCKS, 7 COLLARED DOVES, 3 ROBINS, 11 BLACKBIRDS and 6 STARLINGS, all the usual species to be found.
I threw out a couple of old apples, some old stale biscuits and a few other bits of food scraps, this brought in JACKDAWS and MAGPIES, and by this time 2 GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS had joined the throng.
Around 10am there was too much disturbance from the surrounding houses, Kids, Dogs, and a workgang next door rippping out hundreds of years of history from the big old house, they were chopping down a row of old yew tree's and knocking down part of the old boundary wall - just to make a bigger entrance for the owners cars, typical rich city folk and know nothing types. Rant, Rant, Rant!
Off I went then, out onto my patch in the snow and ice. I walked all through the tree nursery, and saw............a Robin, that was it ! I crossed over to the Greenhouse Complex grounds, where I fared little better, finding just a party of LONG TAILED TITS, with a few Blue and Great Tits with them. After an hour or so I was getting chilled to the bone, so decided that despite the disturbance, I would go back to the garden feeder watching, there were at least some birds there!
I added SONGTHRUSH to the days sightings, but nothing else new for the next 90 mins, until a nice male SISKIN came in to feed, the first in the garden this year, 2 WOODPIGEONS made an entry, scaring everything up as they flapped about, the 18th species of the day.
Once agin I felt the urge to go out onto my patch, so I took the wife for a snowy walk around Migrant Alley - as she wanted to go out to see all the snowy landscape, whilst we were out a couple of short lived snow showers passed through, but even with two pairs of eyes the only birds seen were ROOKS, Jackdaws, CARRION CROWS, and a male SPARROWHAWK, which looked amazing as it flew slow and low over the fields, the reflective snowy surface showed off it's plumage stunningly.
Back home again, and another stint by the window produced a good bird for my garden - the years first (and probaby the years only) REDWING, it joined the group of Blackbirds for a minute or two, but was scared off by shrieking, unruly children in the large garden next door ( seen and not heard comes to mind! ) The only other new garden bird for the day, and for the garden year list, was a MOORHEN, I wonder if it will bring its two friends back, as it did during the last cold spell ?
Overall it was quite a good garden day, 20 species came in to feed, taking the years garden count to 22. The only bird not be seen today that was expected in, was the Nuthatch.
Tomorrow its a full patch walk, but I think i'll be lucky to find above 30 species, thats if I get all the way round!
I got a few garden pics today, through the window glass, so they are a bit blurry.
Above is the male Siskin, with a couple of Greenfinch's. Below is a close up of the siskin, - brilliant little birds.