Nothing for it, but an afternoon with tea and biscuits and a few hours watching the garden bird feeders :-)
I'm glad to report that I had not one sighting of the Sparrowhawk, the weather was even too lousy for hunting ! As a consequence the garden was full of birds, although they were easily spooked. Most of the activity was down to the 20+ BLUE TITS, which whiz about from feeder to feeder, with them are the less numerous GREAT TITS, only about 5-7 of these are about, hard to count really as they come and go so quick, even more frequent in their foraging trips are the COAL TITS, just 2 of these were seen.
The finch's stayed around the sunflower feeders, peak counts of 10 GREENFINCH, 8 GOLDFINCH, and ten CHAFFINCH were noted, but a lone male BULLFINCH that visited was star bird of the day for me. A few STARLINGS, peaking at 5 birds came down for the fat blocks, and what was spilt onto the floor was taken by BLACKBIRDS, DUNNOCK, and ROBIN. The COLLARD DOVES always come in later in the afternoon, I watched a flock of 15 grab what seed they could, before quickly leaving again, a strategy evolved to outwit the Sparrowhawk attacks :-)
Other visitors like the WREN, WOODPIGEON, JACKDAW, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER and of course the pair of NUTHATCH, made for an interesting and varied few hours, but there was still a species missing - the humble House Sparrow, of which there was not a sniff :-( Never has a month gone past when a House Sparrow has not been recorded from my garden not in 12 years, is this about to change ?
17 species came to the garden today, the January garden list now stands at 21, which is3 behind the best years of 2009 and 2010.
Despite the gloom I did point the camera, but the results were not that good. I'll post the rest of the photo's taken in last sundays sunshine first, followed by todays. The Bullfinch shots were taken at a distance of 9m, the Woodpecker at 5m.The camera was set at ISO 2000, aperture at 6.3 giving a shutter speed of only a160th.
|Long Tailed Tit. They didn't visit today.|
|Long Tailed Tit|
|Great Spotted Woodpecker, Male|
|Great Spotted Woodpecker|