Sunday, 17 January 2016

Snowy Garden adds two new species

Last night brought a few hours of snow to the garden, the first proper snow of the winter so far, and meant that I woke up to this lovely, if somewhat grey, scene.


As you can see in the picture I went out and cleared a spot around the feeders, filled up the water and put out a mixture of sunflower hearts, suet pellets and soaked raisins for the birds. In the next 3 hours I recorded 17 species of birds for the BTO's Garden Birdwatch Scheme, including 2 "year ticks"; Brambling and Blackcap.

The Bramblings consisted of 3 birds; 2 different males and a female bird. All 3 birds were feeding with a large number of Chaffinches (a minimum of 15 birds), and actually used the seed feeder, something I haven't seen before. I got a couple of photos.

Brambling (male)

Brambling (female)

The Blackcap was a male bird that flew into a Honeysuckle plant in the garden, pecked at a dried up berry, and then flew off again! Somehow I managed to get a photo in the minute it was present! 

Male Blackcap

This isn't the first record of this species in the garden in winter, but my last record was way back in December 2013 (see blog post here). They are a regular wintering bird in the UK now, and the BTO has just published some very interesting research about how garden feeding may have influenced this behaviour (see here).

The other species seen today in the garden were; Goldfinch (c.20), Greenfinch (2), Lesser Redpoll (1 male), House Sparrow (2; 1 male and 1 female), Magpie (2), Collared Dove (2), Woodpigeon (5), Starling (14), Robin (1), Blackbird (11; 6 males and 5 females), Blue Tit (1), Coal Tit (1), Dunnock (2) and Wren (1).

Year List update:
89 - Brambling
90 - Blackcap

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