AFTER LASHINGS of rain overnight and this morning it’s refreshing to look out on a green lawn rather than on the snow that has lingered for the past twelve days. When the rain stops at 9 a.m. there’s a sudden influx of Goldfinches and Siskins so we decide to start our one hour RSPB Garden Birdwatch straight away.
I do a few distracted sketches but feel the need to be continually scanning the whole of the garden. A Magpie briefly touches down on the fence near the greenhouse and pecks at something – a spider perhaps.
A Nuthatch, usually the most conspicuous of visitors when it flies in, bullying other birds from their perch on the sunflower feeder, flies in sneakily, hiding itself briefly on the other side of the small feeder.
As I add the colour to my sketches who should turn up too late to be included but a Collared Dove, which touches down briefly on top of the shepherd’s crook feeder pole, and a Wood Pigeon that waddles alongside the watering hole provided by the still half-frozen pond, oblivious that if it had flown in just 10 minutes earlier it could have contributed to our record of the biodiversity of our garden!
Full list and maximum number recorded at any one time: Blackbird 2, Blue tit 2, Chaffinch 9 (as large a number as I ever remember having seen in our garden), Dunnock 2, Goldfinch 8, Great tit 3, Greenfinch 2, Magpie 1, Nuthatch 1, Pheasant 1 male, 3 female, Robin 2.
The two Robins that we saw today, one on the ground by the hedge and one visiting the feeder, were tolerant of each other so presumably they are a pair. Two of the Blue Tits flew over to the nest box, so perhaps they will be nesting before too long.