Yesterday I took an hour out to sit and watch the birds as part of the Big Garden Birdwatch. The birds I saw were
Blackbird at the feeder - keeping an eye out for the competition
Willow-tit (or might have been Marsh-tit - I find it difficult to tell the difference)
Greater Spotted Woodpecker
A Blue-tit waits its turn at the feeder
A very enjoyable time, apart from the sleet and wind. It is interesting to see the results of everyone's bird counts that are collected by the RSPB and the difference in data over years. Some bird species seem to be declining, while others are growing in number and they are keen to find out the reasons why.
A pair of Bullfinch make a fleeting visit
It is anyway a wonderful excuse to be quiet and watch wildlife in the garden (in my case at my worksheds) and learn more about each bird's habits and character. I was thrilled to see the Bullfinch - a pair flew in and landed on the dock stems and pecked at the seed sprigs - but the bird which I enjoyed watching most was the Dunnock. Rather secretive and well camouflaged, it bobbed and flitted about feeding and hiding in the branches or hopping on the ground, skittish on its thin pinky/orange legs.
Dunnock perching unusually close
It also surprises me how much energy some birds expend on defending their spot - there are lots of spats around the feeders and on the bird table - the Robins are very argumentative and feathers do fly in the squabbles. Blackbirds too, who stand guard over their meal, swooping in on other Blackbirds, who dash off full and loud alarm calling their frustration.
Long-tailed tits at the feeders
Thankyou all you birds for visiting my garden and being so lovely to watch!