Saturday, 3 March 2018

Snow influenced bird count (and a Blogger update)

In the (for southern England) very unusual weather of the last few days which gave daytime maximum temperatures of - 2* C or lower and many inches of windblown snow, we have had a significant increase in the numbers of birds visiting our garden in search of food. We thought it would be interesting to make a list of all the species we've seen on the bird feeders outside our kitchen window since the beginning of the week when the cold weather began.

So far we've counted a total of 22 different species which includes many we commonly see but in much larger numbers and several that we don't usually see at all. This latter group includes;

The tiny tree creeper (Certhia familiaris), weighing around 10 g, which climbed the trunk of our indian bean tree in search of spiders and insects 

               







The song thrush (Turdus philomelos), sadly depleted in numbers in the UK (an * IUCN Red list bird) and now only rarely seen in our garden

The redwing (Turdus iliacus), a winter visitor which crosses the North Sea from Northern Europe in the autumn and the UK's smallest thrush









And last of all the gold crest (Regulus regulus), the UK's smallest bird weighing in at a mere 6 g, and surprisingly common across the country, but usually favouring coniferous woodlands and parks rather than gardens







I'm pleased to be able to report that the male bullfinch, sad victim of the last post, has been replaced by two new males and that the females continue to visit so we are still able to enjoy their vibrant colours.

After much research, I also seem to have found a way to update the sidebar on this blog. Following an internet tip, I've discovered that the full set up is available in Layout on Internet Explorer (but not in Google) and I've been able to add the poster for Great Western Embroiderers' latest exhibition (currently in triplicate but I'm hoping to rectify that!) Now, why there is this preference for Internet Explorer I have no idea. If there's anyone reading this blog who does know, I'd be most interested to hear!

* IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature - the world's main authority on the conservation status of species


10 comments:

  1. le premier et le dernier sont souvent dans mon jardin... pas les grives...dommage.. biz

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    1. J'aime les oiseaux qui apparaissent souvent dans vos jolies oeuvres. Comme j'écrivais cet article sur mon blog, j'ai pensé à vous et vos oiseaux!

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  2. What an interesting way to pass the snowy time. As for the Internet Explorer thing, I can't say, except that every now and then I run into that block, where a site will say I must use IE browser. Microsoft was surely that way if I had to do updates manually on-line (which I haven't had to do for eons), but I had it happen again not long ago, can't remember what site I was on. Glad you persevered and solved your layout issue.

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    1. I'm relieved too - not a serious issue in the grand scheme of things, but definitely a pain!

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  3. Really interesting bird count. We have only had a pied wagtail as a new visitor. We occasionally see your new visitors, bullfinches only when the plum tree in about to blossom. Our birds are more active today than for the last few days so I suppose they hunker down and wait.I hope to get to your exhibition.

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    1. Thank you for your comments, Louise. We take great pleasure in watching our bird visitors.
      Together with the other members of GWE, I steward our exhibition regularly and it would be good to meet you if you come to see our work. If you are able to let me me know a day or so in advance, I will try to make sure I'm in the gallery. My email address is available via my full profile if you prefer to use that.

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  4. It is lovely to see all the different birds that appear in cold weather. We had a small deer in the garden yesterday morning, fortunately eating weeds in the veg plot and not our broad beans! xx

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    1. We watch everyday who is visiting our bird feeders as my husband is a diligent topper-up of grain and fat balls. We take great pleasure in seeing who comes with the changing seasons. After consulting your profile, I see you live in the Dordogne in France (lucky you!). I guess therefore that you must see some different birds, though I imagine most of those we see are common to your area too.

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  5. We have had more birds in the garden than usual, living right on the coast we don't get many small birds, during the snow we had chaffinch's, one blue tit, redwings, extra blackbirds and thrushes, even two robins in close proximity, they looked like males. We have a seemingly resident wren and more long tailed tits than I have seen before. I think this is mainly due to my tree and shrub planting so there is more cover.

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    1. Being close to open fields, we often get long-tailed tits and small flocks of gold finches and chaffinches. Last week we had upwards of a dozen of each at any one time, all keeping my husband busy topping up the feeders. Interesting that, this week when the weather has returned to its early spring normal, the numbers have dropped dramatically.

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