Friday, 13 January 2017

Slow January

There is still no sign of any winter influx of passerines which means that by mid January my species count for this year is still just short of 50. The finch flocks are made up of either chaffinch, goldfinch or linnet with few mixed ones; there is no sign of siskins and only occasional mistle or song thrushes supplement the many blackbirds.
An interesting absentee up to now is the firecrest. This species is usually easily found in any woodland in these parts but perhaps its tiny size is not coping well with the chilly conditions.
In the garden the sunflower seeds and fat balls which I put out are being devoured at a fast rate but almost entirely by blue and great tits, house sparrows and the common finches. A great spotted woodpecker comes reasonably regularly, though, and a robin, dunnock and several moorhen are usually foraging on the what falls from the feeders. I've taken to hanging some of the fatballs in the window recesses and this gives delightfully close views of the tits which soon found then.
It's a common species, I know, but the sight of a tight flock of about a thousand woodpigeon was an impressive one yesterday. They were were heading southwest at the height of a few hundred feet.

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