Despite a bare garden with just a couple of feeders up, we are rapidly racking up a decent garden list.
Wren, Robin, Blackbird, House Sparrow, Dunnock, Collared Dove, Wood Pigeon, Greenfinch, Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Lesser Redpoll, Siskin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-Tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Great-Spotted Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk, and Starling have all been spotted in the first month since moving, and we’ve ducks, geese and waders fly over, Treecreepers from the kitchen window, Blackcap, Whitethroat and Chiffchaff singing in the day, Tawny Owls at night. To say nothing of the Water Voles on the river just at the back of the house. When we start creating better feeding and nesting opportunities it should just get better and better, and I’m hopeful of some interesting winter visitors.
We’ve also got bats out on an evening, and I need to get hold of a bat detector as they’re too big for pipistrelles. Rapid flyers, but chunky, I’ll be fascinated to see what they are.
Sadly, for our would-be nesters, it’s not been so succesful. The Blackbirds in the hedge at the end of the garden have abandoned their nest without laying. There are two Blackbird pairs, and their territories seem to intersect in our back garden. They spend so much time fighting that it’s no wonder they haven’t nested succesfully. The poor little Wren continues to stuff moss into the old Swallows nest, singing away, without ever attracting a mate. We have just the one Collared Dove too, moping about after the Sparrowhawk demolished its partner (and left us the carcass). But the garden has been full of baby House Sparrows this week, so someone has got it right. It’s only May, so plenty of time for the others to have some success too.
Incidentally, I did consider featuring the dead Collared Dove as a blogpost, looking at distinctive Sparrowhawk kill features, but decided it may be too gruesome. What do you think?