Those of you who have read this blog a while know that I always feel the BGBW is mildly cursed, with the interesting stuff disappearing for the day, or showing up five minutes after you finish. 2016 has threatened to be worse than normal as the warmest winter on record means far fewer birds needing the feeders.
But this weekend was a surprise as we had a record goldfinch count of 39 (that’s spread between the feeders and the two nearby trees they queue in), plus Greenfinches and the first Bullfinches of the year.
Annoyingly the bullfinches (two males and one female) only once dropped into clear view, and having taken half-a-dozen shots of the male, I then realised I’d been playing about with the settings on the camera, leading to six unusable pictures. He, of course, departed as soon as I had corrected my mistake! Fortunately the female, an under-rated ‘little brown job’ hung around a little longer.
The sole shot of a male was distant and obscured by a buddleia.
To crown this all, we had the first siskins we have seen in the garden for two years. They seemed to have joined with the large flock of Goldfinches and Greenfinches.
There were just the two compared to the large flock we had two years ago, and no Redpolls so far, but fingers crossed this is the start of an influx.
Last time round they were a tame little group, but the male today was skittish. The female however allowed me to approach reasonably close and get a decent shot in the gloom.
It’s not just the feeders that are busy, and a scattering of suet and mealworms draws Magpies, Wood Pigeons, Collared Doves, and plenty of Starlings.
We’ve also still got Robins, House Sparrows, Dunnocks and Blackbirds, plus Wrens, Blue, Coal, Great and Long-tailed Tits. So despite my suggestion it’s been quiet, there are still numerous species around.
I’ll end on a few more pictures from Sunday afternoon.