What we’ve lost and what we’ve gained

It has been an interesting first couple of weeks at home in 2021. Some birds are notable by their absence, while others have appeared for the first time.

For the second year in a row, neither siskin nor redpoll have been spotted on the feeders. For the first few years we lived here, the siskins in particular arrived like clockwork in the first week of January, sometimes in chattering flocks of twenty or more.

Often they’d be accompanied by a few redpolls. Siskins are small finches, but redpolls are even smaller, and all the bigger birds can push them around.

We’ve not seen many goldfinches on the feeders, or bullfinches, but I know both are around. It could be that there is still plenty of natural food available.

On the positives, I’ve been seeing a male kestrel following the river and often resting in the trees. In eight years it’s the first time one has been here – I’ve seen red kite and peregrine falcon more frequently!

The other recent surprise was a pair of cormorants flying by, before going down to the river. Given there is the river, and the pond in the nature reserve, it shouldn’t be a surprise. Yet in eight years it’s the first sighting.

Have any of you seen anything new, or found any unusual absences?

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2 Responses to What we’ve lost and what we’ve gained

  1. Jane says:

    I’ve seen a pair of goosanders on the river this week. I saw some last year as well, but they’re very timid – well, compared to the mallards anyway!
    I’ve had goldfinches, bullfinches (rarely) and chaffinches on my feeders this week but no Siskin or redpoll yet.

I welcome thoughts, comments and questions, so please feel free to share anything at all. Thanks, David

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