10:00 Back Garden:
Well it’s time to do my garden Birdwatch, as part of the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch. It’s an overcast day and a bit cold, but otherwise a nice day. I sit myself down by the back door and start my hour of observance. First up is the little Wren, one of my favourite songbirds. I watched as it did its familiar tour of the garden’s various nooks and crannies, presumably hunting for things to eat.
A Robin has just turned up, having a look at the garden from the fence. A male Blackbird swoops onto the lawn, just stands still as if checking out the garden for Cats. The Robin flies into the hedge, this seems to activate the Blackbird into feeding mode. He goes around the lawn flicking over the dead leaves, tilting his head to one side to see what he uncovers, and then pouncing on anything edible.
A flash of blue draws my eyes towards the sunflower feeder, it’s a Blue Tit. It takes a seed and quickly flies off to the hedge, comes back for another seed and then flies back to the hedge. Two Great Tits now visit the feeders, one goes straight to the sunflower seeds, takes one and flies to the nearby shrub, using its perch as an anvil to peck open the seed husk. The other Great Tit investigates the mixed seed feeder; I can’t see what it is doing because it is the wrong side of the feeder. I assume it is eating seed. They both stay doing the same thing till the Blue Tit turns up again, the Blue Tit looked a bit miffed at the sight of the other Tits, it flies at the Great Tit feeding on the sunflower seed. The Great Tit doesn't stand its ground and flies off, the other Great Tit very quickly follows. The Blue Tit takes a sunflower seed and flies into the hedge, I suppose doing the same anvil trick as the Great Tit but being shy about it.
It’s about half way through the hour now, nothing happening much now apart from the Blue Tit flitting back and forth. A movement in the Ivy catches my eyes, can’t quite see what it is but it is making its way towards the millet feeder. The mystery finally reveals itself as a female Blackcap, she flies onto the millet feeder but only uses it as a stepping stone to the peanut feeder. She stays quite awhile pecking out large chunks of peanut, till finally making her way back to the hedge via the Ivy.
The arrival of one of two Grey Squirrels that regularly visit the garden flushes out the Blackbird from behind my pond and he settles on the lawn. The Squirrel bounds across the lawn to the lawn feeder, it picks out whole peanuts and stuffs them in its mouth then goes around the garden burying them, each time puddling the ground with its hands like a baker needing dough.
A small flock of four Long-tailed Tits descend on to the half coconut shell filled with fat. They swoop and flutter about, taking turns at having a feed, like overgrown fairies. They soon depart, I wish they’d stay longer but they never do stay for long. The Squirrel is now digging in one of the daffodil tubs, it looks funny because all I can see is its back legs and its tail bobbing up and down. The Woodpigeon crashes on to the food tray in the corner of the garden, startling the Squirrel and itself. It feeds for a while before frightening itself and flying off.
Getting near the end of my hour, a flock of four Goldfinches descend onto the nyjer seed feeders, always nice to see them in the Garden, their gold wing bands showing up very brightly and illuminating even the dullest of days, a very nice end to my hour.