Saturday, January 19, 2013

January Visitors

A little coal tit waits its turn as two great tits and a blue tit dominate the peanut feeder.

"Hurry up, guys, it's surely my turn now!"

Actually, the sunflower hearts feeder seems to be the most popular among the coal tits. These seem to be thriving this year. I counted more than a dozen this morning. They can empty this feeder in around four hours!

So what else was in the garden this morning?

This nuthatch seemed to enjoy the sunflower hearts too.

The blue tit is surely the cutest of garden birds!

But if I have a favourite, it has to be the robin. I remember clearly when I set up my very first bird table in the garden of my Kilbarchan cottage, back in 1989. I hadn't seen many birds at all up to that time, but set up the table anyway and put out some food. I turned around to continue to work on the garden, looked back, and there was a robin already checking out its dinner.

I have at least a couple of robins at Skip this month, but they tend to be quite shy. This one was happy to pose for me this morning!
It's a dunnock, sheltering from the snow shower.

The goldfinch is Skip's most flamboyant visitor.

I am amazed how quickly the word goes round that food is available. No sooner than one goldfinch had found that the feeder had been refilled, others soon appeared.

 This had me stumped for a little as I looked at it through the long lens.

Here's a better pic. It's a female chaffinch.

Here's the male, with its colours rather more subdued that it usually has later in the year. I often see large flocks of chaffinches scouring the road under the beech trees (presumably for the beech mast). A fewer number visit the garden, mostly on the ground below the feeders, but the occasional one will check out the feeder tray.

Everyone else scatters when a greater spotted woodpecker pays a visit. This is the wariest of visitors, and the most difficult to photograph. Any slight movement on my part, even from behind the window, and it's off!

So that is a bird sample from 11.00 - 12.00 on January 19. I regularly see a wren, and a blackie, but not today.

Photos © Skip Cottage


  1. Fantastic photos Bob. I am envious about the variety of our feathered friends who visit you and I am pleased that yours eat as much food as mine! But - we have a very friendly robin who comes to sit on my hand when I fill it with food and hold it out. I also have a preloaded water rifle to scare away any cats who might want to attack the wee birds. Sandy

  2. Yes, some very good photos there Bob - much patience required I'll bet!
    There used to be quite a number of Kingfishers down on the Annan - they frequented the banks of the river just below Orchard - it was quite something to be watching the river as the dusk came on and to hear their shrill call and then see a flash of electric blue.