Friday, 10 February 2012

10th February - Redwing Feeding Frenzy

There was more snow overnight, although only about a couple of centimetres it once again brought the birds into the garden.  Of most interest was the flock of Redwings attacking the berries on the tree across the road from the house.  They would move across the garden to the tree, attack the berries and then fly back for a rest.  They gave some excellent photo opportunities as they fed.  From these pictures you can appreciate what a beautiful bird they really are.  They have the habit of resting with their bill pointing up at 45 degrees, this shows the lovely markings on the chest and throat, which maybe why they do it to hide in the trees.  Here is a selection of the pictures I took.

Practising for "Comic Relief"!

Blackbirds were quickly in on the act too, much to the dislike of the Redwings, who would chase them off dispite being the smaller bird.

In the garden the regulars were putting on a show, a Great Spotted Woodpecker could be heard drumming, but I never saw it, and more of a surprise was the Chaffinch in full song during the afternoon.  I managed a nice shot of a goldfinch, they seem to have ignored the niger seed and look to feed on the sunflower seeds.

The Blue Tit with the feathers missing on the side of it's head has become affectionally known as "Richard" after the character in Boardwalk Empire.  It was back again today feeding well and showing signs of the feathers returning

 As the sun set Helen and I went off for a walk.  We went into Old Down Wood as we had to pick up a "package", more of which later.  It was very quiet, and getting cold, so after retreiving the "package" we headed back down past the pond and school and turned up Gradwell Lane.  As we did so a brown bird about the size of a thrush flew out of the trees and up the lane.  The Blackbirds were clearly not happy and were calling loudly, as we came closer to have a look we managed to flush the bird from the ivy.  As it flew off it was clear it was a Little Owl.  It flew off over the field and across the road into a tree at the bottom of Alton Lane.  We were able to see it from the road but when we went for a closer look we flushed it once again.  Not able to locate it we set off back up GradwellLane.  But once again the Blackbirds calling drew our attention back, and their on the top of the electricity pole sat the Little Owl.  The Blackbirds wouldn't give up though and chased it off again across the field and then graddually up the Lane.  We lost it when it flew into the conifers.  This was a big surprise and unexpected here, I had hoped to find one by the farm.

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