The start of the week saw clear skies, sunshine and freezing temperatures. While the temperature has increased a little bit today, it was gloomy, damp and probably rfelt even colder despite the slight rise.
As you would expect on a day like this in the middle of January the garden was busy at first light. Our female Blackcap is still monopolising the apples that I have skewered onto the tree branches, and this morning she was tucking in to some welcome sugar energy.
And she was taking some quite sizeable chunks out of the apple.
A little later on I noticed a large bird drifting towards me from my office window, once again it was a Red Kite, not sure what the attraction is around here, but they are now becoming very regular. It came towards me very quickly and I just managed to get the camera out before it disappeared over the house. Yet another poor Red Kite photograph, but at least it is a little better than last Sunday.
Thinking it was going over the house I raced downstairs to see if it would come over the garden, but it was nowhere to be seen. I half expected it to be perched on the apex of the roof, but unfortunately it wasn't to be found anywhere.
There was though a lovely view of a male Bullfinch in a bush a couple of gardens down.
For once out in the open, it was stripping the newly emerging buds on the branches, and then rubbing its bill to clean it. I managed to get a little closer, and also to get a better exposure in what was a very grey and dull day.
Then as if from nowhere the Kite reappeared over what was probably the gardens off Lymington Bottom. This time a little more distant, but of the last three I have taken probably the clearest to show some of the "red" in a Red Kite.
I waited to see if it would come back, but it continued on towards the new development and down along what was probably Brislands.
I turned my attention back to the garden where a small flock of Long-tailed Tits had arrived. Over the last few weeks I have been out in the garden when they have arrived without the camera, and have got very close to them. Today I had the camera, and would you believe it they were a little nervous of me. I stood very still calling to them in re assurance and finally managed to get this one on a branch in the tree.
Another became a little braver and posed for me at the top of the tree.
They made there was around the garden, visiting mainly the fat balls and feeders, and then as quickly as they came they were gone, one leaving first calling out as it left, and then the rest all follow, their long tails flapping as they head away to another food source.
I went back into the warmth of the house. I kept an eye out during the rest of the day for anything else of interest, but it all went quiet as a few showers passed through. Saturday and Sunday is the Garden Bird Watch. I will be taking part on Sunday, and it will be interesting to see what turns up, and in what numbers.