New year and some new garden visitors

New year and some new visitors

Since my last blog shortly before Christmas, the weather of course turned much colder and so bird activity at the feeders increased dramatically.

The really wet days we have had in Kent this past week though has meant that the bird numbers have been a little bit more limited, certainly as far as the starlings and sparrows are concerned, as I think they were probably sheltering somewhere.

One slightly comical scene the other afternoon, after some pretty persistent rain left a puddle in the middle of my lawn, was a collared dove who decided it didn’t need to use the bird bath but could have a nice drink from the puddle. It is nice to see four collared doves coming into the garden, as for most of last year, it was just a pair. The feral pigeons are still coming in their different groups at various times of the day and it’s noticeable now with just slightly lighter afternoons, that some are probably still around after 3pm and on a really bright day, such as yesterday, even an hour later.

There have been plenty of seagulls round and about since Christmas, as I imagine people have been putting tasty snacks out and my bird table has been no exception, as I had some offcuts of fat from a ham joint and also a few small bits of sausage meat and odds bits of chicken from my Christmas meal. They were soon devoured by the jackdaws, the starlings who thought Christmas had come again, and the seagulls. It always amuses me with the seagulls as they fly around for ages seeing if they can actually land on the lawn and it was the same in the neighbour’s garden. Then, eventually, one managed to come down followed by a few of its mates. This always reminds me of aviation in that a pilot can do a ‘go around’ if they are not able to land safely and they were certainly doing plenty of that, and also the concept of touch and go, where if a pilot is practising landing and take-off they will touchdown and immediately take off again.

I mentioned that there were some new visitors and a couple of days ago a wagtail was walking up and down my path. I do see them from time to time usually on the grass verge outside the front of the house, but I think that’s the first time I’ve actually seen one in the garden for some years. Another visitor, although I see one from time to time was a wren, but I think I have to be in the right place at the right time to see this shy and very small bird. I’ve mentioned sparrow hawks before in my blog and shortly before Christmas one was sitting in my cobnut tree and stayed there for a while preening. Needless to say, all the other birds scarpered but it sat there long enough for me to get a couple of photographs, so that is my offering to go with this blog.

Written by Margaret Emerson

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