Saturday, 7 February 2009

Frozen Fingers

Another one of those mornings where every available bit of water was frozen solid - stiff as Thumper would have said. So; one of the first outside tasks was to provide some fresh water for my bird visitors as I had seen some Starlings vainly trying to drink from the frozen water in an old bucket. About half an inch of ice had developed overnight so I got the hammer and chipped it out of the bird bath and tipped out the cold water otherwise it would have frozen over again in no time and topped up with slightly warm water. Next I cleared the ice from the old bucket many birds prefer to drink from.
Ice from the Bird Bath

Next job was to top up the peanut feeder as it had proved very popular yesterday. I first process the peanuts by chopping them in a cheap electric food chopper I bought for under £10. It would be fairly useless for general kitchen use as it only chips away at things like peanuts but it does give some smaller pieces that the little birds can pull out easily. Also I mix in some fat pellets with the peanuts in the chopper to give a fat boost to the food on offer.

Lastly I had to brush off a deep layer of sunflower husks from the bird table. The tits usually take the sunflower seeds away to eat but the Greenfinches always shell them on the table. By the time I had finished my fingers felt absolutely frozen.

Amongst the visitors to the bird bath were:

a Coal Tit
Coal Tit at the Birdbath

and this female Blackbird
Blackbird at the Birdbath

By mid-day the bucket was freezing over again but these two Starlings managed to get a drink.
Starlings at an Icy Bucket

On the lawn a Greenfinch was picking up some of the scattered seed.....

while a Sparrow sat on a dwarf tree keeping a sharp eye out for predators.
Whats That up There

Meanwhile a Dunnock was making off with a Sunflower heart from the bird table...
Dunnock With Sunflower Heart

and one of the local Robins sat in the dappled shade.
Robin in Dappled Shade

There are two regular Robin visitors to my garden. One has a pure red breast and the other has a small white patch at the top of the red. I hope they are a breeding pair. All in all it was another pleasant morning watching the local bird life while the Sun was shining brightly. It definitely made up for those frozen fingers!

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Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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