Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Blackbirds, Greenfinches and Plants

I think this male Blackbird was spoilt for choice as he sat on a fence with a female on each side.

Spoilt for Choice

On closer examination of the photo I noticed his tail looked out of the ordinary. He seems to have lost most of those feathers and the one remaining one appeared to be very jagged.

Blackbird Tail

I would guess he has had a narrow escape recently.

It was great to see five Greenfinches visit the feeders the other day. At least some have survived the attack of finch disease.


I didn't have a tree to plant last Saturday but I did get round to planting a bush I had bought a week or so before. This is a Skimmia japonica. Its mass of berries on such a young plant attracted my attention as well as the evergreen leaves. It went in a section of the front garden where there are mainly deciduous plants.

Skimmia Japonica

This is not a very large growing variety so it won't try to take over the whole garden. After I had planted that I noticed the catkins on the corkscrew hazel. They are as advanced now as they were last February and some of the buds are more advanced than they were then.

Corkscrew Hazel

I think birds, plants and I are all becoming confused by the changing weather patterns. One day at zero and then eleven degrees a few days later.


  1. You are not on your own John, I'm confused.

  2. It's a very confused, or is that confusing, world these days Adrian.

  3. Good choice of plants John. I noticed that my Corylus contorta (aka. Harry Lauder's Walking Stick) is doing exactly the same...should produce catkins in 'late' winter! You may need a male AND female Skimmia to ensure continuity of berries.

  4. Thanks for the information Frank. Now I will have to find out how to sex a Skimmia ;) I couldn't remember how early the Corylus had produced catkins last year except for a photograph I took last February. Though most of its leaves have dropped there are a few relatively new ones.

  5. Not seen many Greenfinches around lately John. They are obviously all visiting your garden.

  6. Hello Roy. This is the first time I have seen more than a couple at a time for quite a while.


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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