I normally fill all the seed feeders just before it gets dark so there is plenty of food for the early risers. Also over the past week I have been scattering seed over the frozen snow in the back garden so the ground feeders also have plenty to go at. I scatter it about as that saves many arguments as the birds don't have to get too close to each other.
Since the start of Autumn I had rarely seen a Blackbird in the garden. Then a few started to arrive when the temperature dived below zero.. The numbers have continued to grow up to a peak yesterday morning when I counted twenty one feeding at first light. I have always found that Blackbirds seem to be one of the first birds in the village to be up and about each morning. Unfortunately that means the light levels are far too low to try for a photograph of the multitude.
As well as the Blackbirds there have been up to ten Wood Pigeons grabbing as much food as they can. That is another reason for scattering the seed. If it is all in one place then one of the pigeons will sit on it and keep all other birds away.
There was nearly one less Blackbird this morning. I was doing a bit of filming when a shape came hurtling out of the sky. A Sparrowhawk had dived in aiming at one of the birds feeding on the lawn. Fortunately for the Blackbird the raptor was noticed and within a second the garden was empty and the air filled with alarm calls.The Sparrowhawk flew up to a nearby branch empty clawed. It was amusing to watch as two Wood Pigeons sat on a nearby branch and just stared at the hawk as though to say - come on if you feel tough enough. Needless to say the camcorder wasn't pointing in the right direction to capture the action.
There have been far fewer Goldfinches since the harsh weather arrived. Often I will se a lone one at the feeder and just occasionally three or four. This one was captured in one of the short bursts of sunlight we have had recently.
It looks as though we are going to get a short respite from the cold weather for the next few days. I hope to get my drive cleared as I have my yearly scan, x-ray and blood tests on Monday.
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