Tuesday, 21 December 2010

More Blackbirds by the Dozen

The colder the weather the more Blackbirds arrive in the garden at first light. This morning, at -6.5C, I counted at least 26 Blackbirds milling around the back garden gobbling up the seed I had scattered late yesterday.

Watching this male Blackbird searching in the snow yesterday reminded me of an old television advertisement for a make of toothpaste which used the sound bite - Ring of Confidence....

Blackbird in the Snow

Here a female Blackbird with its feathers fluffed out to keep warm.

Female Blackbird

Many of the birds show frost on their backs and wing feathers.

Wood Pigeon:
Frosty Wood Pigeon

Frosty Rook

Every so often a group of Goldfinches arrives. One day so many arrived I had to put up a second feeder just for them. They don't exactly welcome any other birds to share their food store.

Goldfinches and House Sparrow

A prolonged cold spell like the one we are having is very hard on wildlife. Yesterday it was mentioned on the television that small birds such as Robins don't have enough body mass to use to generate enough body heat over a long freezing night. Small birds like the Blue Tits can lose a third of their body weight in shivering (the way small birds keep warm) during a night of freezing temperatures. Last night's minimum here was just below -9C and even in the daytime it is only managing the dizzy height of -1.5C

There is a certain four legged hairy monster which insists on exploring from time to time. He goes out, has a quick enquiring bark to see if one of his girlfriends is about, ambles round his favourite spots and then charges back in and curls up in his chair - until the next time.

Bobby in the Snow


  1. Grand pictures John. I'm getting through half the seed that I was a month ago so many must have perished. It's sad.
    He needs a coat..........Barbour do dog jackets for a very reasonable £100.00p or so.

  2. The seed is still vanishing before my eyes here Adrian. As this weather persists we are going to lose many in the smaller bird species.
    Dog coats only a ton each - I'll have half a dozen lol. Bobby has a couple of coats and always has one on when going walkabout in this sort of weather.

  3. That four legged friend knows where he is better off John.

  4. True Roy. I don't stand in the way of the rush to get back to warmth and comfort lol.

  5. Yea, Bobby's got the right idea. lol

    You certainly get a lot of Blackbirds visiting John. Most I've had at the moment is 2, but a pair of Blackcaps over a couple of days has been good to see.

    It's very tough on the birds at the moment. I just wish the temperatures would rise soon.

  6. I don't know where all the Blackbirds come from Keith. Well they must be from local gardens. Most are males and spend more than half their time chasing each other around. I have yet to see a Blackcap.

    At last the temperature is above zero this morning though that may mean we are in for more snow. Can't win this Winter.


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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