Look Who Dropped in for Dinner
Friday 3rd December 2010
The following has been sent to us by a resident in Lerryn who took these photographs between Wednesday and Friday.
With the overnight temperature falling to minus 9 degrees Celsius in Lerryn on Monday night and minus 8.5 on Thursday night, it is hardly surprising to find numerous birds coming to garden feeders during the present cold spell. Niger seed is very popular with goldfinches and siskins as can be seen in the photo to the right.
Suet blocks are very high in energy and are a favourite of many birds. Below, a robin and a bluetit compete for this food source.
Old favourites, such as peanuts, still attract many birds. Here, house sparrows and a blue tit come to the feeder. It is interesting to note that the house sparrow population has fallen drastically over the last few years, but they seem to have made something of a recovery this year. Peanuts are also sought out by greater spotted woodpeckers as can be seen below
Long tailed tits enjoy peanuts and suet and often arrive in parties of ten of more birds. These tiny birds need to feed frequently throughout the day in order to keep their body temperatures up in the very cold weather.
Redwings are a winter thrush that arrive in the United Kingdom from North East Europe. They feed on the autumn crop of berries that have been plentiful this year. They enjoy apples that have been cut up and thrown on the ground. This bird was a solitary arrival. Often, redwings can be seen in large flocks.
This buzzard was not very interested in the contents of the feeders and did not provide much of a threat to the small birds feeding from them. The real threat comes from the sparrow hawk which frequently takes birds from gardens in Lerryn.
Spare a thought for our garden birds this winter and help them out by providing them with food and water. You will be rewarded by an entertaining and colourful display.