With winter still in the air the mixed flock of finches is still keeping us and our visitors and photographers well entertained. The cacophany of finch song greeted me this morning and good numbers of siskins and redpolls were still around and feeding on and under the feeders. The weather looks pretty cold and wintry for a few days yet, so we may keep our finch flock for a while longer !
On my walk to the bus this morning I realised just how many birds were singing .Song thrush, dunnocks, great tits, blackbirds,robins and the loud and constant 'chip chipping' of house sparrows were all heard within a few minutes of home. I think yesterday's sunny weather has really made spring feel closer at last!
Here on the reserve, the Gatehouse is still buzzing with the nasal, weezy sound of siskins and redpolls. It's been over three weeks since this large flock arrived and it's great to have these birds here . It's certainly kept the reserve busy with photographers, who are getting very close views of the birds from the gazebo on the lawn. Everyday we scatter extra seed which is bringing the birds down to the floor and every so often, a brambling appears amongst the flock, which is a further highlight.
This is a mealy (foreground) and a lesser redpoll, which is a good comparison shot!
We get lots of fantastic bird images taken on the reserve, but It's always nice to get a picture of something we don't see so often. This picture of a cute bank vole, craftily taking advantage of the extra food we have been suppling the finch flock at the Gatehouse feeders ,was photographed by Michael Lawrence. We watched two of the little voles scurrying from under cover to grab a seed and scuttle back to safety under the foliage!
The finch flock is still here and taking advantage of the food on offer, and brambling numbers have increased, with seven seen this week.
I've just been out on the Gatehouse lawn and the trees are still full of the weezy calls of siskins and other finches. This large finch flock has been here for well over two weeks now, and we have been putting supplementary food down to keep them all fed and happy! We estimate that over 120 siskins, 30 lesser redpolls with a few scarcer mealy redpolls,and up to 7 brambling have been coming to the feeding areas and giving our visitors a great experience of watching them at close quarters.
Come along soon to see them as they will soon be leaving us to head off to their breeding grounds , further north in the UK and Scotland and into Northern and Western Europe.