Sunday, 3 January 2010

Wild New Year

I'm not talking NYE shenanigans...  instead, to welcome in 2010 (how futuristic does that sound?!), Nature provided both more snow AND a reminder of her beauty and diversity - and that was without leaving my back garden!

My first view of the world in 2010 was of this grey squirrel eating the chestnuts I'd left out for the birds.  Hard to get too annoyed at something so cute though:

Next day, a whole lot more snow fell - and a hiatus from wildlife photography as I spent the afternoon sledging :)

Today however, 3rd Jan, glorious blue sky, sunshine and snow on the ground.  Perfect combo!

I spent 45 minutes in the garden photographing the different birds that came to visit and feed.  First up (of course), Robin:

It managed to find something to nibble in the tree - not sure what:

Moments after the Robin flew off, a female sparrow landed in the same tree:

Next up, the shy Dunnock.  Often mistaken for a sparrow at first glance, I hope this shot will illustrate how distinct from each other the two species are:

Though I admit there are similarities! 

Plenty of tit action to be seen also, as usual...  Here's one of our resident Blue Tits eating fat balls:

And finally, a really pleasant surprise - a Coal Tit, which I don't see that often in the garden, as they are generally pretty shy.  This one made several trips to and from our new bird table, quickly grabbing a seed each time and flying off to eat it in safety:

So, that's five different bird species photographed, plus one grey squirrel.  In addition, the following birds were spotted but not captured: Great Tit, Blackbird, Wood Pigeon, Magpie, Carrion Crow, and a lone Starling. 

That, my friends, is 11 different bird species in 45 minutes in one little garden on this little island of ours.  Other visitors/residents to this particular garden include Wren, Goldcrest, Long-Tailed Tit, Collared Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Barn Owl.  And they're just the ones I've seen (or heard, in the case of the Barn Owl).

I think that's pretty amazing.  And, I reckon, pretty commonplace in most UK gardens.  So much wildlife literally on our doorsteps :)

Bring on 2010!

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