27 Dec 2011

Not quite a Partridge in a pear tree!

Well, Christmas has been and gone for another year & I'm up early suffering from the effects of three days gluttony with a calorific intake to keep the average Inuit going for a month in Arctic conditions. Christmas is very much a family affair in our house and we've had plenty to do to keep the guests adequately fed and watered - including our feathered friends in the garden with this Wood Pigeon keeping a wary eye on proceedings in the kitchen from the safety of a garden conifer.

The garden has been full of birds and a short ringing session Christmas Eve resulted in 60 birds being caught of which only three were retraps and one of which - another Long-tailed Tit - was a control. It will be interesting to see where this one came from. Unbelievably the commonest bird was Goldfinch with 15 ringed and 1 retrap from a month ago. It's been good to see a few Greenfinches around as they've suffered badly over the past year and seem to be dying all over the place.

As well as doing some ringing I've also just sat and watched from the conservatory. Out of 7 Goldfinches on the feeders yesterday morning only 1 was ringed so that's at least 40 birds in total that have been visiting the garden this autumn. Another good bird seen was the first Blackcap in the garden of the winter although I've seen them nearby. The Moorhens have also been occasional visitors form the nearby pond.

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