Winter brings rock hard ground and bare trees. The insects are all gone. So we help out a bit with bird seed, peanut nets and fat balls.
We are rewarded by a constant presence of tits of all kinds, though getting a picture of the volatile long-tails is proving elusive. We are not helped by the squirrel who will happily sit for hours munching his way through the seeds. This week he even detached a fat ball, bigger than his head, and struggled up to the top of the birch to eat it in peace.
Of course the mouse also exploits our generosity but doesn’t inhibit the birds. He certainly has to scuttle off for the woodpeckers.
We know the male has a red patch on the back of his head, and the juvenile has a red cap. We’ve only managed to catch the female at the table so far, though the others are hanging around in the woods.
Seemingly very happy and comfortable with the crowds we have a lovely Marsh/Willow tit pair. We don’t know which they are because although the songs are distinctive, they don’t talk with their mouths full.