Well, nearly. Maybe the juvenile woodpecker I promised wasn’t there. Haven’t seen anything like him lately. Still trouble keeping the cats away from the back of the house. But Mr woodpecker deigned to come close this week. Notice the red patch on the back of his head as featured in books by people what know these things 🙂 :
So I was pondering on how nice it is to regularly watch the willow tits, nuthatches and the woodpeckers, not to mention the tits, chaffinches and robins. I am halfway through fishing out my teabag, when along come the masses. Crowds of Long tail tits. Yay! Of course they can’t all get on the fat ball at once, but they do try.
They are so cute! So, what with Claire being the millionth person to use a bus ticket from the airport, a jolly good day all round!!
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.
So today’s winner of a free walk in the woods is …. My only follower 🙂 The answers are:
A. A wren near Dunkeld in Scotland B. A swallow in the Cinques Terres in Italy C. A chaffinch in Geneva D. A greater spotted woodpecker in Geneva E. A green woodpecker in Geneva F. A goldfinch in Geneva G. A curlew near Carnoustie in Scotland H. A shag near Arbroath in Scotland I. A hooded crow in Lucca, Italy J. A tree creeper in Geneva K. A buzzard over Geneva Lake L. A redstart in Geneva M. A white tailed eagle on Lewis, in the outer hebrides N. A grey wagtail in Anstruther, Fife O. A baby stonechat on Ben Vrakie, near Pitlochry P. A firecrest at Scotney Castle in Kent.
Forget the ducks and swans on the lake. Wander downstream and follow the sweep of the river through rocky gorges and by open fields, through bits of woodland and past people’s back fences.
Leaving the pier at the point of Jonction, spot the Black headed gull with just the beauty spot on her white cheek. Further along in the gorge under the Pont Butin you’ll see Heron, tree perching rather than sit mid stream where the current is perhaps too strong, Or gliding to a refuge just that bit further from your lens. Crows are masters of all they survey from perches high atop the trees. Emerging into fields and a Buzzard rests on a fence post before sweeping off towards the nearby copse. Farther out from the town a Kestrel waits patiently on a telephone line. And in between the birds the countryside is glorious too.