Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Was I seeing things?

Just after 4pm this evening I looked out to see some very speedy action between the bird feeders! I had only just walked over to the window to look out on to the garden briefly. A couple of minutes later and I may well have missed these visitors completely. I am so glad I didn’t!

Blackbirds are often seen at the feeders just before dark and often the Robin and Blue tits too. I had originally thought it was a couple of Blue tits I was seeing buzzing around the garden. But, wait a minute, there was more than two. So perhaps it wasn’t blue tits. The light was going.

The light wasn’t on in the room I was standing in either. I moved ever so slowly nearer the desk for my very basic, cheap and cheerful, binoculars originally bought for my daughter’s High School Biology project on birds. They have done the job nicely for ID’s many times!

Looking closer at the outline shape of these birds I wondered if I was seeing things. Could it be? This bird was seen in my garden for the first time back in March only to be chased away by the Blue tits that planned to use the Nestboxes. I believe it could have been a pair visiting back then. I started counting.

It was almost dark but I managed a confident count to seven. Perhaps there were more? I can’t wait to see them properly tomorrow – assuming they will roost nearby and return for breakfast. I had just taken a delivery of feeders for Christmas presents. One I ordered for myself but hadn’t planned to use it until next Spring. Mm… I wonder if I could serve up something in it to tempt our unexpected guests to stay a while. I’ll keep you guessing on what I put in it!

We have a covering of snow still on the ground. Just a covering though and that is why I had walked across to the window. One last glimpse of the garden tonight before it is completely covered with the heavy snowfall expected overnight. The light was going and the temperature was falling. Perhaps it is this cold weather that is caused these birds to go looking in gardens for food. I am thrilled they found mine – you can tell!

So what did I think I saw? Sorry, no photos or videos this time. I couldn’t do anything with video at the moment anyway (PC probs, we won’t talk about them). A quick search for an image was required. Oh... what a lovely little bird this is! Excellent, Wikipedia was offering an image I could use. Ah... but wait a minute. We could have fun with this!

What do you think might have visited my garden tonight? This was a huge surprise to me especially at this time of year when all my expected visitors are present and correct. But hey… it’s wonderful to have surprise guests. Okay, I know this ID could be tricky for my Blog visitors outside the UK so I will give some clues. I spotted these birds at a fat cake feeder and a peanut feeder. There wasn’t enough light to see if they were interested in the berries on offer or (what was left of) the apples on my obelisks.

Tomorrow I hope I can confirm the latest sighting in my garden. I would love to share some photos too if I can get them. Oh yes… and it would be brilliant if my 'Breakfast Special' in the new (straight out the box especially for them) feeder!! Mm… yes I think I’ll have my breakfast at the window tomorrow. I have noticed that the early birds are also the last birds to visit the feeders.

So who visited the feeders in a garden like mine?

12 comments:

easygardener said...

Coal tits? I await your next post!

shirl said...

Hi there easygardener :-)

Nope sorry, yes we do have three regular coal tits visiting but these were not my surprise guests!

I can't wait until tomorrow so I can see them for sure ;-)

JooMoo said...

aaaargh
you can't leave us in suspense overnight.

Tricia said...

Long-tailed tits love fat products and peanuts. They're also small(ish) and mine are often the first in the garden in the morning and last out in the evening.

So that would be my guess - oh roll on tomorrow so we can learn what's got you so excited Shirl :)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You are such a tease. I'll be back to see what is in your garden.

Thanks For 2 Day said...

i love suspense and mystery...but this is just cruel!!! i can't wait to check back tomorrow to find out:)

shirl said...

Hi again JooMoo, Tricia, Lisa and Jan :-)

JooMoo - Sorry! I wanted to be sure what I saw. Oh dear… no sightings at breakfast! Maybe I’ll have to wait until supper time now. I can tell you that Tricia’s guess is exactly what I thought I saw!

Tricia - Full marks for the Long-tailed tit!! That is what I thought I saw by their shape and colouring in the almost dark of colour. The shape of this bird is the oddest of things for being so quick and agile in flight! Who would have thought a fluffy ball with a long tail could fly like that ;-). No sightings this morning though :-(

Lisa - LOL, funnily enough when I began this posting I didn’t plan to leave everyone guessing. I had links etc for the Wikipedia image all ready to copy over then at the last minute... it’s good to have a mystery though isn’t it? I know being in the USA you were less likely to get this but as a birder you just might have! The bird I thought I saw was the Long-tailed tit and what an odd (in a nice way) bird this is to see. I hope they come back – no sightings this morning :-(

Jan - Excellent! Oh... I should say sorry? I hope I can share some images later but I have to see these birds return first – no show at breakfast! Last night I thought I saw a small flock of Long-tailed tits. They are delightful (and odd) to see. This group looked like a party of Fairies flying around - should you ever see that in your garden ;-)

Sylvia (England) said...

Shirl, I agree these are my favourite birds to watch. We occasionally get a small group into our garden, they will feed on the fat or nuts. I have noticed they to turn up the same time each day for a few days. I hope you see some tonight.

Best wishes Sylvia (England)

JooMoo said...

I took a fab pic of my long tailed tit on the weekend. They are soooo fluffy, aren't they?
I don't get them all the time, but they tend to come as a family of about 4 or 5.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_L55w1wxMUAo/STbikIx4WjI/AAAAAAAADkk/A01YErmrvSI/s1600-h/logtailedtit.JPG

Cheryl said...

Such a tease.....will I sleep tonight........

Joe said...

Hi Shirl,

Long-tailed Tits are my guess...

Joe

shirl said...

Hi again Sylvia, JooMoo, Cheryl and Joe :-)

Sylvia - Thanks, I didn’t realise until this visit that they liked peanuts. It was a fatcake that they came to in March. Yes, I would have expected to look at the same time again – which I did but sadly no show. I am guessing now that they may not appear again. I will keep watching for them though :-D

JooMoo - Oh yes… what a good capture – and so close to my visit in time too! Yes, they are so fluffy looking. Mm… I wonder if they don’t settle anywhere except at nesting time.

Cheryl - LOL, oh I think you will, but funnily enough it was the first thing I thought of this morning when I woke ;-)

Joe - Full marks! I hope your exams have gone as well too :-D