The fresh green fern of my last post is well hidden again under a blanket of white. However, with this latest blanket of snow (lasting 3 days and with it cold temps) a very unexpected bird visitor arrived in my garden last Friday. I was very lucky to spot it but it does make me wonder who else has popped by when I haven't been garden watching.
a huge mound of snow after a second night of snow
and from clearance around cars and driveway. ~~~
With my whole garden well covered in snow again, on Saturday morning I was out early clearing snow in my back garden so the areas of bird food already on the ground could be found by the birds again. I then sat by my window with breakfast and a notebook with the intention of doing a bird count. Mm… that didn’t exactly happen.
Counting the birds in my garden on Saturday was a bit of a challenge… I really did try. Instead, I picked up my new video camera (Christmas gift) which I am still trying to get the hang of. I thought I’d try and capture a flavour of one area of my garden with its frantic feeder activity.
Sunday morning revealed yet another downfall of snow and all the clearance of the day before was nowhere to be seen. I’ll be honest… I‘m getting a tad fed up of snow now.
Once again, before breakfast, I went out to my back garden to clear areas for the birds to find food and to top up the hanging feeders that were so popular on Saturday. Sunday however, saw little gardenwatching.
Snow clearance of my front garden became a priority yesterday in order for cars to be moved this morning. We also cleared a small area of our street (as other neighbours had done too). Still having high, iced mounds of snow from previous clearances (since the end of November) getting rid of snow is a challenge. We are grateful that our neighbour is happy for us to throw snow on his lawn.
Talking of Challenges, back in December I mentioned fellow Blogger Andrew at Tales of a Wessex Reiver was running a (just for fun) Christmas Birding Competition. Poor Andrew has been quite unwell over the hols and didn’t manage to do any birding at all. Great to hear you’re feeling human again Andrew, here’s hoping you make a full recovery :-)
Andrew is still planning to collate any results he gets (deadline Midnight this Friday) and plans to post them on Saturday 15th. He’s asking for results to be left on this post with some basic details of the area of the count. For my own records I’ll also add mine here.
Christmas Day saw 12 species of bird from my garden. In order of appearance they were: Chaffinch, Blackbird (including partial albino), Woodpigeon, Great tit, Brambling, REDWING (that was the first sighting ever. It was perched on my neighbour’s cherry tree. No photos or video), Blue tit, House Sparrow, Herring gull (flying over), Starling, Buzzard (flying over) and Jackdaw (distant tree).
Bringing the total number of wild bird species seen from my garden (between 00.00 on 25th December and 24.00 on 1st January) to 18 came: Robin, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Coal tit, Siskin and a Sparrowhawk.
I was delighted to see so many species in my small garden and the Redwing had me sitting at my window for ages after as I wished for it to return (having my cameras at the ready this time). I keep looking, but as yet have not seen it again.
Finally, I have kept the best ‘till last, special as it was, the Redwing wasn’t the very unexpected bird visitor I mentioned at the beginning of this post. I went to the Birdforum for confirmation of my ID for this one.
I am thrilled to say I had my video camera running this time! Although, I am still a bit shaky with quick action (not familiar with the settings on this new camera) and the footage is a tad shaky and only lasts a few seconds… I have it on record that a Reed Bunting visited my garden!!
I’m guessing the Reed Bunting followed the large groups of Chaffinches visiting my garden at the moment. The Bramblings are still visiting with them too. I have to say, I’m absolutely staggered at the number of bird species that can visit a small garden.
This male Reed Bunting has brought the total number of bird species in my garden (which I have seen) to 29. In all honesty… pre blog I would never have thought that possible. It just goes to show (especially in winter) what can be seen if you put food out for birds.
Win, win... the birds get extra food sources to help them survive the cold and from the warmth indoors we have Bird TV to enjoy. Enjoy the Channels in your garden just now :-)
For those interested, I am now using the SONY HANDYCAM HDR-C115E video camera and editing my videos with Pinnacle Studio 12. I still have lots to explore with both :-)