Sunday, 20 October 2019

The wait is over, a Nuthatch!

Not a garden sighting as yet, but a first sighting non-the-less. Delighted! I knew where there was a chance of seeing this bird, now that it is being seen moving north and into my area of Scotland. I’ve sat by the observation window at Loch of the Lowes with camera and coffee just waiting for a glimpse, many times.

The wait finally ended yesterday and in good style too, with three very brief visits of a nuthatch during my hour’s window watch. As I sat there quietly, in terms of visitors inside and outside at the feeders, I didn’t expect any surprises. Nor did I see the nuthatch arrive at a feeder right in front of me. Spookily, I had said in my head, ‘if I see a nuthatch, today, I will blog it’. So here we are, it's been a while :-)

First image (phone) to gardenwatch companion, daughter in car park!

Wow, what an agile bird, the nuthatch was. I knew it had a sleek look from images in books and online, but what a beauty. So very fleeting its visit was too, but it did spend some time inside a feeder with mixed seed (my images were dark) keeping alert as it did. Quite a strong character it looked, but I'm guessing quite a cautious bird too with it coming to feed when feeders quiet.

Photo uploads revealed it caught an insect at feeders too (top right).

Prior to the nuthatch, the most agile bird at the feeders was a determined mallard duck on a table roof, successfully picking up seed from the table below. I had never seen that before. Quite entertaining it was. Red squirrels, always entertain and were regulars too, as was the eye catching partial leucistic coal tit that I’ve been seeing this year.

Photo uploads revealed, like the coal tit, the nuthatch favoured
black sunflower seeds. Thinking a shopping trip required now :-)

Very hard to pick a favourite image of nuthatch, but I think this is the one.

Meanwhile back in the garden another special visitor was seen at the beginning of October. Not a regular butterfly this one, the Comma, it was only seen this one bright sunny day. I was delighted again! This butterfly has only been seen on two previous years and not for long in each occasion.

This capture has a true feel of colour in the garden at the moment.

The vibrant flowers that shine on at this time of year, to me, are valued more than the first fresh colours in spring. Purple (asters following on from the buddleja), yellow (rudbeckia and acer leaves) with reds of sedum and silver foliage dotted around, a few mentions from the garden right now. The Acers have been their vibrant best and are dropping their leaves now, but for me, this year, the comma butterfly has topped autumn colour :-)

Spring and summer, 2019 have past with much to blog about in terms of garden works and visitors, but little time to do so. There have been a few garden challenges along the way, one in particular which I had thought was sorted until a few days ago. Thinking cap on again then! However, 2019 revealed a new garden visitor, another I hoped to see but never expected to, more on that another time.

Back to Autumn 2019, this morning, with apples newly out on twigs to attract passing fieldfares, redwings and waxwings to the garden. 'It's that most wonderful time of year'! I wonder what wildlife will see out the 2019 gardenwatching garden, a nuthatch would be good here ;-) What's been your garden highlights from the summer, have you any wishes/plans for this autumn?

This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in October 2019.