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Ups And Downs

1st of March 2010

Although the snow has gone now the bird table and feeders are still busy. A constant stream of blue tits, great tits, and coal tits come to feed on peanuts, sunflower seeds and fat. My pair of robins like the dried meal worms that I put out along with the crumbs, while dunnocks feed on the bits that the others knock to the ground. The robins like to think they are in charge but they soon make way for the nuthatches. I love the clean lines of these birds; blue-grey upper parts and a rich buff coloured breast, sharp black beak and a black eye stripe. A very smart bird in every way, they are the only British bird that can hop down trees as well as up!
We have seen several tree creepers in the last week working their way up the silver birch trees. They always start near the bottom and work their way up and around. Their strong tail feathers support them going up, but they cannot go down. They are more delicate looking than the nuthatches with a finer, slightly curved beak, white breast and a white eye stripe. As they only eat insects they never come to the feeders, so it’s always a treat to watch one working its way up and around a tree.
Where have all the greenfinches and siskins gone? We always have quite a few on the feeders but we have not seen one of either species this year. Are we just unlucky or are they in short supply? I would love to know if you have some in your garden, do mention it if you see me.
The golden plovers are back in their sunny spot in the back fields. I wonder where they went in the snow? Wendy Bathurst

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