Over the winter period, and much later into March, there were several periods of quite heavy snow at times. During these harsh times, lots more birds tend to visit the garden because of a lack of food due to covered ground and so gardens provide a free source of high energy food for them.
During one of the more recent times that snowed, I was lucky to have lots of birds visit my garden. From an earlier post, I said how there had been some Fieldfares and Redwings that had visited the garden. Once again, they too visited, coming to feed on some fresh chopped apples that we had thrown out. They have only come in times of snow, as these are desperate times, but since there have been so many times when it has snowed, they have visited on several occasions.
I was also lucky enough to be able to ring a Fieldfare myself, which we caught in the garden. This was the second one that we had ringed, but the first that I had ringed.
As mentioned in my previous blog post, there have also been large numbers of Siskins and Goldfinches visiting the feeders, and as expected, their numbers peaked during times of snow.
Several Feral Pigeons have also been attracted by the seed dropped from the feeders, and although they are birds that are generally not so welcome, they do a very good job of cleaning up any of the seed that has fallen on the ground. There was even one that was blind in one eye, shown in the second photo below. They have also been joined by the more regular, and larger Woodpigeons.
Several smaller birds have also been attracted by the promise of food, such as Dunnocks – a small brown and grey bird, and Goldcrests – a very small greenish-brown bird with a striking yellow stripe on its head. We have also ringed several Goldcrests in the garden, which when weighed, tend to only be about 5.0g! The males and females can be told apart due to the bright orange amongst the yellow stripe of the males, and the wholly yellow stripe of the females.
Blackbirds frequented the garden as usual, and although this was their own territory, whenever they went near any of the apple, they were quickly chased off by a Fieldfare, without even putting up a fight.
Grey Squirrels also obviously took advantage of the food, and so ventured out into the snow to eat some seed, and occasionally were very cheeky and stole a whole half-apple!