Feathers

 

We did the Big Garden Birdwatch yesterday.

Some were quick off the mark, keen to get involved.

 
 

Woodpecker 027 Wm[1]

 
 

Or perhaps more with an eye on other things?

Topping up the feeders might have had something to do with it.

 
 

Woodpecker 028 Wm[1]

 
 

Great Spotted Woodpecker

 

 Blue Tit 003 Wm[2]

 

Blue tit

The tits, as ever, were happy to join the party.

 
 

Great Tit 003 Wm[1]

 
 

Great Tit

 
 

Coal Tit 002 Wm[1]

 
 

Coal Tit

 
 

Marsh Tit 002 Wm[1]

 
 

Marsh Tit

I’ve finally learned to spot the difference between these and the Willow Tits, which look virtually identical. The easiest way to tell them apart is by the call. Marsh Tits have a distinctive ‘pitchoo’, which sounds a bit like a sneeze. A cute, bird sized sneeze! Both of these species are on the RSPB red list, so we’re lucky to have them. Not only that, they scored equal first with blue and great tits as our most populous visitors this year.

 
 

Nuthatch 004 Wm[1]

 

Nuthatch

I adore Nuthatches. Seen here in the classic upside down pose with head held back.

 

Ptolemy the pheasant secured his place in the count courtesy of a honorary fly past, with the customary excess of squawking. Too quick to capture with the camera though. A wren hopped briefly across the terrace and a dunnock nipped in to take advantage of the odd scraps of nut being dropped from the feeder. We also heard a Tawny Owl. Can they be included if not actually seen?

Clouds covered the sun before the end of the hour. The robin appeared but by then picture quality was getting quite bad. I couldn’t leave him out though could I. Here’s a ‘library’ shot:

 
 

Robin 012 Wm[2]

 
 

Robin

 

.

 

It all finished up in exactly the same way as last year.

 
 

Squirrel 011 Wm[1]

 
 

Grey Squirrel

“It wasn’t me mate.. hand on heart.”

 

The birds had, apparently, had far too much fun already.

It was time for the furry ones to play on their fairground ride.

 
 

Twirlasquirrel 013 Wm[1]

 
 
 

Twirlasquirrel 014 Wm[1]

 
 

Oh for heavens’ sake.