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Friday, 21 December 2012

Foul-weather Friends

The weather in these parts, as in virtually everywhere in the UK, has been pretty foul for some time now. Just when we think that we are in for a spell of dry sunshine it starts chucking it down with rain again. The land is soaking wet, and the new rain just isn't sinking in. In general, bird-watching (for me anyway) has taken a bit of a 'back seat' over the past few weeks. 

However, there is one place I know where a spell of bad weather really brings the birds in - my back garden ('back yard', to those of you over the other side of the pond)!! Now that the wet weather is accompanied by cold conditions (often freezing), the birds are visiting us like never before! Bird-food consumption has tripled over the past few weeks, and the garden year list has been added to with birds that we don't usually see. Today we beat all previous year counts! Incidentally, for my garden list, the bird has to actually land in our garden - fly-overs don't count.

I didn't manage an image of the Redwing that visited us recently, but I did manage record shots of Blackcap (first for the year, and two of them!), Brambling (first since the winter of 2010/2011), and Lesser Redpoll. The latter two images were taken today, when it was really dull and damp (1/60 second at ISO 1250).

Blackcap (male) - our garden
Lesser Redpoll (male) - our garden
Brambling - our garden
I'm now hoping that these birds become regular visitors and decide to visit when the weather is fine too. Then I might get some better images.

The same also applies to Bullfinch. Whilst a little more commonplace than those birds mentioned above, they are only occasional visitors to our garden, usually only during foul weather, and I need to get some better images. These are my two most recent efforts, and I am far from happy with them.

Bullfinch (male) - our garden
Bullfinch (female) - our garden
I know I've got a problem brewing. When the weather improves (if it ever does!), I shall be torn between going out and trying to connect with the owls again, or sitting at home trying to get some images of our winter garden visitors!

14 comments:

  1. Excellent foursome for the garden Richard of which I can only match the one in our garden, a male Blackcap several weeks ago now was a delight. As for the other three....just waiting.

    HAPPY CHRISTMAS to you and yours, and all Good Wishes for 2013.

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    1. Thank you Pete. I consider myself very lucky to have these birds in our small suburban garden!

      Best wishes to you too for an excellent Christmas, and a happy and prosperous 2013.

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  2. I would really like to see Blackcap, Brambling or even a Redpoll in my garden, sadly not. Great shots of the male&female Bullfinch too. Weather does suck.

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    1. Thanks Doug. Had a very late start this morning, and have been busy since awakening, but already I've been lucky enough to see a male and female Redpoll. And it's chucking it down outside! Sadly, due to my strict rules of recording, this still only counts as one seen as they weren't both there at the same time!

      Have a great Christmas!

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  3. Well the weather might be nasty to you but it does bring in lovely birds!
    I am VERY JEALOUS of your Bullfinches, they have never come to my garden so far!
    As for the Brambling, only a female! :( LOL!
    Cheers Richard, Merry Xmas and and a great new year with plenty good surprises and opportunities!

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    1. As they say - every cloud has a silver lining!

      OK, I'll try a bit harder and hope for a male Brambling!

      All the best for Christmas, Noushka, and may 2013 be filled with Bullfinches for you!!

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  4. Wow, that's are a huge amount of really good birds in your garden, all are beautiful.

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    1. Thanks Bob - I don't think we do too badly for a small suburban garden!

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  5. Superb species in your garden, Richard. I like your Brambling image very much. All the best for Christmas, mate.

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    1. Thank you Christian. Garden birds are always a privilege, and I feel particularly blessed so far this winter.

      Have a great Christmas - thank you for your support in 2012.

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  6. Beautiful pictures Richard! I think there are more birds in your garden than in my garden!

    Alle the best for Christmas, Richard.

    Greetings,
    Willy

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    1. Thank you Willy.

      Have a great Christmas!

      Richard

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  7. Hi Richard! I love your birds here. The Bullfinch is really an interesting bird. Hope you have a wonderful year ahead of you for birding and all kinds of fun. We just came back from a observing several thousand Snow Geese and Cranes at Bosque Del Apache, New Mexico. Incredible place! I have to go back because I only scratched the surface! Happy birding to you and keep posting your work. I've enjoyed reading it this year. Sometimes when I'm stuck indoors, it's what gets me through the long days of monotony:)

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    1. Thank you Chris. Several thousand Snow Geese and Cranes sounds mind-blowingly amazing!

      Your posts have kept me enthralled and inspired this year. Keep up the good work!

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