Thursday, 24 December 2009
Even though we are not too far from farmland, living in a suburban Close with little in the way of mature trees and decent habitat around the estate, you have modest expectations of what will turn up in your garden. Gamebirds were not high on the 'what will be the next new species' list. A couple of months ago though, I was not impressed when a pair of Red-legged Partridges ran down the street just past our Close as I drove off - I was only a few yards away from adding them to the list. Just in time for Christmas, today when I got home from work I was amazed to see a stupid fat garden tick Pheasant rise up from under my feeders and flap unceremoniously onto the neighbours garage roof. It soon came back to carry on feeding, so I grabbed a few shots. It was tempting to find something to catch it with for an alternative Christmas dinner ... Prime birding habitat. I have a collection of feeders on our front cherry tree - easier to fill and watch than the rear garden. This year, the Goldfinches are almost constantly present with much fewer Greenfinches than usual. I like Goldfinches, but they are messy buggers with the sunflower hearts - dropping as many as they eat which no doubt suited the Pheasant. I've also seen Chaffinches actually using the feeders this year - they are usually too crap and just flit half-arsedly near it for a couple of seconds before strutting around on the floor again. Merry Christmas to everyone - I'll be thinking of your peaceful day whilst contending with excited children, conflicting TV preferences and stuffing a bird .... After the excesses, we'll be heading down to Devon for a few days so hopefully some coastal birding to write about early next week.