The sparrows have cottoned to this as well and as I type some are in the holly bush outside my window as is often the case. The suet has been used not only by the starlings in some number but also by a robin, blue tits, a great tit and coal tit. They could all be plural in number of course as it is not possible to tell of it is the same bird returning. I know there were at least three blue tits together though. I think all the smaller birds relish the opportunity to have some food in a more quiet location and the pigeons have certainly not tried to get onto the dangling suet logs. When a log becomes low I put another one alongside it and yesterday afternoon one starling was sitting on the nearly empty log while another was attempting to get on the new one, and as they were swinging in the breeze, you can imagine that some squabbling was going on.
The jackdaws have been coming in number again at various times during the day but the number of feral pigeons still seems to be lower than usual at the moment, but there are still a fair number of them. The crows are still flying about and I do wonder whether that is one of the reasons the feral pigeons have reduced in number recently, as perhaps they don’t find my roof quite so safe. Another white pigeon has appeared this week in addition to the ‘boss’ but the other regular has still not returned.
I have seen a number of blackbirds in the garden again and I think they have been helping themselves to some of the holly berries, as much as some of the other smaller birds, but the blackbirds are around quite late in the afternoon in the garden, as well as being around early in the day. I think they must be the first arrivals. Three of them were sitting in another holly bush, with no berries, almost towards dusk the other evening. It was also nice to hear the robin singing in the tree quite late the other afternoon, when I went out in the garden to replenish the feeders for the next day and to refresh the water in the bird bath. A wood pigeon has been eating holly berries and some of the unripe berries on the ivy.
Having mentioned a few blogs back that I hadn’t had any magpies in the garden recently, two were strutting about on the lawn the other day after I had cut it, which I’m hoping will be the last time the mower will be out this year. They were pecking around looking for things in the lawn and one of them seemed a little bit shy, but ventured over to take some food from the ground by the bird table. A robin appeared after I had finished mowing one lawn and obviously found something to eat.
In the coming weeks as the weather gets colder heading into winter, it will be interesting to see if any of my other occasional visitors return, such as the woodpecker, the long tailed tits and perhaps even the chaffinches, who used to be plentiful in number but now seem to be conspicuous by their absence. I’m pleased to say that I did see a goldfinch the other day which is the first time since the early part of the summer.
Written by Margaret Emerson - Armchair Naturalist