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Feathered friends

Monday, 21st December 2020

The past week in Kent has not been as cold and bird activity does vary from week to week according to the conditions, but that’s not to say that I haven’t had a good number of birds coming into the garden.
Starting big and going small, the feral pigeons have been sharing their food between my bird table and the neighbour across the road. The number coming to each location I think is the same overall and I’ve seen some of the regulars; ‘‘white wing’ as I call him who tends to come in the afternoon or quite late in the day for a quick feed before dusk and the other mainly white pigeon who I’ve seen more recently, who I think was the third in the original group. The jackdaws have been coming in twos or fours generally in the early morning and afternoon and also the collared doves. The latter take the opportunity when either the pigeons haven’t arrived in the morning or have left for the day, to come along and feed at the bird table. I’ve not seen any seagulls in the garden or around and about this past week but I have seen a few crows flying about and also a magpie, early in the morning in the main, hopping about on my lawn.

The starlings are still coming in their flock to a greater or lesser extent depending on the weather and also take the opportunity when the larger birds are not around to have a good feed on the peanut feeder, the suet balls and suet square. If they are really hungry and feeding before leaving for the day, they are happily mixing with the other birds. They also of course have the suet log which they share with some of the smaller birds. I have seen at least three blackbirds, a male and female and a second male, hopping about early and late in the garden.

Moving onto the smaller birds and it’s very nice to see blue tits, great tits and coal tits in singles or couples on the suet log and the feeder. They sometimes take the opportunity to pop across onto the suet balls or the peanut feeder as well. The sparrows are still amusing me by hopping about between various bushes and this morning, three of them were sitting on the low fence in my front garden having just come across from the holly bush. I have a small string of Christmas lights in the holly bush by the front door, but I’ve made sure that it is relatively low down as the sparrows go up in the top of the bush, having come from the roof.
 
Robin

This is my last blog before Christmas and so my next one will be early in the new year, but of course I have to mention the robins. I often see a robin sitting in a tree or bush and flitting between feeders and suet balls, on the bird table and so forth and I tried to grab a picture, but unfortunately it was too far away to really show up and the image was too dark. There are at least a couple of younger robins as well hopping about on the path, picking up seed and suet that has dropped. As I mentioned, I’m taking a break from my blogs but don’t worry I shall still be feeding the birds in my garden over the Festive period and watching the antics along with those of the squirrel and will update everybody in the New Year. The supply of food is well stocked, I have probably overdone it, but then if bad weather does come in January I will have plenty in reserve. The smaller birds will be enjoying I’m sure, some of the Beggars Banquet food from Haith’s as a Christmas treat. So for all the readers of the blog pages and all the staff at Haith’s, who have served everybody so well during this difficult year, I’d like to wish you all a Happy Christmas and best wishes for a considerably improved 2021.

Margaret Emerson
Armchair Naturalist

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