Friday, February 20, 2009

Snow gone for now

As soon as the snow was on its way into the gutter birds began to sing. Song Thrush was singing at Runswick Bay on Monday and at home on Tuesday, today there were three singing in the morning. For a bird that I've not seen or heard around the garden for weeks their sudden emergence is interesting. Have these Song Thrushes come in or have they been skulking around all the time?

Also bursting into song around home were Mistle Thrush on Tuesday and Blackbird on Wednesday.

The Yellowhammers are no in evidence continually around the back garden feeders. They were absent until the beginning of last week from the New Year. Just before the New Year I only saw or heard the occasional bird for some weeks. This is the first time since 2005, when we arrived here, that this species has absented itself for any length of time. Did they know the snow was coming and move to lower ground?

Tree Sparrow has also reappeared although a little more sporadically, there was one on the feeder at the back this morning.

However, Marsh Tit has now disappeared. Having been so evident since the autumn there is now no sign of this species in the garden. Interestingly the Atlas site I covered yesterday, and have made the occasional visit to recently has also suffered an exodus of this species. Perhaps there is now sufficient natural food around and they don't need to lurk around the garden either here or at the Atlas site (where they were also found near feeders).

Lots of questions, not many answers.

I've had a few instances recently of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker reported in unlikely locations. I think these are misidentifications but .... It's always difficult to know what to do about these records, going to check them out is not usually fruitful with this species. I don't think this is a hard species to ID but maybe I'm just complacent. I haven't seen this species for quite a number of years now, I seem to have stopped bumping in to them. Yesterday's Atlas site looks perfect for them but after many visits at appropriate times of the year, no sight and more pertinately no sound.


Warren Baker said...

marsh tits down here ( just one or two!) spend the autumn on my patch after breeding dispersal. They then leave to breed again in mid march. I always hope a pair might breed on my patch.

Alastair said...

This looks like the pattern here too. They breed not far away from the garden I think. Perhaps this is just a product of the autumn/winter tit flocks breaking up. Coal Tit numbers have dropped fairly dramatically at about the same time.