"Some Snow at Last".Feeding Station. December 2010.

After missing out on the previous snow falls, I now got the chance for some wintry images.
Everywhere was either covered in snow or had a real hard Hoar frost on it. And there was not a shortage of birds coming to feed either.

I tried to keep everything plain and show the birds colouring. The delicate pink flush came out more so on the long tailed tits against a white backdrop, and the blues and yellows on the great and blue tits looked so vivid.

And for once the skulking tree sparrow could not blend in so well, showing off those lovely browns.

Even the song thrushes ventured off the ground to feast on the berries, mind you these were truly frozen and some were dropped, either to try and soften on the ground or because they were too damn solid!.

The stunning greens and yellow of this male greenfinch really stood proud against the snow.

And the typical 'Xmas shot' of the robin, mind you it was still behaving more shy and elusively than most robins, so posing images were few and far between.

And the marsh tit was still around and feeding actively, even whilst topping up the feeders it was normally the closest waiting, that's if it wasn't at the feeders with the long tailed tit gang next to me whilst filling. Even the reed buntings had finally decided to take advantage of the food laid out and were showing.

After a few hours and painfully cold feet with the car reading -9.5 outside I had bagged a few hundred shots to peruse through and so time to battle it home to the warmth.

Feeders. December 2010.

A few more images from the farm feeders, the cold snap was still drawing in the birds with a pair of Bullfinches foraging among the bushes behind, but always too obscured for a photo unfortunately. The Long tailed tits were still as one huge gang but there was no sign of the Marsh tit on the last couple of visits, hope its still around. The Tree sparrows all appeared as a group of 5 but only 2 at a time would feed on the seed, but becoming more showy. One of the landowners informed me of a Little owl one morning, so I will have to keep an eye out for that.

Feeding Station. Nov', Dec' 2010.

Over the last week or so I have just gone down to the farm to spend some time on the feeders. What with the cold snap hitting everywhere at least I didn't have to battle the elements trying to drive too far. There were very good numbers of birds there too. All eagerly tucking in and I'm now having to check them around 3 days apart as the seed is disappearing fast.

The Marsh Tit was still there which was great to see, and most species were hitting double numbers. Greenfinches were mostly younger birds but there were a couple of bright males putting on a show. I had just one Yellowhammer put in a brief appearance before departing, hopefully if the cold snap continues I may get some in along with Reed Buntings. These two buntings are normally hanging around but not so this year, as of yet!

The Long tailed tits are a joy to watch. A lone bird arriving calling signals the onslaught of 'the gang'. I have 16+ visiting at the moment, the air is full of their calls and then after a matter of minutes, if that, they move on and silence reigns once again.

There are double figures of Blue tits and Great tits which do not venture far whilst I am refilling or moving perches. Normally the Marsh tit still comes to feed whilst I'm present followed by a couple of brave Blue tits. The Marsh tit is still tricky to photograph, normally taking a direct route into the food and definitely not bothered by the more bolshy bigger birds.

But the best new species of the moment has to be the Tree Sparrow, ( well 5 to be correct ). I had seen one bird lingering around in the background but not venturing to the front or the feeders, but on this occasion I had at least two at one time feeding alongside everything else and normally one not too far away watching. What a great sight seeing these birds around the feeding station for the first time, hopefully they will stay knowing there is a food supply here for them. They blend in so well amongst the bushes and branches despite their richly coloured heads, giving themselves up only when they move in closer. So another fantastic addition alongside all the usual suspects, maybe another one will be along soon.