In cold weather food is short for many birds, and they can become easier to watch and photograph when they come down to food we provide. Apples and seed put out on the ground in the garden during the recent cold spell, attracted many Blackbirds, Fieldfares, Redwings, Starlings and even several Song Thrushes all feeding together. But with the return of the mild weather they soon dispersed.
Redwings visit Britain each winter from as far away as Russia, Scandinavia and Iceland. They feed on berries, fruits and worms and often visit gardens, especially if we plant bushes with berries and leave fallen apples. Mick Farmer spotted this one in his garden during the snow, and took this great shot through his window.
It has been good to see Hawfinches in the Wyre Forest area. Here are 2 photos caught on a remote camera drinking from a small stream.
For 2 weeks in July this Black Swan was present on the Severn in Bewdley town near the bridge. It fed with the other swans but was quite aggressive, pecking them and swimming after them, fluffing up and exposing its white flight feathers. Originally from Australia, these were brought into Britain as ornamental birds, and now breed in various locations. They are increasing in the wild where they compete with our native Mute Swans for food and breeding habitat.
It was great to record 4 Waxwings feeding on Rowan in Bliss Gate Road recently. These were spotted by Nicola Winnall who managed to get these shots. Between feeds they sat high up in the hedge. They’ve come into the country from Scandinavia to where they will return to breed.
This Grey Wagtail was watched unobserved having a good preen in Dowles Brook. Its distinctive undulating flight, and bobbing tail when on the ground, are common to all wagtails. But the grey back and yellow chest and under-tail feathers show that it is a Grey Wagtail. This species is commonly found along watercourses.
Mick Farmer has sent me his excellent photograph of a female Blackcap at his bird feeder in his Bewdley garden. Most of our summer breeding Blackcaps spend the winter in Spain, Portugal and West Africa, but increasingly we are seeing a few present in the UK during the winter months. From ringing records we can tell that many of these have flown in from northern and central Europe such as Scandinavia and Germany. The male has a black cap compared to the brown of the female as seen here.
Whilst on an early morning walk in Button Oak the shrill chatter of a family of Long-tailed Tits drew my attention to a gorse bush. It was soon apparent that there was a nest in the bush from which the youngsters were fledging one by one. I counted 6 flying into the surrounding trees, but managed to get a quick photograph of the last one as it left the nest.
Matthew Lissimore continues to get some great photographs of birds. He says, “The Dippers of Dowles Brook will be busy defending their territories over the winter in preparation for next year’s breeding season. Here is a classic image of a Dipper photographed on the brook. Notice it has a ring on it’s right leg.”
Matthew Lissimore has posted this excellent image. He says: “When walking through the conifer woodland in Wyre you may be lucky enough to come across the smallest bird in Britain. Goldcrests will often join flocks of other small birds during autumn and winter so keep your eyes peeled!’