Variety

There’s been plenty of spring-time variety at the bird-feeding today!

The long-tailed bushtits have become regulars…

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…along with the blackbirds and the great tits…

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…but the siskins (left…) were new customers today!

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The tree sparrows and the woodpeckers are returning customers as well…

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… as are the bluetits and the coal tits…

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… and… oh! Oops…

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Well, there’s plenty for everyone! 🙂

Long time no see…

I knew these were around, and I’ve had high hopes of seeing them at the feeding this winter but I’ve been disappointed in that regard – until now.

As I stood by the feeder today, raking up spilled seeds and droppings from the lawn, I was suddenly surrounded by merry chirps and a flock of long-tailed bushtits who’d come to see what I was turning up. They hopped around, feeding from the remains in the grass, and were pointedly uninterested in my presence apart from hinting that I was standing in their food. I apologized and went in to fetch the camera…

They did take off when I left, but only to settle down again within seconds, and as I returned they posed sweetly for a few shots 🙂

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Light therapy

The year has turned and the days are getting longer again. As if to emphasize this, last night provided plenty of snow and today offered sunshine from a cloudless sky, making a photo-walk in the fields an exquisitely light experience.

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The bird in the treetop is a parrot crossbill – a new acquaintance for me!

The bird story

It’s short, really, but all the more amazing for that.

I had those warbler chicks here. I took one photo every day (apart from the day after they hatched, apparently, or I’ve managed to discard those shots… but anyway), and on the twelvth day they were gone. From little more than embryo to flighted bird (well…) in less than twelve days… that’s amazing.

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I didn’t (knowingly) see the chicks again, but the parents kept up their vigilant warning routine as soon as I or the cat came out of the house for a while afterwards – a good indication that there are chicks still around.

I doubt the nest will see residents next year, but I’ll keep an eye on it 🙂