Several inches of snow and plummeting temperatures (down to -14.8C on Wednesday night) have brought many more birds to the feeders at Kindrogan this week – there were even four robins together on one of the ground feeders, though they did have the occasional spat every now and again.
Fieldfares moved through ahead of the snow on Monday morning, but we have had a noticeable influx of blackbirds. We always have a resident population of course, but the fact that the newcomers are very tame suggests they are very hungry or are not used to people – or both. They are probably birds that have come over from the continent. Resident or migrant, they love the apples I put out for them.
To date I haven’t seen any brambling with the chaffinches under the feeders, but I’m sure they will be here soon. Coal tit numbers seem very high at the moment, and they have a sort of smash and grab’ style of feeding, rushing in, grabbing a nut, and then off to eat it hidden in a bush nearby. Our jackdaw gang still rules the roost, and they muscle in on any food or feeder. ‘Nuttery’ type feeders exclude them to give smaller birds a chance.
With all this activity going on it won’t be long before our sparrow hawks cash in on easy pickings, so we always put feeders and food close to cover to give birds a chance to escape.
No matter how cold and snowy, the red squirrels are active every day. The bigger and fatter grays can sit out bad weather, but our reds have to search out food in even the harshest conditions.