Back Garden Birds

During the cold winter months of 2022, when most people were wrapped up in their beds, I was discovering the back garden birds.

With a little bit of patience and a few well-positioned and scattered seeds, a whole new world of wildlife jumps out at you.

Let's start with the most common of garden birds, the sparrow:

a small sparrow stood on top of a wooden post

Sparrows are generally quite brave little birds and will come close to you, the ones in the city are braver, but even the ones in the garden are happy to get quite near to you in search of food.

Blackbirds are such striking animals - dark black plumage and bright yellow beaks are always recognisable. I love the way they land on the grass and listen for movement in the ground beneath them. This is usually followed by a sharp prod of the earth with the beak and a fresh meal for the bird.

a blackbird with its black feathers and yellow beak sat on the green grass

The trees and branches are quite bare at this time of the year and the songbirds sit there, looking around, chirping out their tunes:

a songbird sat high in the trees looking and listening

Smaller and far more aggressive are the starlings, they do seem to bully the sparrows quite a bit, but I guess that is all part of the law of the urban jungle.

The mottled plumage and distinctly sharper-looking beak certainly make it look more menacing and if I was a sparrow, I would be avoiding this chap for sure.

a starling on a branch in the sky

Probably the largest bird I saw in the garden this winter, had to be the wood pigeon, they all seemed really plump and prepared for a harsh time in the cold weather.

On the odd sunny day, they were able to see what was left on the ground after it had been raided by the sparrows, blackbirds, starlings, and even a grey squirrel (yes they get everywhere).

a big fat wood pigeon on the green grass looking for food

We now move on to my favourite bird in the garden, one I have touched on before, but it certainly warrants another look.

The robin is always curious, always looking for food, and always brightens my day up.

a small robin perched on a branch in a tree

The least brave of all the birds I saw this winter were the tits - blue tits and coal tits - they were very cautious - always at least triple visiting a landing spot before actually settling there.

And then it would be only briefly, they do not like to be buried away in the hedges in plain sight, they seemed to prefer being totally hidden in the bush or like this little chap, high up where it could see everything.

a plump blue tit perched right at the top of a tree with blue sky behind

But like all creatures in winter, they need to feed and their cousins, the coal tits were just like that too.

A couple of hanging half-coconuts full of fat was enough to tempt them from their hiding spots and out into the sun. Not for very long mind, but just enough for us to enjoy them.

a coal tit reaches down to a half coconut full of fat in the sunshine

That just leaves something a bit special, something that I haven't seen in the garden before and something that I just managed to catch perfectly.

The Nuthatch was a really special treat - perching on the wooden fence in the sun peering at the ground, looking for its food.

a nuthatch peering towards the ground from its wooden perch

We are really lucky in the UK that we have such a variety of amazing birds and wildlife - it just takes a bit of time, a little bit of patience, and a fair bit of luck to capture them.

I'm already looking forward to winter 2023.


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