There are of course other things to be doing apart from training one’s little heart out for an Ironman race. When I am putting my feet up with a cup of tea and a biccie at the table, there’s no better pastime than seeing how quick the local bird population can get through feeders full of peanuts, seeds or fat-balls.
And in fairness, they are no slouches.
Here’s a quick recap of what has been around (and under) the feeders lately: Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Wren, Robin, Sparrow, Blackcap, Dunnock, Blackbird, Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Collared Dove, Wood Pigeon, and Magpie. Just earlier today, on the fat-ball feeder alone, there was a Blue, Coal and Great Tit all feeding at the same time. That wouldn’t happen with the Blackcap; aggressive little fellow, as is the Greenfinch.
In addition, we get Sparrowhawks, who swoop in over the wall and try and take one of the poor unfortunate songbirds on the feeders. And we occasionally get slightly more unusual visitors such as Goldcrests, Linnets, Redpolls, Treecreepers and warblers; probably Chiffchaffs, though I’m not great on warblers. And the heron stops by to check out the pond.
My favourites are the Long-tailed Tits that arrive in a gaggle, mob the feeders, have a quick chat about the weather, then push off to greener pastures.
In our old home on other end of town we had an influx of Jays over the course of a few winters, which was very exciting, though my excitement was tempered when I saw one take a live Blue Tit nestling from its nest box. Red in tooth and claw, I suppose.
And of these feeder-visitors, the most photogenic was the Grey Squirrel.
Tenacious buggers too, and will chew through wire to get that last nut. Probably make great triathletes…
In other more sporty news, we hit the pool yesterday after a lengthy hiatus, and Saoirse managed her first kilometre swim, and I clocked up a mile, in about 45 minutes. Great to be back in the pool again. Tomorrow is another gym session. Things are starting to come together.