Jack Frost had painted the landscape, transforming the appearance of all that was exposed to the touch of his ice laden brush. Overnight, water had turned to ice, trees and shrubs sparkled white, while frozen spiders webs shimmered now in the first rays of sunlight.
After the rich pickings of Autumn the birds now faced the hard cold days of winter. Those nuts and berries plus the many and varied species of invertebrates once easily accessed close to the surface of the ground, would now be in short supply.
The birds that absented themselves from the gardens in late summer when their young had fledged would now return. These would be joined by winter migrants escaping the much harsher weather of their own countries. As we observe those species in the garden that we regard as typically English and think of as year round residents, we may actually be looking at some of these winter visitors. Many Robins, Starlings and Thrushes are migrants in search of food.
Although I have not given much time to sitting and watching the birds lately, I have noticed that there is currently a great deal of bird activity in the garden. The regular Woodpigeons Collared Doves, Starlings and House Sparrows are constant visitors throughout the day and I am sure their numbers have increased. In addition I am also noticing Robins, Wren, Dunnock, Blue Tits, Great Tits and for the first time in thirty years of living here, Coal Tits.
Over the past two weeks we have caught glimpses of these delightful little Coal Tits almost every day. As with other members of the tit family they seem to dart out of nowhere onto the feeder, select their favourite seed then carry it quickly away into a nearby tree, returning soon after to repeat this routine.
I must try to find some time to sit and watch the activity of these wonderful visitors to my small piece of the world and hopefully capture some more photographs of My garden birds.