My Billinge Garden

Its been fairly busy in my garden the last few days which wouldn't normally surprise me for this time of year (ie cold weather plus natural ffod running out) but does given the mild weather we've been having - why when the ground is unfrozen and they're are insects in the air are birds visiting the feeders on a regular basis? Habit? Reliability? Safety? Lack of disturbance?

Anyway a summary of interesting recent sightings below:
2 tree sparrow
5 house sparrow
up 30 starlings but only a few group visits per week
2 greenfinch (1 male, 1 female)
3 coal tit
5 blackbirds (which are quite territorail and spend most of their time chasing each other!)
2 robin (same as above!)
3 dunnock (again similar behaviour as blackbirds!)
3 blue tit
1 great tit
5 long tailed-tits
2 chaffinches
1 sparrowhawk (juv) but other birds in the local area hunting starlings in the fashion of a peregrine ie getting above and behind them before stooping

and perhaps most surprisingly 5 cormorants flew directly over yesterday, only ever seen 3 of them flying over before and I though that was odd were they off to Carr Mill or Eccy Mere? or headed directly for the coast???

And speaking of where birds have come from its intersting to see that a few of the birds above have metal rings on their right legs inc 1 each of blue tit, male chaffinch, long-tailed tit and 3 starlings.  One of the starlings has a left leg black ring with white letter-number combo which was ringed in a garden in Orrell as part of a BTO study by P Alker (of waxwing fame see http://two-in-a-bush.blogspot.com )

Seems to be revving up quite nicley for The RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch at the end of the month https://ww2.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/discoverandlearn/birdwatch

And out of intersting another long term study of garden birds that you can help with is http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/gbw

Happy garden bird watching
Paul B

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