I have passed comment a few times over recent months about the lonely existence of my bird feeders this winter. There have been plenty of similar mumurings from other sources and the BBC picked up on it afresh today. Basically the birds are probably happily noshing down in the countryside since it's been so mild. A very cold week has just begun so it will be interesting to see whether that makes any difference.

28. January 2012 · 1 comment · Categories: Birds, News


I've been remiss and failed to notice that the annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch was happening this weekend, though it got plenty of mentions in the news today. The light is fading on Saturday but if you can find an hour on Sunday then settle down and watch the birds for an hour.

Full details at the RSPB's website, complete with downloadable recording sheet. The mild weather might mean there are fewer than usual in the garden, as the birds are happily surviving in the countryside without needing our feeders.

This picture was sent in by David, having identified it with help from my previous post on the Western conifer seed bug. In this case it was found on the South coast in Bognor Regis.

Got any interesting pictures of UK nature of any sort? Please do send them in.


Just a few days ago I was eating lettuce fresh from the garden thanks to the very mild winter so far. But now those lettuces are frozen. The cold weather has set in over the last few days and most of the garden doesn't even thaw out during the day.

This seems to have finally caused the birds to start coming to the feeders, which had been extremely quiet until now. Don't forget that you might need to help them out a bit by topping the feeders up more regularly and making sure the bird bath isn't frozen.


A new duck for me! Reviewing my photos from the RSPB Rye Meads reserve it took me a while to figure out what type of duck was captured in this long distance shot. I initially thought it was a Ruddy duck, but the head just isn't even nearly right and it doesn't have a cocked tail. I finally figured out that it's a female Scaup and hence fairly rare. Certainly it was new to me so I'm glad I went back and looked carefully.

Here's an artier shot of the same bird with the evocative tall reeds of Rye Meads behind it.