Friday, 23 May 2014

Small Bird News

At times, putting out food for the small birds to enjoy seems like a cheating way of getting to see them, but the pleasure it brings, particularly on wet days when we don't get out as much, makes us feel less guilty.  The pleasure is doubled when we have a new arrival: this male redpoll, in full mating colours, is the first we've seen....

....while the females have been more common visitors.  We've had a least two coming for the seed, and occasionally they've joined the scrum on the peanuts.

Siskins - this is a male - seem to come and go these days.  There was a time when we had a couple of pairs who were on the peanuts almost every day.  This man came for the peanuts but ended up enjoying some of the mixed seed as well.

The house sparrows haven't done too badly this winter, and we now have them coming to the bird feeders regularly.  However, this fine cock sparrow deserves a second look.  Notice anything?

The house sparrows are almost as drab as the dunnocks, particularly when they're beside one of the finer cock chaffinches.  The chaffinch males seem to vary tremendously in colour.  The one pictured the other day feeding his wife was pale compared to this man.  And he's cheeky too.  The picture was taken while we were enjoying tea on the front terrace, and he came within a metre of us to get at the best bird food.

Ever since the Raptor was kind enough to send a whitethroat along to us because we'd not seen one, this chap has been a regular singer on the power lines that run along the back of Ormsaigbeg.

We think this pair are twites.  There have been many more of this species around the croft fields than in previous years - or is it that we're now noticing them whereas before we possibly just dismissed them as 'sparrows'?

Now the Diary recognises the song of both a willow warbler and a grasshopper warbler, we're noticing many more warblers around the place.  This one looks like any other warbler, doesn't sing like a grasshopper or willow warbler, but flew up out of a reed bed.  Chances are he's a reed warbler?


  1. Firstly what a seriously handsome redpoll you have there your "wee brown jobs" (proper terminology for any wee brown bird, honest) are twites and lastly your other "wee brown job" is a sedge warbler, should be very chatty sounding.

  2. Many thanks, Paul, much appreciate your expertise. Yes, the sedge warbler is very chatty, describes it perfectly. I've since found another, along the Ormsaigbeg road, but he's too shy to be photographed. Jon

  3. They do mostly sing from the centre of thickets but do on occasions pop up for a bit of centre stage limelight.

  4. Beautiful birds, beautiful blog. Thanks for sharing.