Saturday, 29 April 2017

Small Bird News

Every now and again, and usually on its own, a greenfinch appears in our garden. They used to be fairly common, but an outbreak of trichomonosis, a parasite-bourne disease, almost wiped them out around here, and they have been terribly slow to recover. Thank goodness we no longer find desperately sick birds dying around the feeding areas.

There is no shortage of goldfinches. They stay with us all the way through the year, and seem to be one of the earliest to make their nests and produce their young - the first of which were coming to the feeders a few days ago.

This migrant, the pied wagtail, seems to spend the least time away of all the migrants, so is one of the first to return in spring. He was using a chimney pot as a lookout point but.... least he did it without the noise which came from this wren, who sat on our chimney pot on a bright, warm evening and scolded everyone and everything.

The willow warblers are having another very good year. Each little coppice of woodland, however modest, has a male willow warbler singing in it. Weighing just 10gm, and with a mean life span of only two years, some two million pairs of these plucky little birds migrate to and from Africa each year.

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