Sorry for the lack of photos last month. Moving house took up all of my spare time. The good news is that my new house has a much better garden with fewer neighbourhood cats making a nuisance of themselves, so I have been able to set up a decent array of feeders for the birds and due to being very close to Attenborough Nature Reserve I have already attracted a good variety of species. All of this month's photos were taken in my garden.
The stars so far have been the Bullfinches which started turning up on Christmas day and I currently have up to 5 visiting the feeders.
Another unusual garden bird that is common in my garden is the Reed Bunting. It is not unusual to have over a dozen of these in the garden.
In winter plumage, males strongly resemble females and in fresh plumage they are very similar. As the winter progresses and the buff tips to the head feathers begin to wear away and the characteristic black of the head, throat and upper breast begins to show through.
One of the Blue Tits frequenting the seed and peanut feeders has a very badly deformed bill with a disproportionately long upper mandible.
Its ability to feed doesn't seem to be greatly affected, however, as its continued survival through the prolonged cold spell attests. In some situations it even looked like the deformity granted it an advantage over normal Blue Tits in that it was able to winkle out suet pellets that I had jammed into the crevices of a log as bait for Woodpeckers. These would have been beyond the reach of a normal Blue Tit with its stubby, little bill.
A normal Blue tit is shown below for comparison.
As you would expect the majority of the birds visiting the feeders are of the most common species...
Woodpigeon numbers in the garden are beginning to be a problem since none of the small birds will come down to feed when these large, aggressive pigeons are around.
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