Last weekend saw me taking part in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, and this weekend Jersey is holding its own version too. I knew I was lucky and had lots of feathered friends in the garden, but only when I took the chance to sit still for an hour and watch that I appreciated how many, varied and busy they were!
Our most popular species is Goldfinch and we have had up to 13 on the feeders at any one time. I love the splash of vibrant colour they bring to the garden, even on the greyest of winter days. They are really cool birds, the Fonz of the garden birds. Whilst the blue tits flit in, grab a seed then flit back to the safety of the trees to eat it, the goldfinch just sits there coolly eating his seed. He might look up if there’s a sound, but otherwise he’s pretty chilled.
Since the day we moved into this house seven years ago we have always had a pair of collared doves residing at this address with us. They used to perch on the arbour for hours, but since that fell down they only come to feed, then disappear once more.
A new visitor to the garden in the last few weeks is the song thrush. They don’t use the feeders but like the bigger seeds thrown on the bird table, or collecting the sunflower seeds that the blue tits have discarded, from the ground under the feeders.
The flighty blue tit is another mainstay of the feeders. Nervy and messy eaters they are fun to watch flitting from fence to feeder to trees and back again. They expel lots of energy just getting their food!
A brand-new-never-seen-before visitor to the garden is the black cap. Yes, I know it’s cap is brown in the picture, but that’s the female. As with most garden birds the males are bright and vibrant whilst the females colours are duller, with lots more brown. This is to give them more camouflage when they are sitting in the nest incubating eggs.
Other visitors include occasional visits by a greenfinch, blackbirds on rare occasions, one visit from a jay in the last year, and I can hear a woodpecker somewhere in the nearby trees. Sadly this year I can’t see any sparrows, a usual visitor in previous years.