22 March 2013

Visitors to our garden

It always surprises me how some birds in the garden become quite tame, flying down for food as soon as we appear outside, or even peering hopefully through the window, while others, such as the greenfinches, chaffinches and bramblings, never seem to become tame.

Recently a robin has joined the company of the friendly birds. This one isn't as tame as the robin we had a few years ago, but it has fed from my hand and even perched on Fred's shoes.

The footprints in a fresh fall of snow this morning gave us some idea of the visitors we didn't see, so we could be fairly sure that these three were the only ducks to come for their breakfast this morning.

The ducks used to return at the very end of March, but since the two very cold winters they have been arriving much earlier. We suspect that they were spending the winter where they had access to open water and, when that froze over, they returned to us, and have kept up the habit of returning early since then. As they tend to visit at dawn and dusk, I have to get up very early to break the ice for them, especially until the clocks change to summertime.

This squirrel's fur coat was doing a good job of keeping the snow out.

Our blackbird is still calling several times a day, demanding currants. He is now less aggressive towards the female blackbird so perhaps they will soon be nesting.

Today he was joined by a very determined starling.

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