This little chap looks like he’s about to start doing requests!
This one was published in the Spectator a UK magazine.
Heading back to a past life when I was a cartoonist providing a chuckle in both national newspapers and magazines. This one was in the Sun a UK newspaper.
These really are a pretty bird and winter is the time to see them when they come into gardens to use the bird feeders. Normally they are hidden away in the reeds and very difficult to spot.
“A twitcher is someone who will go to great lengths to view new bird species. For some twitchers their pursuit can turn into an obsession and can involve extensive travel, dedicated monitoring of birding hotspots and networking with other twitchers.”
I had to travel down South for work this weekend and I had read that almost on my route, there was one of the influx of Hawfinches, so I thought why not go and try and see it as they are a pretty rare bird normally. Last year we had a massive influx of Waxwings into the UK and this year a similar number of Hawfinch have arrived, and as with the waxwing I’d never seen one. Unfortunately the weather was dreadful so the images don’t do this stunning bird justice.
The hawfinch is the UK’s largest and rarest finch with a small resident population which are usually difficult to spot. This resident population have been joined this winter by thousands from the continent where crops of their usual food is in short supply.
It was easy to spot where the bird was as it has attracted a small crowd and so I guess I became a twitcher. They are quite a chunky bird compared to the usual finches we see in the UK but it is their remarkable conical beak which makes them stand out. This beak can exert immense force which allows them to crack seeds other birds can’t use. They are able to crack a cherry stone, which if you’ve ever bitten one will know they are a tough nut to crack!
Compared to the pictures I got of the waxwings last year these are a bit disappointing but as we Twitchers say, “It’s a tick”.
Nuthatchs nest in holes in trees and they will line the entrance with mud to narrow it so that predators such as woodpeckers can’t get in.
This Jay got caught in a short sharp downpour and was looking very bedraggled.
This juvenile grey wagtail almost perched on my boot.
This little grebe was intent on fishing and each dive brought it closer to where I was sitting.