Oblivious

Drizzle
falls steadily.
Birds line up along the fence
waiting for the feeders
to be filled. Oblivious.
Bedraggled.

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Returning

A few days away
and cherry blossom gone,
but look — cherries form.

Returning
I refill
the bird feeders.
Rare visitor flies in.
Jackdaw.

Woodpecker

great spotted woodpecker

Great Spotted Woodpecker

I love to see birds in my garden and especially at the feeders, which I can clearly see through my kitchen window, and since I do most of my computing at the kitchen table I do take frequent glances outside.

Over the past years there has always been lots of pigeons monopolizing the feeders and keeping all but the bravest of small birds at bay. But over recent months I have noticed something of a change. There seems to be far fewer pigeons about. Instead of the usual 8 or 10 at a time we seem to be down to only one or two, maybe three, at less frequent intervals. Pigeons are a bit of a nuisance and, yes, I have often said that we have far too many; but I don’t dislike the birds and would not like them to disappear altogether. I can’t help wondering if the steady increase in birds of prey in the area is to blame. I often see buzzards circling around and have also seen peregrine falcons on occasions, which are known to catch pigeons and other birds in flight. I have also come across complete bundles of feathers on the ground which could not possibly have been left by a cat for example. We no longer have a cat, but even when we did there was no way she would tackle a pigeon!

Nuthatch

Nuthatch

On the plus side, the reduction in the pigeon population has allowed far more of our small garden birds to visit the feeders. As well as the usual blue-tits, coal-tits, great-tits, long-tailed-tits, robins, sparrows and various finches that have ventured in when the pigeons are around, we have been visited this year, since the pigeon’s decline, by several nuthatches – the first time that I have ever noticed them in our garden. They are a joy to watch. Blackbirds are also regulars but there seems to be an increase in thrushes as well, and particularly I have noticed redwing thrushes feasting on the Pyracantha berries against the fence this year, having been noticeably absent for a couple of years.

Starlings had been gradually increasing too, a nuisance in some areas and considered pests where I grew up, I hardly ever saw them here until a few years ago and gradually we saw a few more, but never more than half a dozen or so. Now they have now disappeared again and I wonder why.

However there is one bird I have never seen in my garden before, though I know other people outside my immediate area who do have them regularly, and that is a Great Spotted Woodpecker. What a wonderful surprise to see one, a female, fly in to our feeders. Just the one, just the once – so far; at least when I have been looking. Perhaps with this spell of cold weather we have been having she will become a more frequent visitor, then perhaps I may get my own photo instead of sharing the one above which, along with the picture of the Nuthatch, I found on the Internet!

Knocked Aside

I refill the bird feeders
casually knocked aside
as careless Storm Doris
bulldozed her way through.

Bedraggled

Bedraggled pigeons, ragged
yet unconcerned in the rain,
squabble over the bird feeders.

Starling and Pigeon

Starling and pigeon
fighting by the bird feeders.
Pigeon wins the bout.

Spotlight

A cold morning.
Bright sunshine turns a spotlight
on the coal-tits at the bird feeders.

First

When I fill
the bird feeders anew
robin and blackbird
are first in the queue.

Beanie Hats

Bird feeders with snow beanies

Beanie hats of snow
sit atop the bird feeders;
illusion of warmth.

Feed the Birds

Something keeps knocking
the bird feeders down
and spilling the seed
all over the ground.
It might be a squirrel
so just in case
I’ve re-hung the fat-balls
in a different place!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

One of the feeders was actually broken, so I bought a new and better quality one today, filled it with seed, went to hang it up but dropped it – and guess what; it’s broken!

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