Storm Darcy Arrives in East Finchley

Dear Readers, well I’m not having to shovel my way out of the front door, but we do have snow this morning, and so it’s on with the walking boots and woolly hat, and out into the garden to make sure there’s food and water for the birds. A blackbird was pecking over the bird table before it was even light, so the critters are definitely hungry. Sure enough, the robin was down pecking at the mealworms before I’d even left the garden. And then the starlings arrived.

 

And the chaffinches.

I’ve noticed before how more tolerant birds are of one another in the winter, but even I was surprised when this little gathering on the bird table didn’t end up with ‘pistols at dawn’.

It doesn’t take much to spook them though.

And it turns out that one of the starlings has ‘cracked’ the nut butter feeder. I’ve seen coal tits feeding on the other one (which is hidden away next to the bittersweet) so at least somebody likes them.

But the height of the excitement was spotting a female blackcap working over the bittersweet. At least I’m thinking that it’s a female – juveniles look similar. Some folk have found that these birds are aggressive at the bird table, but this one couldn’t be more reclusive. I love that she’s eating the berries – at one point she hung upside down on a twig to get one. I hung a roosting pouch in the hedge so I wonder if she’s using it?

And it’s still snowing, though just wispy little flakes. The temperature isn’t expected to get above 30 degrees Fahrenheit for the rest of the week, so I’m glad that I stocked up on birdfood. And who knows, maybe we’ll get lucky and see a fox like we did last time.

9 thoughts on “Storm Darcy Arrives in East Finchley

  1. SilverTiger

    I enjoyed your pictures of the birds (and fox!).

    With regard to tolerance, I have noticed this before. Throw a single crust to the pigeons, and there will be a right royal scuffle for it but if there is a lot of food, particularly if it is spread out, there is much less competitive behaviour.

    Reply
    1. Bug Woman Post author

      I guess they aren’t unlike humans in that regard, Robert – the resources don’t actually have to be scarce, but just perceived as such for the trouble to start….

      Reply
  2. Alittlebitoutoffocus

    For the past 4 or 5 weeks, we’ve been keeping a flock of 12 or more Siskins fed. Most feed on the ground, picking up what the other birds drop, but one or two head for the feeder themselves. Initially those were quite aggressive to any others that came to the feeder, but yesterday I noticed 3 happily feeding together from each side of the (6 sided) feeder. They have obviously realised that the food gets topped up so there’s nothing to get too worked up about.
    I even wondered, when the very the first one came to the feeder, whether it was deliberately dropping food onto the floor for its less brave colleagues.
    There’s also a cacophony of twittering noise coming from the trees nearby whenever we go out to sit on the balcony. All of a sudden, it will go absolutely silent (with nothing apparently happening to cause that) and then about 30 seconds later the noise starts up again. If only I could speak Siskin, I’d love to know what they are saying…

    Reply
    1. Bug Woman Post author

      I think you’re right, when the resources aren’t scarce, animals are more tolerant. Plus they’re not all full of territorial anxiety at the moment (except the robins obviously, who are full of territorial anxiety all the time). I wish I knew what the birds were saying too!

      Reply

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