The mild weather over the last month has seen a dearth of the usual suspects at the bird feeders. Last winter at this time the bad weather had brought in throngs of siskins, linnets and bramblings alongside other finches. This year so far the tally has been a pair of bramblings – no siskins, no linnets, no redpolls!
That said the lack of competition on the feeders has resulted in greater numbers of the more secretive winter visitors including four blackcaps and up to ten goldfinches at a time.
Will the siskins turn up? They may do if the weather turns or they strip the seed from the local plantations where they can be seen in huge flocks at the minute. Still it keeps the seed bill down when you don’t have to cater for 50+ birds every day!
It has been an interesting winter on the bird feeders with the usual range of tits and finches overthrown by a gang of siskins. From February until last week we had at least 40 of these feisty little birds take over the feeders. Neither bullfinch nor great tit was safe from these little brawlers as they dominated the sunflower heart feeders.
Then overnight they disappeared, back to the breeding woods in the hills. The goldfinches came out of hiding along with the bramblings and chaffinches. Normality returned.
Today a single pair of siskins arrived at the feeders. Now they may just be a late pair that were overwintering by the coast and taking a break en route or they may have decided that some of the local conifer plantations are suitable enough for nesting. In any case it’s a pleasure to see them again.