The Depths of Winter

Pretty much bang on Mid winter here and although the hedgehogs are firmly asleep there is still activity to be found.

One of my favourite things about watching nature in the garden is seeing regularly visitors which I’ve always understood to be rare. Or I should say which are rare where I come from in the South of England. This includes Red Squirrels and Beech Martens but also a very small and rather striking bird called a Crested Tit.

I’d never seen one of these birds in my life until a few years ago. In the UK they pretty much only exist in pine forests in the North of Scotland, and people, of a particular persuasion, take nature tours with the expressed goal of seeing one.

And yet they are regular visitors to my garden, as seen in a rather fleeting video below.

We had our first day of snow this week and it was interesting that the Crested Tits suddenly became very prominent on the feeders throughout the day. Typically I see them a few times during the week but they were present throughout the day when it snowed. I don’t know if this feeding behaviour for is triggered by the snow but it seemed very coincidental.

The Great Tits have also been very active and vocal. They’re already marking and defending their territories and there has been plenty of activity around the nest box. They are keeping a close eye on the box and typically each day a Great Tit comes by and pops it’s head in to check it out.

Then joy or joys this week a one had a much closer look around.

I saw the bird as it left and it was definitely a female. For Great Tits only the female is responsible for nest building so I take it as a very good sign that this one spent some time in the box. Could be on course for another successful nesting season.

My final innovation of the week has been to extend my ‘guerilla’ nature activities, don’t tell the marie (the council). As I’ve not had any sign of a Red Squirrel using the feeder in the back garden I thought to install one where I actually regularly see them in front of my house.

Obviously these are not technically my trees in any way but as of yet no complaints have been received.

2 thoughts on “The Depths of Winter

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