Happy New Year

We had a surprise visit yesterday from our dauntless acupuncturist. The day was raw, cold and intermittently sleety, but she turned up out of the dark, having finished work, with a little basket of flowering plants and some tea, determined to wish the Professor a happy New Year. It’s the year of the Hare, or Rabbit, if you want to know. The walk up the track is pretty unappealing, as I have cause to know, and we were very touched. You never know what to expect from the weather from day to day at the moment. Today we were offered bright sunshine and it was generally clement, though now the sun’s gone in it’s turned cold. Emboldened, the very first of the purple crocus have appeared on the sunniest spot of the bank. My bird feeders are getting a great deal of custom. Yesterday when I went out with the cat, a whole flock of goldfinches was bouncing up and down in the cherry tree scolding because they’d eaten all their niger seed. Hulled sunflower seeds are also proving hugely popular. I must get better at bird recognition. Apart from the goldfinches, we have chaffinches and blue-tits, and then, er. Miscellaneous Little Greenish-Brownish-Yellow Things. It would be nice to know what they are.

6 Responses to “Happy New Year”

  1. Jill Says:

    Just a hunch without hearing its song or seeing said birdy in flight, but might you be looking at a Greenfinch ? It is quite a common bird in more temperate zones and in the winter time often mixes with sparrows and other finches.

    The antics of magpies and hooded crows liven up our Arctic scenario- Stranded as i am inside these days, they are fascinating to observe as they dance around and peck at food items tossed from the bedroom window.

  2. Jane Says:

    Some of them are probably greenfinches, but I don’t know what else is out there!

  3. Jill Says:

    Add this to your list. You might be seeing a Bunting.-perhaps a Yellowhammer. The immature and female buntings are rather nondescript brownish birds. They prefer feeding off seeds left behind in harvested fields but I suspect that the rough winter that you have experienced has driven some into a well stocked home feeding station.

  4. Jane Says:

    RSPB’s ‘birds you might mistake this for’ suggests also, siskins. Now, if I was only better at focusing binoculars as the little blighters leap from twig to twig I might be more certain about this.

  5. Jane Says:

    I’m pretty sure I got a definite greenfinch this morning … now I must work on the wonderful world of ‘Not a Greenfinch, but what are you (apart from hungry), you little sod?’

  6. Jill Says:

    That’s the spirit! My philosophy is to keep the pleasures of the domestic bird feeding station stripped to the essentials. You do this by eliminating the obvious blighters such as Divers, Pelicans and allies, Herons , all Waterfowl, Cranes and Shorebirds. That leaves you with basically Perching birds and songbirds of which Finches feature. Then of course you have those random birds driven off course and passing through but leads you into the world of the birding fanatic, dashing about the countryside with bird list in hand. Not you, me thinks!

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