Tuesday, 1 January 2013


Welcome to 2013!!

We've had blue skies (all day) and the wind died down.   What a difference a sunny day makes, and what a contrast to yesterday's horrible weather :-)

It was really noticeable today that all the little garden birds needed to stock up on much needed food .... they hadn't been able to visit the feeders because of the appalling weather.  We Brits are famous for constantly talking about 'the weather' but that's the natural consequence of living on an island subjected to many different weather fronts etc .... Imagine being a tiny bird.   ... we complain about the wet/windy miserable Winter we're currently experiencing but its only a small part of our lifetime.  The average lifespan of these little birds is very short

Robin  1.1 years
Blue Tit 1.5 years
Blackbird 2.4 years
Starling 2.5 years

These are averages and of course there will always be exceptions but how much more miserable must it be to have 6 months of rain (as we have had in the UK this year) when that makes up nearly 50% of your life expectancy ....

and in no way am I belittling the really horrible floods around the UK which have seen many families having to evacuate their homes for weeks/months .... I truly hope they'll soon be able to return and start getting back to normality.   

I'm still awaiting photos to enable me to start on the next commissions so I've spent rather too much time watching our feathered friends enjoying the dry, warm weather.   Must confess I have a soft spot for the blue tits - they are so tiny and so energetic and pretty

None of these are brilliant pictures - taken through double glazed windows - but just look at that blue sky

They just seem to have to much attitude in those tiny bodies:

The Great Tits have been very busy today also

Just checking the menu ...

that'll do nicely ...

sorry to bore you with lots of birdies ... but I just love these little critturs!
I do have a mystery bird though.   I don't know as much about our native species as I should.    We have male blackcaps visiting the feeders

and female black caps (their 'caps' are brown rather than black).  

but on a couple of occasions I've seen a 'mystery bird in the hedgerow surrounding our garden.  It doesn't come to the feeders and doesn't get close enough for me to get a decent look at it.

I thought at first it was a blackcap but it doesn't look 'sleek' enough compared to those who visit the feeders.   Then I wondered about a Whitethroat or Lesser Whitethroat ... but having trawled through lots of pictures on the web I think the colouring is wrong

I'm back to thinking its a blackcap which has puffed itself out in the cold wind - much like the Robin does.    I'd be really pleased if anybody out there can confirm what this bird is ... thanks :-)

I guess it is a puffed up black cap but please can you put me out of my misery???  We started keeping a count of the birds we get in our garden and are up to 23 varieties   .... 24 if this proves to be other than a black cap.  

You've had a lucky escape as I can't post all the pictures of blackbirds, robins, chaffinches, jays, starlings etc that I photographed today.    David is hungry and I need to go cook dinner.

Hope your day has been more productive than mine (although I've enjoyed the chance to watch these little characters).


Erik van Elven said...

Hi Sue, you're blessed to have such a large amount of these beautiful creatures so close to your house.
I wish you a healthy and inspiring 2013!

Bev said...

He certainly looks like a blackcap Sue, perhaps he is ill, which is why he is puffed up (unusual for a blackcap - as you say they are sleek little chaps)and didn't visit the feeder?

Jenni said...

Some wonderful pics Sue, your new camera must be a super-duper one! Jenni x

Jo said...

Have you asked Mike about your mystery bird? He would probably know.

I had never really thought about birds' life spans before, I hadn't realised they were so very short. Loved the pix - through the window or not.

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

looks a lot like a blackcap to me could be wrong tho

Mike Woodcock said...

I would have said Blackcap Sue, he's maybe a slightly lighter variation and, as Bev suggested, he may be feeling a bit under the weather (literally!)

Sue Clinker said...

Hi everyone. Happy New Year and thanks for commenting.

I agree it must be a blackcap. Haven't seen it today but have seen lots of slimmer ones at the feeder. I hope it was just cold and not sick .... It looks healthy enough - just 'fat'

Hi Mike - I was going to email you (Jo's suggestion) so thanks for stopping by and helping out (again)!

Hi Jenni - wasn't sure if you were back? Will email separately. The camera is an upgrade to my previous one - still a Panasonic - Lumix FZ200. Its a bridge camera as I really can't be doing with carrying loads of lenses/equipment about with me ... but then I still get envious when I see some of the fantastic photos posted by fellow bloggers with professional cameras/skills - can't have it all ways though :-)

Polly Birchall said...

These are lovely photographs and your day has been very productive, letting us see them. Sharon Whitley Rambling Artist knows a boy who has a wonderful blog about birds, perhaps you have seen it - http://wildeaboutbirds.blogspot.co.uk perhaps he could tell you what bird it is.

Sue Clinker said...

Hi and thanks Polly.
Yes I followed Sharon's link the other day and checked his blog. Lovely to see such enthusiasm from a relatively young man!
I'm going to go with the 'black cap' identity.