I have been getting ready for the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch for several weeks now. I always like to feed the birds in the garden in the winter, mainly to help them, you understand, but it is wonderful to be able to watch them so closely. As the Birdwatch date approaches I find myself watching that bit closer and finding tastier morsels to put out in the hope of being able to record something unusual.
This last week I have been fortunate to see a female siskin and two bramblings along with the usual visitors. What excitement! However I think it must have been the low temperatures we were experiencing then, because come Birdwatch time and higher temperatures there was no sign of them. Do they know we are trying to count them do you think? Well that’s just how it is!
Here is just a selection of the birds I see in my garden:-
Coal Tits on a Cherry Tree
My aim is eventually to have a go at painting all my local birds. There’s a long way to go but the research will be enjoyable!
The nuthatch really stands out in the crowd! Not only because of its beautiful colouring, but also because it is the only british bird that creeps down a tree. The tree creeper and the woodpeckers all search for the insects they feed on under the bark by going up the tree, but the nuthatch will go up or down.
I am not fortunate enough to have seen a nuthatch where I live in Norfolk, although this does not mean they are not there. I do not have the patience to wait for birds to appear, although it is very exciting to see something new. I can remember a few years ago, whilst walking in Derbyshire, we stopped en route for a coffee. There were several bird feeders hanging near the door to the pub, which were very much in use. On one which contained peanuts was a nuthatch, completely oblivious to the comings and goings of the pub just a few feet away. Where birds accept and feel safe around humans it is so much easier to watch and appreciate them!
With its beautiful colours and markings it just cries out to be painted! This time I have gone for a smaller piece – just 6″ x 6″ (15 x 15 cm).