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Redwings January 27, 2012

Filed under: Nature and wildlife — lauravw @ 9:56 am

Our garden has been alive with activity this morning. First there were the redwings – Scandinavian birds who don’t visit us for long, but show up when there is cold weather (which there is). In our neighbours’ garden there is a large shrub, covered in red berries. It hangs over into our garden, which means we get a great view of the birds when they land in it.

The redwings hung around long enough today that I had time to run and fetch my camera, and I took pictures of them from the bedroom window for a while (wishing I had cleaned the windows more recently so that my pictures would have been a bit sharper). This photo is from a few days ago, when one landed on our lawn.

After the redwings flew off, I heard a bit of noise outside and so went to the same window to have a look. Quite a few birds were squawking, and flying across our garden from east to west. It soon became clear why: a male sparrowhawk flew right across the garden. He flew low, close to the fences and passing right by a couple of our birdfeeders. I saw him fly into a tree a few gardens down, where he perched for a minute or two before flying away. Whenever a sparrowhawk has passed through the garden, it’s always quiet for a few minutes – I think the smaller birds go quiet and try to remain hidden in case there is a return visit.

Little by little the birds started to return, and again I heard noise. This time it was a local cat, chasing squirrels. Luckily there were three squirrels, and they seemed rather better organised than the cat, taunting him from a tree they had climbed.

Of course there is a reason for all this activity: this weekend is the annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, an event we have taken part in every year since we first had a garden of our own. We’ve found in previous years that as soon as we sit down to do the birdwatch, all the birds that regularly visit our garden disappear. So I rather suspect that the birds are being busy today so that they can hide for the rest of the weekend and avoid being counted.


One Response to “Redwings”

  1. Sarah Says:

    I like how a bird shows up to remind you that it is cold out. I hope you spot some this weekend! I love reading your musings.

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