Here are a couple of pictures I took of our resident robin last winter. He went on to find a mate and raise a family. I would like to think it was the same robin who is in my garden this year, but it is probably very unlikely. A couple of winters ago I joined the BTO garden bird watch scheme which entails keeping a weekly record of the birds that visit the garden and then submitting the counts on-line. I have always enjoyed bird watching in a rather casual way, and I am pretty good at spotting the common varieties so taking part in this programme was not much bother. I keep a list of the usual visitors in my kitchen and tick them off when I see them adding any unusual visitors as I go. I feel it is important to make sure our little feathered friends are protected as they give so much joy. It is probably hypocritical of me to keep a cat as I know domestic cats can wreak havoc especially at nesting time, but luckily Marvin is not much of a birder and vary rarely makes a catch even when there are fledglings about. Counting the birds has made me realise what a variety do visit and I have at least 15 different species a week. Special visitors have included flocks of redwing, a gold crest, greater spotted woodpecker and sparrow hawks. Gold finches have been daily visitors all year and I often count eight at a time, and a group of house sparrows are now regular callers since I feed daily through out the year. But my favourite are long tailed tits which arrive in flurry and are off again after a few minutes frantic feeding. More information about British Trust for Ornithology here.
(Feeling much better thank you all)