Given all the harsh weather that we and our wild creatures have been “enjoying” this season, I had been wondering why I hadn’t seen any Redwings decimating the red berries in our garden. Actually, to be fair, the red berries are on a bush in our neighbour’s garden but many of the berry-laden branches hang over into our patch. The inconvenient weather has introduced me to the spectacular Waxwing for the first time but where were the Redwings?
At last, today, they turned up. Carol spotted them this morning so I grabbed a stool and my camera and settled down hoping for some favourable poses. The Redwings (Turdus iliacus) seemed quite prepared to cooperate. Our resident Blackbirds, however, had other ideas; they were chasing the Redwings around and of the bush relentlessly. The poor Redwings were given very little time to alight, grab a berry and toss it back down their throat before a protective Blackbird shooed them away. Speed was essential, not necessarily easy when wielding TheBeast but eventually, having missed several, I snagged a few reasonable shots.
In a lull, when the Redwings had scarpered for some respite from their constantly being harassed, I spotted the distinctive stick-and-ball shape of a Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) on our fat feeder way down at the bottom of our garden – much too far away to be worth pressing the shutter. Shortly, though, one came up and posed very pertly on the peanuts quite close to my vantage point, a bedroom window. Long-tailed Tits really are the most charismatic of little birds. I hope we see more of them.
If there is any advantage to this harsh winter weather, it is the fact that it tends to increase the species we see close to our homes.