Posted: Sunday 4th March 2018 by Twheatear

Song thrush in the snow

An opportunity to help widlife and get excellent rewards...

The current wintry weather is tough for birds, but that creates a great opportunity for birdwatchers. At this time of year, many of our resident birds should be getting themselves into breeding condition and establishing territories; winter migrants should be building up their far reserves for their journeys back to the far north. But with most of their normal foods buried under the snow, just finding enough food to stay warm and alive may be a struggle.

We can help, and be rewarded with excellent views of normally shy species, by providing food for them. We’ve been supplementing our normal seed feeders (very popular with tits and nuthatches) by scattering suet pellets on the top of walls and tables near the house. As well as our normal garden birds, in the past few days we’ve had several song thrushes (normally only occasional visitors), redwings and a fieldfare. A siskin and a bullfinch turned up this morning; other gardens in Gwent have reported bramblings, the spectacular arctic cousin of our chaffinch. A particular surprise was a male blackcap: normally a summer visitor, though in recent years a few have started to spend the winter in the UK, rather than the Mediterranean. This one may be thinking that wasn't a great idea.

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