Birds noted during the day in and around the garden:
3 Blue Tits, 2 Blackbirds (male and female), a Robin, 2 Dunnocks, 4 Feral Doves (matching the snow), 1 Woodpigeon, 10 Collared Doves, 2 Jackdaws, 2 Magpies, single Carrion Crow, 7 Chaffinches (3 males), 1 Common Gull, 2 Herring Gulls (adult & 1st winter) and 5 Black-headed Gulls, plus many Starlings and 30-40 House Sparrows.
A lovely selection of garden birds, we feel proud to have given these birds a fighting chance during this cold snap, though just a touch disappointed that the R-L B had missed us. However around 1:30pm during lunch, a bird caught my eye on the mixed seed feeder. I couldn't believe it - a sparrow with a black spot on a white cheek. Panic ensued for the second weekend in a row as binoculars and the camera were hastily grabbed. It was a TREE SPARROW, the first one we had seen in the garden in the 30 years that we have lived here. All the birds were spooked by something but around 20 minutes later it returned with the House Sparrow flock and gave more prolonged views on the feeder - a few record shots were taken through the window. A lovely bird, especially as they are extremely scarce away from Dungeness and a couple of sites on the marsh. In fact the nearest we have seen Tree Sparrow to Ashford is Warehorne. Lets hope it returns ... with a few of its friends.
What a brilliant weekend birdwatching !
|Tree Sparrow in the snow covered Cotoneaster bush|
|Tree Sparrow with commoner cousins|