The weather over the last few weeks has been very wet, indeed the stormiest December on record (since 1969), together with windiest for 20 years. No surprise then that few birds have been frequenting the bird tables, only making an appearance on the few calmer days.
Robins were singing in early January, especially one bright, but cold morning such as this one in Combe Wood Lane.
They do this both to claim a territory and to attract a mate for the forthcoming breeding season.Other birds that have made an appearance recently, both singing from high perches and feeding on the ground, have been song thrushes. Again I have seen one in Combe Wood Lane and whilst walking around Chard Reservoir last week saw 3 at once!
Another observation whilst walking around the lanes recently is the sight of hazel catkins, many of which seem much larger and/or more numerous than usual.
Snow drops are also making an early appearance, no doubt due to the mild weather, and the patch near the CME entrance is particularly good.
The birds venturing onto the bird feeders are increasing and I have noticed that greenfinches are quite numerous for the first time in a number of seasons. Once they find a suitable feed station they tend to defend it against all comers and one morning last week I timed one individual who stayed on one perch feeding for over 20 minutes!
Next weekend is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch so don't forget to make sure your feeders are cleaned and topped up so you get the best birds to your garden!