The cold snap continues and with it the reliance on garden feeders of our local birds. Although I haven’t seen the Yellowhammer since last week all of our regular visitors have been busy eating us out of house and home. The amount of sunflower seeds they are managing to get through is really quite astonishing. One new species was a group of five Long Tailed Tits that stopped in for a couple of minutes. Although not a new garden tick it is the first time that I have seen them here since the beginning of the year. They tend to go from garden to garden very quickly so they may be more frequent here than I realise and I just haven’t been fortunate enough to spot them. The Starlings have reached a new peak with twenty six birds sat around the garden at various points. With such photogenic birds it would have been wrong not to fire off a couple more shots.
I also wanted to mention in this post the increase in the number of raptors that I have been seeing locally. We normally get a good selection of species here but not as close or as frequent as I have been experiencing. On Wednesday two Red Kites were gliding low over the fields on the way in to Pontlliw, whilst another flew just over my head upon arrival at work in Morriston this morning. The two Peregrine Falcons from the DVLA have also been out hunting regularly with the male seen at around three this afternoon heading off along the M4. They must be being successful as well judging by the feathers that keep fluttering down past our windows. Buzzards are even more numerous with a couple past the office last week and regular sightings of them sitting on lampposts. I imagine that the harsh conditions are driving these birds ever closer into our urban settings as they try to find food. Red Kites in particular have been the big movers with reports coming in from all over the Swansea area. Keep your eyes out for them particularly while driving as they do have a habit of going for roadkill.