Monday, 18 January 2016

Little Birds in Wintertime

As the weather gets increasingly colder, the need to look after our garden birds seems even more important. We keep our bird feeders well filled with peanuts and fat balls. We are never short of birds to watch, over breakfast or lunch. We even have a bird feeder outside the bedroom window so that we can watch from the cosiness of our bed.
We keep our bird bath filled with fresh water, de-icing it when necessary.

When I was a little girl we learnt a song in school called "Little Birds in Wintertime."
It goes like this....
Little birds in winter time
Hungry are and poor.
Feed them for your Father’s sake
‘Till the winter’s o’er.
Scatter crumbs that you can spare
Round about your door.
Feed them for your Father’s sake
‘Till the winter’s o’er.

I loved this song and it rang true for me then as now.
In cold winters such as the one we had in 1963, I remember the temperatures dropping so low, that birds were just dying in the hedgerows. We brought several home to try and revive them, not with a great deal of success I`m sorry to say.
These days if we encounter any wildlife crises, we would take the bird or animal to our local wildlife rescue centre called Mallydams.

Today I have taken several photos in our own garden from the window.
Here are a few....


 Female chaffinch

Male chaffinch



At the end of January we will be doing the usual garden bird count for RSPB.
It is easy to do and we usually share the hour between us, noting all birds spotted.
More details at this link...

Our usual total is between 11 and 12 varieties.
This is what we counted last year....
robins  2
blackbirds 4
dunnocks 2
bluetits 4
great tits 1
coal tit 1
collared dove 1
chaffinch 1
thrush 1
nuthatch 2
longtailed tit 1

Of course many other birds visit our garden but they don`t always turn up in that particular hour.
We have seen...
black and white woodpeckers
sparrow hawk

We consider ourselves very lucky to see such a wide variety.

On these colder days, don`t forget to feed the wild birds in our gardens.
They are an important part of the cycle of life.


  1. We get a huge variety of birds in our garden too, it is so lovely to see. I've taken part in the RSPB bird watch before too and intend to do so this year also, the trouble I find is knowing whether the same bird returns more than once within the hour, how on earth would you know?
    Quite recently we've been having a Peacock visit us, now that is a very welcome surprise, we've no idea where it has come from but I shant be complaining about it, I love seeing him prance around :) x x x

  2. You don`t have to know if the same bird visits twice, if you see more than the one you`ve already recorded, you automatically record the 2nd. In other words you count the number that appear at any one time. Does that make sense?

  3. I see that your male chaffinch has dodgy feet. Quite a lot of our chaffinch visitors have 'hairy' feet too. It looks to be hereditory and doesn't seem to stop them, though they sit low rather than high up like your female pictures show.
    Hope the weather is good for the birdwatch this year.

    1. Yes it is called papilloma virus and only affects chaffinches. I got some gross photos which I just could not post on the blog. I sent them to Cliff Dean whose blog I follow on the right. He is our local bird watcher and very knowledgeable about such matters.

  4. lovely bird photos. I'm looking forward to doing the garden count too. we can all compare notes.