The feed is moving very quickly at the moment with the Nuthatches devouring the sunflower seeds and the tits ever present. Interestingly the Marsh Tit appears to have the least discerning diet of all our visitors! It will have a bit of everything – sunflower, mixed seed, niger seed, fat balls, nuts and cake. Today the species seen at the feeding station hide were as follows:
Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Marsh Tit, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Goldfinch, Robin, Dunnock, Wren, Chaffinch and Green Sandpiper. I had walked the river before entering the hide and once again flushed a couple of Green Sandpipers but again not managed a shot! I had been in the feeding station hide for a couple of hours when the rapid rhythmical high pitched call, so often heard as the bird is flushed and makes a large circular accent to a hundred metres or so, was virtually on top of me. The hide is situated on the edge of a natural pond and trees and a mix of bushes. The sandpiper flew over the pond, skimming the water before landing on a small muddy outcrop – behind a tree! but only about ten metres away. It then alighted again with the same high pitched call before circling and coming down to land on the edge of the pond directly behind the area we have the feeders in. Although the hide has slats all the way round you would normally only have one side open so’s not to create a silhouette of yourself against the light coming through the hide. So, with the slats closed, I attempted to open them as slowly and quietly as possible having closed the ones towards the feeders. All to no avail, as half way through the gentlest of procedures it was off again, this time not to return. I have photographed them at other sites before but at Home Farm it’s becoming a bit of a bogey bird. The hide I built on the corner of the river last March was partly to photograph the sandpipers and that was washed away with the high waters and excessive rains of September!! But all it does is make you even more determined to pit your wits against them and look forward to the satisfaction of the images you will one day secure.
The Great-spotted Woodpecker provided some great opportunities today and the Marsh Tit spent a fair amount of time foraging on the ground amongst some fallen seeds.