Members Update 15th December 2023

Members Update 15th December 2023

SPOT THE BEE FLY ETC. ETC. UPDATE 15TH DECEMBER 2023

Here is the last one for 2023, - must admit we didn’t think it would last this long, so many thanks once again to our regular contributors.

There was just one response to our last update, it is from Mary Robins following through on my comments about the ‘missing’ Redwings.

27th November: “Dear Mike and Jenny, I have just looked at the latest offering of the photo, quite a sight. I read your bit about waiting for redwings.  About 2 weeks ago I was walking home at 10pm, in the dark (we have no street lights).  On my neighbour’s house I could hear birds calling - a series of whistles I suppose.  Could not see anything even with the torch beam.  On reaching my house they were still apparent in some numbers and flying around, I could hear their wings as well as the calls.  I managed to get a very poor recording on my phone and let someone listen who records bird sounds, he agreed they were redwings. The Collins Bird Guide says: “Flocks at migration stopovers sometimes give a noisy chorus of squeaks”.  It was a rather windy night so I assume they were glad of the shelter I get here. Mary”   Thank you Mary.

I responded: We have often read about the sounds of the migrating Redwings and you have been fortunate to actually hear it. I just had a look on Google and found this comment: “Migrating redwings maintain contact with each other with their high-pitched flight calls, a typical sound of October nights”. We’ll let you all know when they do come!

Well, they have arrived, - on the 9th of December, two months later than usual and only three of them! I did manage to get some very distant photographs today, they were in the Holly trees at the bottom of our neighbour’s garden, our Pyracantha and many other Holly trees are groaning under the weight of the berries waiting to be consumed. I have included a couple of photos here.

We usually have Siskins year round, they have also been absent, however, Jenny saw one yesterday and another today, - we also saw our first of three Blackbirds in the past week or so. What we have got is a very large number of Goldfinches, dozens of them, plus Chaffinches and Greenfinches and of course the Blue/Great/ Coal and Long Tailed Tits along with resident Great Spotted Woodpecker(s) and Nuthatch. We are currently getting through about five or 6 pints of sunflower kernels every two days!

Not much more to add, so I have filled the following pages with a few photos from the garden, I have included the Squirrel photos because we had seven of the perishers at one time on our patio, - I could only manage to get three into one photo.