Nature, Photography

Birds at Ceol Mor

We are super lucky at Ceol Mor when it comes to wildlife. There is a huge selection living in and around us – this includes a list of 32 different birds that we have seen in the garden plus many that we have seen from the garden at different times through the year. These range from flocks of chaffinches that are constantly around to more unusual redpolls that are occasional summer visitors. There are some birds regularly in the garden that remain consistently camera shy too! The Treecreeper is one such bird! It took us 3 years before we both saw them. In this blog we’re going to breakdown our feathered friend visitors into different groups and share our favourite photos. I think our favourites are the robin that are so nosey!

The Great Tit is in a bare Silver Birch above and a puffed up Chaffinch trying to keep warm below.

The Common Regulars

A Dunnock having a clean (it was really soaked) on a gorse branch is above and one of our many Coal Tits below.

There is a real core of birds that are with us all year round and we see frequently. These include the curious Robins who particularly like to investigate where we are working in the garden. There are also Great Tits, loads of Chaffinches, Coal Tits, Blue Tits, Goldfinches, Pheasants, Dunnocks and Blackbirds. The Blackbirds are very ‘flighty’ and often seem to be startled. The Chaffinches welcome other single birds (other species) into their flock and the Robins are constantly fighting and can even be seen rolling around on the ground locked in combat.

Above is a Dunnock in the winter with Robin and Great Tit watching on. Below is a Goldfinch on our feeder.

The Less Common Regulars

Above is a Wren and below is a Song Thrush which is a rare sight in the Winter (common in the Summer).

There are a number of birds that are with us most of the year. However, they may be very illusive all the time like the Wren which is rarely seen and may be more likely top be seen down by the lodges. One of the most illusive is the Treecreeper which we haven’t manage to photograph yet. The Jay is another rare visitor that we have not yet managed to catch on camera. Long Tailed Tits are often about nearby but rarely visit the garden and The Greater Spotted Woodpecker is not a common sight unless in the breeding season. Goldcrests are also a rare sight! Doves are in during the Spring and Summer but often disappear for the Winter. However, they are still occasionally seen and make a good catch for the Sparrowhawks that often zoom in at lightening speed to make a kill. There are Crows too – but these are very nervous birds and like the early dawn when no humans are about.

Below is a male Siskin.

Spring and Summer Visitors

Above is a male Pied Wagtail – the female is more grey and white. Below is a female Mallard duck.

The Spring and Summer see a load of fresh birds come in. These include Redpolls (both common and lesser), Yellowhammers, Pied Wagtails, a few Starlings, Ducks, Bullfinches and the odd Pigeon or two. The start of Spring sees the air full of geese leaving for the Arctic as well as Hooper Swans that go to Iceland. The Osprey also arrive and can be seen flying low over the river doing their hunting. With the Pied Wagtails we first saw a couple came in and then the following year they had young. They were super shy the first year we saw them but the second year they were quite confident and had young.

Above is a male Common Redpoll and below is a male Bullfinch. These are both unusual even in the summer and there is no guarantee of seeing either.

The Young

Above is a female pheasant with one of her young and below is a young Blue Tit being taught where the easy food is.

In the late Spring it seems as if the bird population grows exponentially! There are huge numbers of young birds and it is lovely to see the parents bring them into the feeding station. For the pheasants, it’s fascinating to watch mum guide her nursery up the bank to the feeding area – making a dash across open ground to areas of long grass on the perilous journey. There is a duck couple that struggle with competition from several males and it’s not nice to watch to be honest. 2023 saw the Blackbird population really expand!

Above is a female Mallard duck with her young brood and below is a juvenile Blackbird having a drink.

Winter Seasonal Visitors

Above is a Long Tailed Tit photographed across the flood plains and below is a Brambling in the early Autumn.

There are a few birds that just come in for the Autumn and Winter – these include the Redwing and Brambling. Also, Fieldfares can be seen. It’s amazing to see the Redwings arrive in a great flock to get the Rowan berries from the many trees that are in the garden and around us. Also, in the Autumn the geese are arriving in great numbers and you can often see HUGE gaggles of geese feeding in grass fields. If you’re lucky, you might see some large raptors looking to pick off stragglers.

Above is a pair of Yellowhammers – male and female. Below is a Greater Spotted Woodpecker.

Specials

Above is an Osprey taking a freshly caught fish to its young. We can see this happen not far from us and the fish hunting can often be seen in the river opposite us.

There are other raptors that make the occasional appearance. The cry of buzzards is quite common – watch them soaring high over us. You might see them sat on a telegraph pole watching for the next meal. A bunch of noisy crows is a giveaway that there could be buzzards about too – they gang together to chase away the raptors. Very rarely we have seen White Tailed Eagles (Sea Eagles) either up or down the valley. Red Kites might also be seen occasionally. Watch Herons feed on the river banks and swans flying low top and down – both Hooper Swans and Mute Swans.

Visitors have also seen Hen Harriers over the hill tops opposite.

Below, is a Redwing on our lawn.

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