Monday 31 January 2011

The Tree Year (2): Winter Visitors to the Larch

Some of you may know by now that I am 'watching' a Larch in Carmarthenshire, Wales, UK, as part of The Tree Year.

We returned to the Larch on Saturday, not expecting to see anything very different. However, the feeders had been re-filled and there was a buzz of activity in the area. We were thrilled when this Great Spotted Woodpecker put in an appearance.

The Tree Year: my second post

As you can see, he has fine black and white markings on his back. Every so often you catch a glimpse of his scarlet plumage, too. You can see the ivy on the trunk.

With Bluetit

Amazing wing markings

The Woodpecker's Tea Party
We really enjoyed watching the birds. The temperature was hovering around freezing and the light was beginning to fade. The car made a useful 'hide', but it is hard to take good pictures behind glass. However, they serve as a pleasing record of a lively visit! There were still more takers to come at the feeder . . .

A Starling enjoyed the nuts ...
... and so did a Nuthatch and Bluetit
Suddenly a Grey Squirrel arrived
What a character!
We saw a Greenfinch ...

... and a Chaffinch.

We also had a better look at the cones from last year.

A tiny streak of white caught our eye ...

... it was a Treecreeper
I don't think he likes being enlarged!

We were so busy watching the feeders on the tree, that we nearly missed the male Blackbird below, scurrying about in a pile of mixed deciduous leaves. I wonder whether he found the worms or grubs he was trying to excavate. All in all it had been a very profitable visit. I wonder what we will see next!

Previous TTY Post

Now you see me, now you don't!


Bob Scotney said...

These are tremendous photos Caroline. I'm envious of such colourful visitors.

Crafty Green Poet said...

oh lovely photos, specially the woodpecker, they're such magnificent birds, co-incidentally I saw one near my tree for the year last week.

Glo said...

Thanks for coming by and commenting on my blog. Your larch is impressive, and I'm amazed at the number of visitors it had on your latest visit. Terrific photos!

Sherry said...

Love the woodpecker. I can't get shots of ours. They move too fast.

Unknown said...

That's one heck of a buzz in activity!
Glad you got so lucky and you got so much to see!
That squirrel sure as heck is smart :D

Mike B. @ said...

Interesting woodpecker- ours here in the western US have red on the tops of their heads. It's always fascinating to see how these birds differ between the continents.