I can't believe that we are already half way through the first month of the year.
I suppose heading South for a week hasn't helped. Just before I left on my travels I was treated to some nice views of a Short-eared Owl hunting over part of my land. He didn't quite get within the boundary of what I call the Garden but he was definitely over the part of my land which I affectionately call the Estate. This consists of a paddock covering about 3/4 acre and about 1 acre of some heathery moorland type ground. I was able to watch it for a good 20 minutes before a passing tractor caused it to move on.
Now I'm back I find that the garden is pretty much devoid of birds but not sure why. Before I went South there were at least 10 Blackbirds in the garden daily along with House Sparrows and Starlings and a few Greenfinch.
Before I left I made sure all the seed feeders were topped up and some apples put out on the lawn. On my return the seed feeders had hardly been touched although the apples were pretty much gone. Could it be that a respite in the recent bad weather we had over the closing weeks of last year and the start of this has allowed them to move on? Or is it due to the colder air now moving in that has encouraged them to move on? Maybe it was because they realised that the human activity here had stopped and they went looking elsewhere.
On Monday I didn't see a single bird in the garden or in the surrounding field. Yesterday I saw a solitary Blackbird. Today there has been one Starling and one House Sparrow, both of which were visiting the feeders. Perhaps the word will go out that I'm back and they will all return and bring a few more friends too!!
A look out of the window at lunchtime today produced three Hooded Crows which gives me species 31 for my Patch List.