Updated 7th March 2018
When these February notes were started it was dry but the forecast was for ten days of severe winter weather. Many more birds were starting to sing then including Chaffinches, Dunnock and Song Thrush. It is the time of year after all when daylight length accelerates at three minutes per day and that has an effect on all bird life.
Unlike Blackbirds, which are resident, Song Thrush exit this area in the Winter returning here from late February when the males immediately setup territories and were singing loudly a fortnight ago.
However these territories would have been abandoned following a return to winter weather only for them to return once conditions improve.
The blizzard conditions did not seem to deter its cousin the Mistle Thrush and a male was still singing in the first few days of snowy conditions from tree top positions across the river but even they eventually gave up. In some parts it is known as The Storm Cock.
Nor were Greater Spotted Woodpeckers put off by the bad weather and from the Forglen woods they could be heard making their familiar drumming sound on dead trees even in the snow.
The garden bird feeders, however, have been very popular with visits from not often seen Bramblings and Redpoll. All the common finches were here but there are unusually large numbers of Siskin which prefer the Niger seed.
Our pond at the 7th continues to be a big attraction for ducks and moorhens. One member reported counting over twenty Mallard and says there is still at least one Dabchick present. The same person tells me that Goldeneye ducks and drakes are on the Deveron below the main river bridge.