Brambling And Sparrow
Although tonight is the Hogmanay festival in Scotland, when we might expect our First Footers to pay us a visit, we had our first-ever visit - in 20 years - from a pair of Bramblings this month.
Bramblings are similar in looks to Chaffinches, though their breasts are dark russet on top with white underbellies. Though we have seen several sightings of them on Winter walks, we have not seen them at Barleycorn before.
The reason for their proximity to the house was the freezing temperatures and the heavy falls of snow. The low Winter sun on the snow made for picturesque scenes in the garden, and the Big Freeze meant we had the pleasure of feeding more birds at the stations than in Summer.
Not only did we have the company of our feathered friends, but also Taz, the Barn cat, who preferred to snuggle up beside the radiator for spells each day and forego his occupation of the Barn.
This did not stop him catching the mice in the Barn for his supper. For while he has the camouflage of the trees in Summer when he goes a-hunting, he has to rely on nocturnal mammals in Winter.
Each morning, we could detect the tracks of the local cats, the early birds and a Fox in the fresh snow. Perhaps it is our friend from earlier this year scavenging once more, now that we have had more snow.
The video this month is called Garden Birds In December 2010. The music which accompanies it is from my CD Pan Pipes Of The Andes and the track is Llamada Se Los Buitres which I chose because it reminded me of whistling birds. The Bramblings are at the end of the video.
I hope you enjoy it...and, as we say in Scotland at Hogmanay, Lang May Yer Lum Reek, which, roughly translated, means... May you always have enough fuel to keep your fire going to keep you warm...and what more could we want during a cold Winter?
Happy New Year, Everyone!