Winter is a good time of year to watch our native birds.There are no leaves to obscure them and some of the smaller species are easier to spot. Here is a selection of images taken in the gardens over the last few years.
The chaffinch is one of our most abundant and visible birds.In the spring, he sits on a branch while we are weeding calling in a loud monotone.
An assortment of tits. Long tailed tits, great tit, blue tit and willow or marsh tit (I am not sure how to tell the difference between these two but his long shiny black cap should help an expert) We feed the birds during the winter down at the birdhide.
Goldfinches have increased noticeably in the gardens since we started 10 years ago. Here they sit on the high points of the gardens watching and chattering.In late summer, Goldfinches and Greenfinches feast on the sunflower heads in the pickery.
The pied wagtail. In the summer we see grey wagtails busy around the river.
Out in the park that surrounds the gardens are lapwings, buzzards and the french partridge. The buzzards compete with jackdaws, rooks and sometimes, red kites for the skies.
The swallow arrives in April and shown here are two fledglings on the potting shed where they hatched. When we first started reviving the gardens we were down to one pair but since then there has been a steady increase. We cut holes in the doors so they can fly in to nest and the meadows we have developed have bought in plenty of new insect life. Since 2001,we have become a stopping point for migrating swallows, house martins and swifts.