14 Jan 13 First Two Weeks

14th January 2013
As this is my first post of the New Year I would just like to wish anyone reading this a very happy new year, better late than never as they say!

I think the last time I posted anything was around the 4th of December and unfortunately not a lot photographically has happened since then. My time has been spent with visits to family, Christmas shopping, Christmas and a load of poor weather. So in between working and what I’ve just mentioned there has been very little time available for photography!

Since the turn of the year however I have been to the hide a couple of times and made a visit to Woolston Eyes.

The birds visiting the feeders at the hide are the usual suspects which are mainly the common garden birds, Blue and Great Tit, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Robin, Pheasant, Wren, House, Hedge & Tree Sparrow. On Saturday however I did get a visit from three partridges but unfortunately no photo.

Usually the Wrens of which there must be quite a few from the noise they make, keep themselves well hidden in the undergrowth and rarely come out into the open. On Saturday however one did come out into the open and I managed to get a reasonable photo of it before it disappeared back into the undergrowth.


Wren

Of the common birds I listed above it may be worth mentioning the three sparrows, House, Hedge & Tree, strictly speaking the Hedge Sparrow or Dunnock isn’t a true Sparrow and is actually a member of the Accentor family of birds.
The Hedge Sparrow name dates back many years to when people were not as aware as they are now and lots of small birds were classed as Sparrows. Apparently the name Dunnock is derived from the old English word ”dunnakos” meaning little brown one.

Unlike our two true Sparrows the Dunnocks’ head is quite grey in appearance and it has a very thin beak. The true Sparrows have a heavy beak as they are seed eaters. Dunocks also flick their tails and wings regularly.

The following three photos should help any none or casual bird watchers identify these three birds.


Hedge Sparrow or Dunnock
Note the grey Head and slim or narrow beak!


House Sparrow
Male and Female together, the male being the upper one, note the brown head and grey crown, white cheek patch and black bib.


Tree Sparrow
The head of the Tree Sparrow it totally chestnut i.e.no grey crown. Also note the black cheek spot which is absent in both the House Sparrow and Dunnock.

I hope that helps the none twitchers and casual bird watchers identify these three common garden birds, although I’ve never seen a tree sparrow in our garden.

Thanks for reading.

Andy

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