Tag: Willow Tit

The little fir tree

by on Dec.14, 2009, under Birdwatching, Choppington Woods, Northumberland

As Chair of Governors at our local First School, I had an invitation to attend the Christmas production this afternoon.  It was a heartwarming tale of a little fir tree who was teased for being so small but eventually found his place as a Christmas tree in a children’s hospital.  The characters included several fir trees, angels, snowflakes, raindrops, sunbeams, doctors, nurses, foxes, owls, rabbits and a woodcutter…as well as kings, shepherds, Mary and Joseph.

Which brings us nicely to the little fir tree on our patio.  I haven’t had as much time to work on my bonsai display as I would have liked this year (one of the perils of running your own business…) so most of the trees have developed dense, lush foliage.  I have been regularly trimming any over long shoots so they’re all still quite compact.  The display sits midway between six feeders in the apple tree and two feeders on the garden wall, so it’s a regular perch for many of the birds that are visiting.  As the weather has turned towards wintry, the number of birds in the garden has increased to the point where it’s almost impossible to watch everything that’s going on.  Sarah was at home this morning and we spent a little while just watching the comings and goings.  The highlight was two Willow Tits together but there were 15+ Coal Tits, 5 or 6 Bullfinches, 10 Chaffinches, 4 House Sparrows, 4 Greenfinches, a couple of Goldfinches and little groups of Blue and Great Tits.  Birdwatching begins at home…and once we get some cold, frosty or snowy weather, my bonsai display should produce some excellent photo opportunities as well.

A cold, wet mid-December night might not seem that promising in terms of wildlife but we had something new for the garden about an hour ago when a Winter Moth Operophtera brumata landed on the outside of the kitchen window.  Our little southeast Northumberland garden now has records of about 250 different species of moth.  It helps that there’s a 76ha woodland behind us though.

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Out with the old…

by on Dec.01, 2009, under Birdwatching, Northumberland

OK, it isn’t 2010 just yet but the NEWT website has been replaced by a new(er) one.

The only big cosmetic change is the blog.  We’ve opted for a contemporary look, and it adds a lot of functionality that we didn’t have access to previously.  Embedding images and video clips is just one of those functions, so we’re going to make the most of that whenever the opportunity arises.

Much of the last few weeks has been spent at my desk, writing content for the website and checking links etc whenever Daniel has uploaded a new set of changes. 

The NEWT office window bird

The NEWT office window bird

This means that most of my birdwatching has been focussed on one small section of southeast Northumberland; our back garden with it’s apple and ash trees, tangles of bramble, ‘wild’ allotment and ever-growing selection of bird feeders.  Jays, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Bullfinches, Willow Tits, Redwings and Fieldfares have all visited in the last few days and the cold spell we’re in currently is accelerating the bird visits to the garden.  I still keep having this dream about Siberian Accentor

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