A first for our garden are redwings. A winter migrant that is normally found in hedgerows and judging by internet postings they (and fieldfares) are moving into gardens in their droves.
Collard doves have become more frequent visitors over the past few months, especially now they have mastered the bird feeder:
Blackcaps are very rare visitors, so I took the opportunity to try and get a picture - even if it meant I was late for work
Two goldfinches enjoying the same feeder some time later, although the number of goldfinches in our garden has declined. In previous years we've had up to 10 , now we are lucky if we get a maximum of 4 (maybe they've just found a better source of food).
This is all practice for the RSPB's Big Garden Bird Watch at the end of the month: http://www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch/
It will be interesting to see if the visiting redwings and fieldfares remain long enough to be counted and to see if anyone else has seen a decline in goldfinch numbers.
Since my previous post, several articles have subsequently been written about this spell of cold weather including this one by Simon Moss: http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_8455000/8455832.stm
It seems I am wrong about the impact on some birds of prey, Simon Moss argues that the cold weather will increase their food supply as more animal succumb to the cold. Although I haven't seen any red kits or buzzards in recent weeks - perhaps I have not been looking hard enough.