17th December 2013
The main purpose of a visit to The Lodge today was to go up to the fort to see if there was any activity from the Ravens. Although it is still only half way through December, Ravens are early breeders and nest during February and early March and therefore there may be some sign of display or nest building. In the event, Galley Hill was very quiet so I settled down in the Meadow Hide to see what was happening around the ponds.
Here too it was relatively quiet with just a procession of tits coming to the feeders with no sign yet of any Redpolls or Siskins. I got my first ever close-up of a Coal Tit, but it wasn't until I got home that I noticed it had a long upper mandible. I suspect that this would be a significant disadvantage when searching for natural food, but it was able to cope quite well with the seed from the feeders.
The other regulars to the feeders were a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers. Here the male was quite happy to pose for a few shots before flying on to the feeders. Another visitor that picks up the pieces under the feeders is a Stock Dove, which I have said before is grossly under-rated and I suspect similarly overlooked by many. Just look at that iridescent green on the neck.
Well, time to start my way back to the car and a quick look at the feeders in the car park before I pack up the camera for the day. Nothing much doing but I did notice a mouse-like shuffling on the leaf litter under the feeders. One of my favourite birds, the Nuthatch, had rounded off another superb day at The Lodge.