Eurasian Siskins

For the past week or so we have had a flock of Siskins (Eurasian variety) hoovering up around our bird feeder.  It started with maybe 8 of them, then there were maybe 15 and the other day, I couldn’t count how many there were.  It must have been between 30 and 40.    We have had these cute little visitors in the summer, but never in the winter, so it was a very pleasant surprise.

My RSPB bird book suggested that they were “nut basket feeders”, but all of ours were seen scurrying around the floor, picking up what the other birds (mainly Great Tits, but also Blue, Coal, Marsh/Willow, Crested and Long Tailed Tits) had dropped onto the ground.  That is until yesterday, when we saw several of them hanging off the nut basket.  And today I’ve noticed a distinct absence of Great Tits.  So I think the Siskins have ganged up on the 10 or so Great Tits and scared them off.

Anyway, while I was taking some photos with Jude’s SLR camera (my point and shoot is hopeless in the sunshine as you can’t see what you’re pointing at) who else should make a short appearance but our old friend the (Eurasian) Nuthatch.  Not only that but my photo shoot was interrupted when I noticed what I thought were 4 parascenders in the sky, but it turned out that they were hot air balloons.  I then remembered that the Chateau D’Oex Balloon Festival takes place around this time of year.  So they must have taken off from there (which is many miles from here) and they were heading south over the glaciers and mountains to Italy when I last saw them!

Even after deleting many, many photos, I still couldn’t decide which of these pictures were “the best”, so I thought I’d post them all.  Please stick with the gallery as the quality (at least of image) improves towards the end as I edged closer to the feeders.  Also check out the look of the 2 birds on the feeder in pictures 13 and then 14 as the bird above hops off its perch.  (I thought it was quite amusing anyway).  There was quite a bit of squabbling going on as you will also see.

16 thoughts on “Eurasian Siskins

        • Thanks. It was the lack of feeling in the tip of some fingers that finally drove me inside. Though I was glad I hung around long enough to spot that Nuthatch climbing down the tree. Though he or she didn’t stay long. Even the big birds, like the Jays and the Nutcrackers seem to steering clear of the feeder with all those Siskins around. Last year the Nutcrackers seem to be scaring the other birds away, so we tried to shoo them away when they arrived. This year it’s the Siskins, though they are too cute and probably too many to shoo away easily. It’s not easy getting the balance of nature right!

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    • They spend so much time fending off the other Siskins that they hardly eat anything at all. Either that or their beaks don’t get very much. The tits seem to be able to whittle the peanuts down until they can extract what remains and then fly off with it. The peanut feeder is still half full, but the sunflower seed feeder, which I filled up yesterday, and is 2 to 3 times bigger, is now empty again this morning. So that makes the peanuts even more of a battle ground, so I’d better get out there… 🙂

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