Monday, February 2, 2015

The Birds are Back!

Coming for dinner, not coming 
as dinner
blue tit - cinciarella - Parus caeruleus
For two winters now we have mourned our little birds, the ones that in the winter of 2012 came so merrily to feed on our new bird tables.  
no takers?
We wondered where they had disappeared to: was it the unseasonally warm weather which kept them in more northern climes; was it the scoundrel cat which had discovered it could access the goodies on the bird-table by jumping from the old hay-cutter (goodies signified birds and bird-feed, two for the price of one jump)? 

nuthatch - picchio muratore - Sitta europaea

The feisty robin has never abandoned Le Ripe but where were the finches, the nuthatches, the tits, black caps and redstarts?
redstart - codirosso - Phoenicurus phoenicurus

We still don't know, however three things have happened this year: the haycutter finally collapsed under the weight of its iron wheel and was removed; the cat was given a terrible fright when it was inadvertently imprisoned in our rental cottage for two nights (it even tried to scramble out of a half-open window but lost the argument with the fly-screen; we had to replace the fly-screen); and winter has been -marginally- colder so far this year.
chaffinch - fringuello - Fringilla coelebs
First it was the tits and the blackcaps; now the finches have returned. I am still awaiting the gorgeous nuthatch which skedaddles up and down the cypress tree trunk to access our offerings. 
black cap - capinera - Sylvia atricapilla

Seeds, crumbs, chopped up cheese rind, bits of fat and, most favoured by the tits, quarters of apple (they prefer Golden Delicious) are all offered as needed. 
a rich board containing cheese, bread, fat, apples and seeds
It is hard to take adequate photographs of these welcome appearances, so again I must largely rely on the internet to illustrate our visitors. Below are some original photos of the most assiduous ones.


  1. How good to have the lovely little birds back.Full marks to the little robins who stood their ground.
    All things considered,I think the scoundrel cat stands indicted for the previous crime against the birds.He did get a period of self imposed incarceration in the fienile however.Vale the old hay-cutter.

  2. Loved this post, especially the home-grown photos.


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