Before coming to Germany, I expected that the winter would be extremely cold. My friends told me that last winter, the temperature got down to about -20°C. However, this winter has been totally different. We’re experiencing a strangely warm winter here in this south-western part of Germany. So far, it has only snowed like twice and it didn’t stay for long. The average temperature for the last 2-3 weeks have been above 0 degree.
These photos were taken on one particularly cold morning about 2 weeks ago. It was the first real frost we had after the new year. The feeders become especially busy during the cold period like this.
This male Blue Tit was one of the first birds to show up at the feeder as usual. Its plumage goes well with the frosty twigs, I think.
I was very surprised that this Eurasian Jay came really close to where I was sitting. Normally, they wouldn’t dare to come this close, but probably due to the temperature drop, it decided to go for easy food at the feeder.
Some more Blue Tits under the rare winter sun.
Even a small flock of Long-tailed Tits showed up at the feeder. This was the first time for me to see this cute bird actually coming to the feeder. One of the birds was checking out the food but decided to move on with the flock.
They came really close which made it somehow even more difficult to photograph. This is still one of the trickiest birds to photograph for me.
Great Tits were showing well as usual. The number has drastically increased recently. Now it has become the most numerous tit at the feeder.
This one was totally enjoying its life, a full stomach and a nice little rest.
You can tell that I took lots of photos. At the end of the day at the feeding station, I always have to spend 3-4 hours of image processing.
Male Great Spotted Woodpecker is now one of the most regular visitors, but I really don’t get tired of it. I just love its pattern and colour scheme so much.
As you can see, it has become more and more familiar with me. Now it occasionally comes as close as 5 m from the camera.
Another interesting bird that usually shows up around the feeder but has never really come down to the feeder yet is the Hawfinch. Here’s a male bird sitting among its favourite food item.
The Eurasian Nuthatches used to dominate the feeder during the first few weeks that I started, but now they have become just another visitor. Since the numbers of Great Tits and other birds have increased, they now can’t compete with them. Above is a photo of the male.
And here’s the slightly paler female which now visits the feeder much more often than her mate.
I also observed an interesting courtship behaviour of them at the feeder as well. Here in this photo, the female (front) was perching in that weird position for a couple of seconds while the male (back) kept fanning its wings and tail, swinging side to side with a peanut in its mouth before moving up to another branch shortly.
As always, here’s a couple of the least photographed Marsh Tit. Even though they visit the feeder very often, I think there are probably only 2 of them here in this area.
Whenever a Blue Tit comes to the feeder, I just can’t help taking photos of them as many as possible. Even until now, it still remains my most favourite.
Please bear with me posting so many photos of them, but after this month ends, I won’t be able to see and photograph these tiny colourful birds again.
Same as the Great Tit, the number of female Blue Tit is much lower than the male. I still don’t understand why.
Chaffinches have also become regular visitors at the feeding station. They don’t really feed from the feeder though, but they come to pick up fallen peanuts on the ground underneath. Recently, I also put out the peanuts on the ground directly for them as well.
I just love its bright yellowish-green rump. It stands out so much against the overall chestnut and grey plumage.
Another male bird with more brown on the crown and shoulder patch.
And the completely dull female. It’s interesting to see how they’ve gotten used to my presence after several days. At first, it was impossible to get any photo of them!
Some more of the same birds. Here’s the male Great Tit.
And the female with thinner and less clean-cut black line in the centre of the belly.
And of course, some more male Blue Tits under the warm morning winter light.
Here’s something outside the feeding area, a female Green Woodpecker enjoying its breakfast on a frosted lawn. Believe me, I tried my best to get close to it already but it bird was unbelievably shy.
To finish this post, here’s a non-bird shot from the feeder as well. I find these frozen spider webs pretty especially under this cold light.