In The Garden
It is not that the numbers of birds have decreased this month in my garden, but that there has been so little sunshine and therefore the light has been so poor that I cannot get any decent photos. There has been large groups of Chaffinches and Tree Sparrows. The Tree Sparrows are outnumbering the House Sparrows at the moment.
A male Blackcap came into the garden for two days only. I kept hoping it would come back but there has been no sign of it again. There were three Magpies in the garden on one occasion although I have seen four together in the play area next to the garden.
Along The Coast
While walking along the coast one Wednesday morning with Caroline from Hopeman to Burghead a Kestrel appeared above us. It hovered in front of us then settled on a rock overlooking the beach. It remained there for a long time. Near Burghead there was a rock with a large group of Oystercatchers sheltering and in with the Oystercatchers were a small group of Godwits.
When I visited Cullen this month I was pleased to see a pair of Stonechats flying around the rocks along with a Rock Pipit and some Redshanks.
On a trip to Inverness I stopped at Alturlie and saw masses of Wigeon in the bay. There were many other ducks also but the distance was too far and the light too poor to make out what they were.
So far the number of Redwings and Fieldfares arriving in the area has been pretty low this winter compared to the hundreds seen last winter. There was a field near Moyness that did have a mixture of Thrushes, Fieldfares and Redwings for a few weeks but they have since disappeared.
On the whole the year started well for my bird watching and nature watching but as the year has gone on it has disappointingly decreased due mainly to poor weather conditions. Hopefully 2018 will be a better year and will bring me some new challenges.