Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Another spectacular bright autumn day though with a decided chill in the air today. Most of my attention is around New Meadow at the moment in ensuring the feeders are stocked and the baiting logs are full of lard for the woodpeckers. This is a relentless task especially trying to repel the squirrels who are repeatedly tearing open nut and seed feeders. They cost me a lot of money in feed as well as the damage they do. I am now seriously thinking of control measures!
On a brighter note, there were some new faces around the feeding area today with coal tits joining the usual suspects. These appear to be at the bottom of the pecking order, getting out of the way of just about every other bird. However, they have a trick up their sleeve; they cache food and as such have incredible mapping skills in their brain. This has actually resulted in an enlarged hippocampus in coal tits, an area of the cerebral cortex responsible for mapping. London cab drivers have an enhanced hippocampus apparently. Anyway, although coal tits get pushed off good feeding sources easily, they can resort to their substantial caches dotted around the woodland and so circumvent the avian bullies. I like that nature of behaviour.
A nice sight and sound today was of redpols in the tops of birches and one drinking from the pond. There were also the sounds of goldfinches all around the area and my suspicion is that they will imminently start feeding again from the niger feeders. I have missed them being around and it will make for good and certainly easy subjects for photographers on the Woodland Bird's workshops. I am looking forward to the worshop tomorrow.

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