Friday, 13 February 2015

Where have all the Siskins gone?

The arrival of Siskins in our Nature Area is one we anticipate and look forward to every year. Last year, the first bird arrived on the 28th January and we had them until early May, by which time the youngsters were already visiting as a mild Winter led to an early breeding season. This year we haven't seen or heard one here and according to the BTO, the shortage of Siskins in gardens is most likely down to a bumper crop of Sitka Spruce seeds. In fact, fewer gardens reported Siskins at the end of 2014 than since Garden BirdWatch records began in 1995. There is still time, of course, as this particular supply of natural food won't continue forever, so keep your eyes peeled for these colourful small finches on your Sunflower or Peanut feeders.

2 Males (right) and female (left) Siskins - 25th March 2014
Juvenile Siskin - 1st May 2014

The recent cold snap that saw a few snow showers seems to have passed with temperatures back up to around 8° forecast for the next couple of weeks, but wet weather also may encourage the Siskins on to feeders as the spruce cones close up in the rain. You can find out more about the BTO's Garden BirdWatch survey here, or record your sightings using BirdTrack.

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