While I’m here exploring southern England, John Beer sends regular messages from his house and garden near Turrialba. At the same time, the third of our regular birding trio, Larry Waddell, sends news from Minnesota of recent arrivals from the south. Here’s the English part of this trilogy.
This first post presents 4 common but very pretty British birds that I see every day here in Somerset; photos were taken by John in Wales. Males and females of these species are identical.
The Blue Tit is impossible to miss in English gardens and is equally well-known throughout most of Western Europe. It is one of 6 common paridae found in Britain. I remember how in harsh winters in Yorkshire this species would peck open the tops of milk bottles on the doorstep to get at the cream. After the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus), the Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), the Robin (Erithacus rubecula) and the Blackbird (Turdus merula) it is perhaps the best-known English bird. It is often accompanied by the equally common but larger Great Tit (Parus major):
Much less common is the European version of North America’s chickadees, the Coal Tit (Parus ater):
Another very typical bird of the English countryside, though of late much reduced in numbers, is the modestly attired Hedgesparrow or Dunnock (Prunella modularis):
I found this bird very easily in Sussex, but here in Somerset it seems to be much less in evidence. My next post will feature John’s and Larry’s news from Costa Rica and Minnesota respectively.