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We spotted this pair of linnets when walking at South Stack, Anglesey in August 2008.
Long Tailed Tit
The first time that I saw any long tailed tits in the garden was in February 2005. From what I'd read in books, it seemed unusual to have seen most of the other types of tits, but never these. Since then, they have been occasional seasonal visitors in winter and early spring and the 3 pictures here were taken in March. They only seem to feed on nuts or fat, never the seed.
I first spotted these birds at the feeder in March 2005. They are fairly similar in size and in colour to coal tits, so they might have been coming to the feeders a bit earlier than that. The main difference is the distinct black upper head without the white patch on the back, although the pattern on the edge of their wings is also different. Marsh tits and willow tits are almost identical to each other and the bird books that I have all indicate that they are very difficult to tell apart visually, although their songs are different. I have assumed that these are marsh tits and not willow tits simply because marsh tits are more common at garden feeders. With this in mind, I could easily have mis-identified the subjects of these photos and they could be willow tits.
Nuthatches are very distinctive, but I have only seen one on very few occasions. This one flew in to feed whilst we were looking at other birds at Marbury Country Park in March 2008.
This group of oystercatchers was on rocks at the edge of Cemaes Bay, Anglesey in August 2008. There was also a lone turnstone amongst them. It can be seen in the last two pictures flying as if part of the flock. I have other pictures of the turnstone elsewhere in these pages.
The RSPB website shows that the population of reed buntings has dropped sharply in recent years. These were pictured at Risley Moss in April 2008 and were published here in May 2008.
Before February 2004 I had never seen a siskin. I identified them with the help of a reference book. Siskins generally feed on seeds of pine, spruce, alder and birch, but will also visit gardens especially in March and April. They are much smaller than some other finch species and this is confirmed by some of the photos that I took (not published) in which the siskin is dwarfed by a greenfinch on the other side of the seed feeder.