Brambling, Pink Footed Goose, Chiffchaff, Little Owl and the first Sand Martins of Spring!

It's been a few weeks since my last blog post, when the 'Beast from the East' paid Somerset an icy visit. We are still waiting for Spring, even though it is now officially British Summer time! Weather has been pretty poor, we even had another snowy day...

It's been a few weeks since my last blog post, when the 'Beast from the East' paid Somerset an icy visit. We are still waiting for Spring, even though it is now officially British Summer time! Weather has been pretty poor, we even had another snowy day that briefly coloured everything in white again! I took photos once more of my garden visitors, but this time there were no Fieldfares or Redwings as the conditions were shorter lived and not as severe as earlier in the month!

  One bird that visited before the snow was a Brambling! In fact a male and female visited my garden on separate occasions. Always a delightful bird to see! I've seen them more often in my little garden than I have ever done in the wider countryside!

Another visitor to my garden lawn was a Chiffchaff! Different birds came on 2 consecutive days, and one spent a whole day hopping around on the grass hunting flies! I can't remember ever seeing Chiffchaffs do this before, they usually stay within trees and bushes, finding the bugs way off the ground!

Away from my garden, I photographed Yellowhammers at a wildlife field near Fivehead in Somerset, along with Skylarks and Reed Buntings. Proof that if farmers took wild birds into account with nature friendly farming practices, these declining species would soon bounce back!

I also saw a local Little Owl that I hadn't seen since before Christmas despite checking its regular haunt a few times since. I very nearly missed it peering at me whilst camouflaged on it's favoured dead tree trunk. I was thrilled to see it was OK and still in residence!

I paid a couple of brief visits to my local RSPB Reserve, Greylake, on the Somerset Levels and photographed the small birds coming to the feeders and bird tables in the car park. I never tire of this. A great spot to see Reed Buntings especially, and to attempt to photograph Chaffinches, Tits, House Sparrows and other birds in flight, with varying degrees of success!

Finally, a sure sign that Spring has finally arrived yesterday with the arrival of my first Sand Martins of the year at Backwell Lake in North Somerset! Thank you for BBC Springwatch for sharing my Sand Martin pics on their Official Twitter page. :)

Below are a collection of photo's of the birds mentioned above, plus a few others too, including a rare Pink Footed Goose, a Sparrowhawk and Great Spotted Woodpeckers!
Enjoy! :)

^Above^ - Great Spotted Woodpecker in my snowy Somerset garden.

^Above^ - Greenfinches in my snowy Somerset garden.

^Above^ - Woodpigeons in my snowy Somerset garden.

^Above^ -  Starlings in my snowy Somerset garden.

^Above^ - Male Reed Buntings in my snowy garden.

^Above^ - Robin in my snowy garden.

^Above^ -  Goldfinches in my snowy garden.

^Above^ -  Blackbirds in my snowy garden.

^Above^ -  Coal Tit in my snowy garden.

^Above^ - Chaffinches in my snowy garden.

^Above^ - Goldfinch and Blackcap in my snowy garden. (+ Chaffinch in top pic)

^Above^ - Collared Dove in my snowy garden.

^Above^ - Goldfinches, Chaffinches and Greenfinches around my snowy garden feeders.

^Above^ - Chiffchaffs hunting flies on my garden lawn.

^Above^ - Chaffinches on my lawn.

^Above^ -  Brambling in my garden.

^Above^ - Goldfinches in my garden.

^Above^ - Greenfinches in my garden.

^Above^ - Great Spotted Woodpecker in my garden.

^Above^ - Poor Chaffinch with leg injuries resting on it's chest in my garden!

^Above^ - Chaffinch and Blackcap in my garden.

^Above^ - Little Owl near Bleadon in Somerset.

^Above^ - Pink Footed Goose near Westhay in Somerset.

^Above^ - Greylag Geese near Westhay.

^Above^ - Grey Herons and Little Egret near Westhay.

^Above^ - Grey Herons at RSPB Swell Wood in Somerset.

^Above^ - Coal Tit at Swell Wood.

^Above^ - Sparrowhawk on the Mendip Hills in Somerset.

^Above^ - Yellowhammers near Fivehead in Somerset.

^Above^ - Skylarks near Fivehead.

^Above^ - Reed Bunting near Fivehead.

^Above^ - Stonechat near Fivehead.

^Above^ -  Pheasant near Fivehead.

^Above^ - Fieldfare near North Curry in Somerset.

^Above^ - Shelducks at Berrow Beach in Somerset.

^Above^ - Blue Tit at RSPB Greylake in Somerset.

^Above^ - Great Tit at Greylake.

^Above^ - Chaffinches at Greylake.

^Above^ - Reed Buntings at Greylake.

^Above^ - House Sparrow at Greylake.

^Above^ - Long Tailed Tits at Greylake.

^Above^ - Goldfinch at Greylake.

^Above^ - Greylake bird table scenes involving Chaffinches, Reed Buntings, House Sparrows, Robin and Great Tit.

^Above^ - Poor Robin at Greylake with deformed beak! Didn't seem to affect it though!

^Above^ - Canada Geese at Backwell Lake in North Somerset.

^Above^ - Sand Martins at Backwell Lake.

^Above^ - Mute Swans at Backwell Lake....loving and fighting!

^Above^ - Muscovy Duck at Backwell Lake, it followed this Mute Swan about constantly!

^Above^ - Robin at Backwell Lake.

^Above^ - Tufted Ducks at Backwell Lake.

^Above^ - Woodpigeon at Backwell Lake.

^Above^ - Lesser Black Back Gulls at Backwell Lake.

^Above^ - Grey Herons at Backwell Lake.

^Above^ - Long Tailed Tit at Backwell Lake.

^Above^ - Mallard at Backwell Lake.

^Above^ - Jackdaw at Backwell Lake.

^Above^ - Gadwall at Backwell Lake.

^Above^ - Moorhen at Backwell Lake.

^Above^ - Carrion Crow at Backwell Lake.

^Above^ -  Wren at Backwell Lake.

^Above^ -  Reeds at Berrow.

^Above^ - Hunt protesters out in the cold on the Mendip Hills.