I appreciate that many readers of this blog are located in the USA so I thought for this post I would introduce you to some of the more common small UK garden birds with which you might not be familiar. These are birds that are typically seen up and down the country in back gardens, particularly where bird feeders have been put out. I have concentrated mainly on photographs rather than text for this post on the basis that a good photo is worth a 1000 words :).
Lets start out with the tits (I believe these are referred to as titmice in the US). There are three species that most commonly show up which are:
The Blue Tit.
The slightly larger Great Tit which tend to show quite a bit of variability in colour
The Long-tailed Tit. This species tends to move around in groups and it is common to see 10 birds all hanging off the same feeder at a time. They also tend to be relatively tame and unconcerned by human presence.
Bird feeders will also attract three common finch species. The Goldfinch is increasingly appearing in gardens through the use of nyger seeds. They are a common visitor to my own tiny garden and always brighten up the view.
Chaffinch will also often visitor particular where there is woodland nearby. These birds spend a good deal of time feeding on the floor underneath the feeders. This is a male bird.
If you are fortunate and have a large flock of chaffinch visiting in the winter you may be fortunate to find a brambling amongst them. These are a finch species that migrate to the UK from Scandinavia during the colder months.
The largest of the garden visiting finches is the greenfinch which will often dominate the feeders in terms of pecking order.
For those that feed fat-balls, suet and peanuts and have woodland close by they can expect to both Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Jay also putting in appearances.
Inconspicuously shuffling round on the ground below the feeders will often by the Dunnock (formerly known as the Hedge Sparrow but is in fact a member of the Accentor family. A bird that has some strange polygamous breeding behaviour.
Blackbird will frequently build nests around gardens in shrubs and hedges. This being a male bird with the female being brown. They have a beautiful song and can often be heard singing from the rook tops at first and last light.
Of course no UK winter garden would be complete with a Robin. These birds can be very tame and often follow you round as your digging over soil.