Back to the garden and the reappearance of Blackbirds.
Blackbirds will have had their two or three broods of young, and then kept a low profile for a few weeks during moulting, when they are vulnerable due to their reduced flight feathers and the energy it takes to grow new plumage. They then have some weeks when berries and fruits are plentiful in the trees and hedgerows and they are less reliant on garden food, before returning to our bird-tables. Having some berries left on the wonderful Joseph Rock Rowan, we now have half a dozen Blackbirds at a time. At this time of year, our native birds are joined by influxes of birds from cold climates, including Scandinavia, Northern Europe and the Baltic States. You can tell those winter migrants as the males have dark beaks, unlike the yellow ones of our native birds. Conditions: A mostly cloudy, dry day (though the rain has clearly been torrential in western Scotland) Temperature: Max 14- Min 12 C.