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Twitchers are apparently bird watchers who are for ever looking for new names to add to their list of rare birds spotted. So I’m not a twitcher: I am very happy watching my sparrows and tits performing complicated manoeuvres to get the best spot on the grease balls or dish of sunflower seeds I have put out for them.

They all give way to the tourterelles (collared doves) who visit several times a day – simply because they are so big. They are greedy but not aggressive – it is rather the sparrows who are the most pushy now that the robin no longer comes (perhaps it is moving north as winter recedes?).

Recently I have noticed another breed which I did not recognise. Dan, who called by this morning, told me they are tree creepers. Funnily he and his partner, Monika, have copied me, have offered their local birds a variety of menus. They too have discovered how mesmerising it is watching the birds’ antics.

I wasn’t so pleased when a local magpie came visiting a few days ago; I fear if he brings his family they may be as greedy as the tourtourelles and more aggressive. I was much happier with the latest visit. I was having breakfast yesterday when I looked up and found this beautiful bird pecking away at the balls. It turned out to be a spotted woodpecker. I think it is the first time I have ever seen one; it may be very common but it is oh so handsome. Sadly I have had to borrow a photo from the internet, as my camera was not handy.

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