When we are reduced to taking photos, through the window, of birds on the bird feeder – then you know times are hard. Recently, the weather has not been conducive to photographic pursuits, with a low cloud ceiling adding to the gloom of the winter sunlight. While we have had a few relatively bright days, the majority have been, not just gloomy but, exceedingly inclement – rain mostly, but even when it isn’t actively raining, we are submerged under a soggy blanket of thick mist.
The nuthatch in the picture spends most of the year eating insects, worms, snails and just filling in the gaps with seeds and nuts. It is true that he will take a large nut and wedge it in the bark of a suitable tree trunk to attack it with his strong beak, but he will just as happily do that with a snail, given half a chance.
So, to find him raiding the seed feeder is a strong hint that we are reaching the bottom of the barrel and the bounty of autumn is over.
While he might feel that the cartoon burglar mask he’s wearing is an effective disguise, even perhaps that it imparts a super-hero tinge to his appearance – I’m afraid we’re more inclined to see him as the pantomime villain.