Flora and fauna – the gymnast

The busy nuthatch looking for his favourite seed

The real gymnast of the bird table in winter is the nuthatch.

I always think of them as strong athletic birds, just as happy running up and down a treat stump or swinging from a bird feeder.

Nuthatches readily come to the bird table, being particularly partial to peanuts and sunflower seeds which replace the hazelnuts, acorns and insects of their natural diet.

You may notice them visiting the peanuts a number of times in succession; this is because they stash food away, cramming it into nooks and crannies with their sharp, woodpecker-like bill for later.

They’re real smart lookers as well… slate blue-grey backs, buff cream breasts with a black flash through the eye.

Keep your eyes peeled this weekend, it would be a great ‘tick’ for The Big Garden Birdwatch.


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