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Saturday, 26 September 2020

Two Nuthatches Visit our Feeders

      It is not unusual for us to have a nuthatch visit our bird feeders, but in most years we have either Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis) or, (more frequently), White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) and neither Miriam nor I can recall having both species visit at the same time. 
     This year has been the exception to the rule and both have been regular visitors, once even appearing on different sides of the same feeder. It has given us a lot of pleasure to welcome these birds.

Red-breasted Nuthatch

     This is the smaller of the two species, with an overall length of about 120mm (4.75 in.).


     In common with White-breasted Nuthatch it is all business when it visits the feeders. It quickly snatches a seed and flies off to cache it under the bark of a tree, or in a crevice, sometimes even in a fissure in the mortar of a wall. Sunflower seeds seem to be its preferred choice of food.


     Once we spot a bird, it goes to and from the feeder several times before disappearing for a few hours, only to return again.


     It has been great fun to watch the antics of this charismatic little bird.

White-breasted Nuthatch

     Both longer and bulkier than Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch averages 155mm (6 in.) and has a noticeably longer, slightly upturned bill.


     It is a very handsome bird, with chestnut flanks and a dark eye set in a white cheek.


     It often announces its presence with its relatively high-pitched nasal nit, nit sound, an easy song to learn, and one of the first to be remembered and recognized by those unfamiliar with bird vocalization.
     It will take a variety of seeds, but shows great fondness for peanuts, which it extracts from the feeder with ease.


     
Feeding from the hand

     Both species are quite confiding and with a little patience can be coaxed into feeding from the hand.




     These birds are resident in southern Ontario and we will look forward to enjoying their presence throughout the winter. I have no doubt they will sparkle like jewels set against the winter snow - that pleasure is still to come!



94 comments:

  1. Hello,
    charming little birds...and so colourful.
    Have a nice weekend!

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  2. Lucky you, I would just be happy to see a nuthatch having never seen one at all. Have a good weekend and stay safe, Diane

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    1. I could almost certainly find a White-breasted Nuthatch for you any time, Diane. Red-breasted is nit quite so easy.

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  3. Oh my.
    How wonderful. And I still am filled with awe and delight when one of 'our' birds does us the honour to eat from our hands, as I am sure you are.

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    1. It never fails to be a source of intense joy and wonderment, Sue.

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  4. Hi David.

    Beautiful birds.
    And so beautifully close to you.

    Greetings from Patricia.

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  5. They are very charming, David. It's funny that you have visit of both species at the same time. Here we have visit of Sitta europaea, and they are very similar to the ones you show today.
    Have a nice weekend!

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  6. Hi David! Your nuthatches are delightful! I don't think we have them over here, at least I haven't seen any. I do notice that the nets with peanuts and sunflower seeds are always the first to empty here, the know what's good! And it must be lovely to get the birds to eat out of your hand, I've only done that with the blackbird which lived on my balcony a few years back. Thanks for sharing the lovely photos. Have a great day, stay safe, Valerie

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    1. As Marit mentions above, Valerie, you have European Nuthatch, Sitta europea.

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  7. Olá, bom dia. Eu estou fazendo uma campanha para arrecadar fundos para voltar para minha terra. Porque estou com problema de saúde e gostaria de ficar perto da minha família. Desde já agradeço! muito obrigada... E se você puder colaborar clique no link abaixo:https://www.kickante.com.br/campanhas/lupus-fibromialgia-nao-consigo-trabalhar

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  8. In the year of the chickadee one long ago winter at the cottage, the nuthatch was the very first visitor.

    The year of the chickadee was when they came flocking for peanut butter that we stuck in trees. We had many up close visits. Some would fly to the peanut jar almost as soon as we left the cottage to put more on the trees.

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  9. We also have regular visits from Nuthatches (Sitta europaea). They are such delightful, and entertaining little birds to watch and have in the garden.

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  10. Hello, David,
    Awesome photos of both the White-breasted and Red-breasted Nuthatches. They are both so cute! The Red-breasted is an occasional bird showing up in Maryland, I am seeing a lot of reported sightings. Birders are thinking this will be a good year for the rare winter bird sightings. I hope so. I am looking out for the Red-breasted Nuthatch to appear in my yard. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Enjoy your day, wishing you a great weekend. PS, thank you for the comment!

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  11. Such special visits. What wonderful birds.
    I especially loved the last photo, it's spectacular.
    Have a nice weekend

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  12. Those visitors are always welcome. They are very enjoyable to look at. My visitors are the energenic squirrels and the occasional white butterflies.

    Not a single bird has ever sat upon my finger... :)

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    1. Come down to Waterloo one day, and I can change that in a hurry for you.

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  13. Terrific photos! I think I will have to get a bird feeder for the winter but I don't know how to defend it against all those bands of marauding tree rats.

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    1. There are several bird feeders available now that really are quite effective in thwarting squirrels.

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  14. Such beautiful photos of one of our favourite birds!

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  15. Hari Om
    What delightful wee birdies - both gorgeous each in their way, despite their similarity. Nothing is quite so charming as have a whild bird feed from one's hand! YAM xx

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  16. The birds photographed are very charismatic

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  17. Oh ils sont trop jolis ces oiseaux, quelle chance de les voir se poser sur la main.
    Il faut que je remette mes mangoires, ils commencent à faire froid.
    Bon weekend

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  18. Beautiful bird photo David!It is very similar to our Eurasian nuthatch We have alot of them here in my woods.The only bird that can walk up and down the tree :)(As i know)

    Thanx for sharing beauty and have a very lovely weekend to Miriam and you and of course Lilly :)))

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  19. Hello. Congratulations on seeing both of those birds. Wonderful photos. We have Sitta europaea.
    Take care.

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  20. I just saw a white breasted yesterday and of course the camera wasn't at hand. They are beautiful birds. I see them at home, too, so I'm looking forward to more sightings.

    You certainly got fabulous photos, as always, and I really admire your skill and patience with that. They're lovely.

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  21. How wonderful to have a wild bird sit on your finger!

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  22. I still can't believe you can get a bird to sit on your hand! I know...I should try it! What beautiful nuthatches. They are such a delightful bird to watch!

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    1. Chickadees above all others are prone to do this, so Carolina Chickadee where you live would be an excellent candidate to give it a try. I have had Florida Scrub Jay eat from my hand so there's another possibility if you visit an area where they reside.

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  23. What a gorgeous bird, and brave too. I love the color.
    Amalia
    xo

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  24. Hello David, how wonderful these birds and indeed they are handsome. They have chosen the right garden to stay over Winter with all the goodies you have for them and all the other birds that will come during Wintertime.
    Regards,
    Roos

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  25. Excellent photos David. How joyful to watch them eating.

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  26. Nuthatch is a lovely bird. They also visit my garden. I can't believe they are eating from your hand.
    Health and lots of hugs for Miriam and You:)

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  27. Great photos. They are one of my favorite feeder birds and fortunately we have them here in abundance. Only the white-breasted and brown, however — no red at the feeders.

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  28. The Nuthatch is a scarce bird in this little corner of Britain, though they are found just a short distance away. Whatever the type of Nuthatch they seem to be most comfortable being upside-down.

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  29. It's great to have visitors like that beautiful bird. The bird really enjoys the food in the feeder. Must keep those visitors happy so they will return.

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  30. I wonder if we have Nuthatches in Southern California. I will look it up. I recognize that song, I think.

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  31. Hola David.

    A mí no me resulta fácil ver a una especie de trepador, imagínate a dos en un mismo comedero, qué bueno poder fotografiarles tan cerquita, ¡qué envidia, además son bellísimos!

    Un abrazo,

    Rafa.

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  32. I enjoy my backyard nuthatches but we don't get the red-breasted nuthatch around here. Really enjoyed seeing yours! Didn't know about the preference for peanuts from the white-breasted nuthatch though I noticed the fondness for my suet feeder, guess that explains it. Happy Saturday!

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  33. Como saben esos pajarillos que están en buenas manos y les darás el cariño y la comida que puedan necesitar. Debe ser una gran satisfacción y un verdadero placer cuando se posan en las manos para alimentarse. La ultima foto es una preciosidad. ¡Que gran visita!
    Un fuerte abrazo querido amigo y compadre David, os deseo un buen fin de semana.

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    1. Hola querido amigo Juan: Even though we have done it many times, it is always a thrill. Buenos noches, amigo y compadre Juan.

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  34. Saben bien donde encontrar los alimentos y acuden siempre que lo necesitan.

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  35. How nice! I was not aware you had two kinds of them. Ours are white breasted but I don´t think it is the same as yours. Your darker one is a beauty. I like to watch them running up and down the tree trunks. So quick. A pleasure.

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  36. Absolutely beautiful two Nuthatches eating together on the feeders. Love them.

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  37. I always keep my fingers crossed that this will be the winter when the Red-breasted Nuthatches make it this far south and it seems like it might be. It's a treat when they turn up at my feeders. Our resident Brown-headed Nuthatches are ever-present and I often hear their calls when I am outside but they usually don't visit the feeders except in winter.

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  38. What a wonderful treat to have both these delightful birds visiting your feeders, David! Some great photographic captures too. The European Nuthatch, sadly, is a relative rare visitor to our feeders. However, by strange coincidence, I finished writing a blog post late last night which I am about to publish later this evening, and it features a Nuthatch secreting sunflower hearts in our garden! My photography, however, is not up to the standards you display here!

    With my very best wishes - - - Richard

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  39. Hi David,
    We d have Nuthatches in our environment, but not these ones!!! The are gorgeous! And very beautifully captured by Miriam! And they will look great in the snow, I am sure!
    Happy weekend,(and stay well!)
    Warm Greetings,
    Maria

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  40. We only have the red breasted ones here. Love those white one too though. Thank you for sharing. They are such entertaining little birds.

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  41. Your White-breasted Nuthatch photos are beautiful.

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  42. What lovely birds. Do you have a large garden?

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  43. In NE Ohio I've seen white breasted nuthatches, but not red.
    As for winter, your pleasures are your own.

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  44. Hi David wow what stunning pics of these pretty birds,so lovely to see them,take care,cheers Sheryl

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  45. What gorgeous little birds. It must be such a thrill to have them eat from your hand - the only bird I have found here to do that is the cheeky seagull.

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  46. Buenas noches queridos Miriam & David, como estan chicos!
    undoubtedly the winter to come will be very beautiful in the company of the feathered friends. The birds are humming you both, for now autumn is singing its own melody, I imagine that from time to time you look out the window to see them peck at their bird feeder or flap its bright wings. Without a doubt, Ontario is a happy place.
    Que esten bien, queridos amigos, saludos desde el sur del mundo!

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  47. They are lovely and a bit tame it seems which is good for taking photo which are indeed lovely.

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  48. Hi David,
    that's a lot of fun, nuthatches in your garden; for the nuthatches and for you.
    The photo's are marvelous, especially the last one.

    Best regards, Corrie

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  49. Hi David and Miriam, Very beautiful pics of this birds. I didn't know there are white-breasted nuthatch. In our area we don't see nuthatch birds. Greetings Caroline

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  50. Hi David - how delightful ... the two of you must have delighted seeing these beautiful birds - so special and what wonders to see them feeding from your hand. Beautiful photos - thank you ... take care - Hilary

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  51. Que encantadoras imagens...muito inspiradoras!! Amo a Natureza...e os pássaros são sua expressão mais livre!! abraços com carinho meu.

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  52. Prachtig om te zien deze boomklever David.
    Hele mooie foto's.
    Groetjes Tinie

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  53. Isn't that interesting! We have both visiting at the same time. It's fun when you can compare species.
    Lovely photos.

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  54. For me that would be an amazing experience - particularly having then feed from your hand. Some of my birds will hang around very close when I'm filling their feeders but that's about it.

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  55. Firstly thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such a lovely comment.

    Secondly Nuthatches used to be regular visits to our home in Hertfordshire, until they cut down some lovely large Chestnut and Oak Trees in our street and some surrounding roads....coincidence? I think not. Such a shame, as I used to enjoy watching them most days.

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  56. Hi David, 2 wonderful Nuthatches in the garden and very nice photo's. They are both handsome and of course different than ours. I like the redbreasted nuthach the most because of the beautiful head, lovely.

    Save hugs from Holland,
    Marianne

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  57. Another new specie for me brother David! I love the patterns of colors on this nuthatches especially the black part on it's head! they look striking with it :)

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  58. These climbers are beautiful, the first one I found very elegant with that white chest and black and white plumage as if it were going to a party. The photos are very good, congratulate Miriam.
    I am glad that this winter you can enjoy her presence, it is fortunate.
    Lots of hugs and kisses.

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  59. These are indeed good looking birds, David, and some wonderful photos thanks to yourself and Miriam. How wonderful too that you can hand feed them.

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  60. What beautiful little birds, it must bring so much joy to watch them. I'd feel very honoured.

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  61. I love Red-breasted Nuthatch... Nice pictures...
    Happy week :-)

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  62. Very trusting birds to come to your hand. Great photos David.

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  63. I would have said I've not seen a nuthatch of any sort, but then I remembered seeing little birds moving up and down tree trunks in the east Texas woods. I do need a pair of binoculars!
    Speaking of the woods, I noticed something I've missed at the Rare Plant Preserve I visit. Clearly, the people in charge are thinking of the birds, too.

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  64. Hi David!

    Hoppas att du och din familj mår väl i dessa besvärliga tider.

    Nötväckan som den heter på svenska är en förtjusande fågel, jag har den europeiska varianten här i skogen och den är en regelbunden gäst vid fågelbordet. Jag har ännu inte börjat mata fåglarna men ser den ofta klättra upp och ned för trädstammarna när den letar mat.

    Nu har vi fått höst men det är fortfarande väldigt varmt och ingen frost i sikte men snart skall jag nog bjuda mina fågelvänner på mat och sätta mig med kameran, nötväckan gör sig särdeles fint på bild om man lyckas fånga den snabba fågeln. Fina bilder av Miriam!

    Jag har fortfarande inte bestämt mig om jag skall fortsätta blogga, jag saknar skrivandet men jag saknar också inspiration. Har skrivit så många år om min trädgård och det blir svårt att variera sig.

    Jag följer vad som händer med vår natur och med klimatet, läser mycket och blir allt mer pessimist vilket inte är något som människor vill höra, världen blir allt mer förljugen och det stora hotet med artutrotningen tycks mig som om ingen vill låtsas om, så sorgligt. Samma med klimatet, ingen vill egentligen höra hur allvarlig situationen är för oss och allt levande.

    Och jag läser om vad som händer i USA och jag förstår ingenting. Har människor blivit dummare i vår upplysta värld?

    Det är vad jag funderar över, vilken värld jag och alla andra lämnar över till barnbarnen att hantera.

    Ha det gott David och kramar från din vän Gunilla på andra sidan jordklotet.

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    1. Hello my good friend Gunilla: How utterly wonderful to hear from you. Sadly, the conditions have not improved since we last communicated. Stay in touch now! Big hugs. David

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  65. Hi David,
    How fortunate to get both Nuthatch visiting together an then as a bonus feeding from your hand. Our European Nuthatch has never visited our feeders, mind I should not be greedy.
    You stay safe,
    John

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  66. Son preciosos David. Por aquí hay alguna variedad de ellos, esta primavera fotografíe alguno. Un abrazo.

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  67. You're very lucky to have such beautiful visitorson your feeder, I really like those two sister species. And how wonderful to make them pose in your own hand!

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  68. OMG! How awesome!

    Love your adorable nuthatches, David!

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  69. Wonderful birds - and one of my favourite. I know that their range has expended in the UK. If you want to see some nice convergent evolution have a look at Varied Sittella.

    Hope all is well. Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. It is a textbook case of convergent evolution, Stewart, and if I am not mistaken at one point we came across this species together.

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  70. Halo my friend David,
    Nuthatches are also beautiful to see. I especially love that specific attitude when it hangs there. We only have one kind, but with you there are 2 different ones.
    Great if you have these in your garden in winter :-))))
    Your photos are very beautiful and clear.
    Stay safe David and watch out.
    A big kiss from me, Helma

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  71. Hi David,
    I didn't know that there is so much variety in nuthatches. Both of them are beautiful birds, so you are lucky to get such a chance to observe them. Compliments for Miriam, looking at the pictures she made.
    Greetings, Kees

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  72. hello David
    I've seen Kleiber here several times, of course not photographed and certainly not hand-fed ... well, German Kleiber are different ... ;-))
    Greetings Frank

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  73. This is a sweet, little bird. I love its extended, pointy beak! Thank you for linking up and I hope to see you back again.

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  74. They are beautiful birds and very distinct, there's no mistaking a Nuthatch, they're always a joy to watch!

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  75. Lovely birds.

    Just to let you know that according to ladydog, Jo is not doing too well. She is going to see her tomorrow and I'll let you know what I hear.

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  76. Such a pretty looking bird, many thanks for sharing these lovely photographs.

    Enjoy this last day of September and have a happy October.

    All the best Jan

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  77. Love nuthatches. Only started to recognize their call this year and I am now obsessed!!!

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