The bird feeder makes for great mealtime entertainment. It’s kind of like an aquarium but natural and noisy.

This year, like last year, redpolls dominate. Goldfinches, great tits, blue tits, nuthatches, jays, and blackbirds are all regular visitors, but none in such numbers as the redpolls.

When the redpolls come en masse, there are tens and tens of them, such a swarm that they are hard to count. The “restaurant” feeder they like best has 12 “seats”, plus some room on the rim. Those spots are all completely full. More birds hang around nearby, waiting for their turn. And on the ground below, there’s at least as many as up on the feeder – and then yet more birds in the trees and bushes that we can hear but not see.