Thursday, 23 June 2005

General update

My fledgling count went reasonably well, although the Song Thrush decided to avoid showing up until after the deadline. In all for my garden, 3 adult Blackbirds and no young, 8 adult House Sparrows and 7 young, 1 adult Robin and no young, 5 adult Starlings and 7 young. Those were the highest numbers of each at any one time.
These national counts always seems to have a southern bias. Blackbirds don't seem to fledge here for another couple of weeks, there are more Sparrows and Starlings later in the summer too. With an entire month of difference between Spring striking the North and South in this country maybe these surveys are missing out on the real numbers.

Anyway, lots of pictures, and one bird I was particularly happy to finally get a snap of...

It's a Grey Wagtail. Only a juvenile but a Grey Wagtail nonetheless. As the name suggests they wag their tails, A LOT, and are always on the move, ants in their pants or something, and are quite shy, hence the difficulty snapping them.
No ants actually, the wagtailing is all about constantly moving in order break up their reflection in the water. The birds feed on invertebrates in the stream and need to see them without their own beak shining back up at them.

Anyway, more of him...

More images from the reservoir...

Meanwhile at the local community country park...

House Martins are just the sweetest of birds, and still nest building, a muddy patch beside the carpark offered a perfect supply of material.

This time of year the orchids are dazzling. These are Common Spotted, yet uncommonly pretty.

Monday, 13 June 2005

General Birding Update

Fledgling Count continues through to the 19th. I'm spending maybe ten or fifteen minutes twice a day at the busiest bird times surveying my garden. It's been super interesting. Usually I glance out of our kitchen window and if any eye-catching bird is around I'll stop and look. But waiting at the window, I've seen so much more! The kestrel that quarters our suburbs, it even hovers over the enclosed gardens most of which are no larger than a half a tennis court. And the Robin, scarce and very shy in our neighbourhood, yet bold enough to sip water from the bucket by my window that is home to a frog. The Coal Tit back and forth from the feeders, ferrying seed several gardens away, even if caterpillars are the ideal choice for the chicks.
Patience counts for a lot in bird watching, even in your garden.

The Great Crested Grebe pair/nest I've been photographing at the reservoir since late winter seems to have only raised one chick, and quite a spoilt one by now. Two parents spend the whole day around it.

Swifts are always a treat at this time of year.