Thursday, 23 May 2013

JAYS, BLUE TIT AND LOCAL SPARROWHAWK UPDATE.

Well firstly the female is still sitting pretty, the only odd thing being the lack of the male bird showing near the nest. Paul's daughter is showing a real talent for recording bird species recognition and is constantly (according to her dad) hogging the scope....good stuff that. She even kept for me, much to her mum's disgust some angel wings, the remains of a bird of prey kill, so called because they look like angel wings. It was a Jay, it wasn't the one that kept pestering the sprawk as mentioned in the last post, it was a juvenile bird the remains it left behind being only slightly larger then a Greenfinch. Perhaps this is why the Jay is pestering the Sprawk so much, it still is. I managed a few images of the Jay.

Today I went for an Urban Bird walk. The first port of call was a tiny pocket park nearby. It's only about an acre in size, it's horseshoe in shape but the key feature for me of this park is that on three sides it has a steep banks leading up to the back of peoples gardens, the council about ten years ago agreed with the residents to allow the nettles and brambles grow unchecked/uncut in a bid to prevent people breaking into the houses. This brings some obvious benefits loads of caterpillars/butterflies and plenty of garden birds. House Sparrows are in plentiful supply here as is other common species the list for the day was Greenfinch,Chaffinch,House Sparrows,Blue Tits,Great Tits, Long Tail Tits, Blackbirds,Collared Dove,Wood Pigeon,Goldfinch,Robin,Dunnock,Common Whitethroat overhead I had just 5 Swifts and 1 Hobby, my first urban Hobby, one I've seen for the last three years. it always heads back towards Moulton Park Industrial Estate. Now I don't know my butterfly species but I did get Cabbage White (I know that one ) and big red one (stop laughing, I don't know that one) not bad of a species list for an a park an acre in size. I did see juvenile Dunnock too. I only do this park on cloudy days when it's not worth getting the car started for "further away" ventures, yet some good images can be had from here, next cloudy day (there will be plenty more of them I'm sure) I shall go back and despite the downpour of hail and rumble of thunder, got these Doves and Goldfinch.
COLLARED DOVE.

GOLDFINCH, LOOK HARD ENOUGH AND YOU'LL SEE THE DOG AND ME, VERY TAME
This evening I took the greyhound over my local park to check on whether the Reed Warblers were showing any better, almost! There was a stranger to the park's lake in the shape of a Common Tern, there isn't many fish left in there these days, plus it's very shallow, in fact what sunlight we've had so far is already forming green algae on the surface, it's that shallow and rather sadly one those "children's sized" quad bikes has been dumped in there handlebars showing(gives you an idea how shallow), but the tern did catch a fish and headed off towards Pitsford. The reservoir is some distance away for a fishing trip and had me looking on maps for any other potential bodies of water...how far will a tern fly for food? Constant showers and clouds meant photography moments were on short supply and was more a case of seeing what was around. Juvenile Greenfinches,Chaffinches and Great Tits are already showing, by the sound of things I'm expecting juvenile Blackbirds,Wrens,Long tail Tits and Song Thrush with some very vocal noises coming from nest sites. Also got an adult Mistle Thrush this evening in the Oak Trees near Eastfield housing estate so plenty of common stuff. The real "no show" are the swifts, there has always been a local breeding colony on the estate (Broadway Avenue and Addison Road, near the pub) however in recent years numbers have declined and I only counted 10 birds so far, down by at least half on last years total, this decline can't be put down the loss of nesting spots as nothing has changed and those lucky to get them in their roofs (most don't realise to be fair!!) enjoy and look forward to their arrival, they were very late in arriving with many residents constantly when I pop into my local shop asking me "are they going to turn up" or "mine haven't showed, is it something I've done", the last question/comment always puts a smile on my face...oddly.
Despite the showers and dull light I managed "flight" shots of a Blue Tit, mostly hopping from branch to branch in short flight searching the underside of branches and leaves for bugs to feed young, so not really flight shots....it did have a wet head as did I!!



6 comments:

  1. Another great set Doug.
    Love that flying Jay.
    Hope all is well with the Sparrowhawk.
    Happy to say the Swift numbers are their usual high around here. Great to see them soaring over the garden through the day.

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    1. Thank you Keith. Yeah the sprawk is appears to be doing ok. Odd about the swifts.

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  2. Beautiful photographs today. The jay is magical. It will soon be time for the chicks to hatch.

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    1. Thanks Adrian, can't wait for some chicks to photograph.

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  3. Great first shot of the Jay 'at speed' Douglas. I hope it's not giving the Sparrowhawks too much grief? It sounds like that little pocket park is a real urban oasis for the birds. I hope the Swifts, and a bit more sunshine!, turn up soon. I do think you need to brush up on your butterfly ID though!...[;o)

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    1. Cheers Trevor, yeah you're right just saying "that pretty blue one" just doesn't cut-it :)

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