Also for the last eight months until the Kennel Club confirmed it was ok to say so and make public I am to say my Mum has been appointed as "breed" judge for Crufts in 2017, she has been a Championship show judge for some time and will judge "her" breed the Japanese Chin, may seem trivial to some but speaking purely for myself, I am over the moon for her she turns 73 tomorrow (I sneaked a look at her passport) so it's been a good week for her.
ANYWAY, being a birding blog I'll get round to some birding because despite having to refit my kitchen and other diy chores I got some birding done.
Firstly in my garden it's starting to resemble a day nursery with EVERY bird being a juvenile hanging around my feeders, so busy I converted my shed into a hide, there's nothing in there so what the hell....mind you my garden is to shady for any quality images. I have not seen my garden so busy at this time of the year in ages it doesn't normally get this busy even during the winter, it has been a bumper year for Tits around my way and Starlings too. In every garden you walk past there is small flocks of twenty Starlings on up to seven lawns worming away it makes the morning walk to the local shops quite interesting on one property there is a soffet/eaves that has been tapped away at by adult starlings with a noisy brood showing! In my garden I have 8 juvenile Blue Tits, sadly just one juvenile Blackbird (second brood), 5 Great Tits with one solitary Coal Tit (see previous post) though watching the Coal Tit, the Great Tits hate it constantly chasing the bird, also 12 Long Tailed Tits all juvenile no adults apart from Goldfinches to be seen. Given the number of cats around here I'm surprised anything breeds and it comes as no surprise the Blackbird (2 juveniles in the first brood, 1 in second brood), no juvenile Dunnocks but have a nesting pair of adults and no Robins numbers are so low for ground nesting birds around here, my greyhound Jim went for one Tabby that strolled past us on a walk with a Starling in it's gob, I hate CATS as does Jim to be fair.
Best bird but not a garden tick is the two juvenile Goldcrest in my Yew tree/bush
Saying that I'm glad I stuck it out as I got to watch my very own aerobatic display team, performed by the Martins display team, the Red Arrows have nothing on these guys, getting an image was out of the question as the display taking place in front of me was happening in either really grey skies or about 5 to 6 feet above the ground with a frankly shit 1/300th shutter speed.
Basically I had circa 50 adult birds chasing around, one lead bird (which became obvious was a female) was being chased around by up to 4 birds, jinking left, twisting low and fast, rising steeply then coming a bit to close to me with aduible flaps of wings whisking past my head until it was just two birds, then the lead bird would slow down and the chasing bird would catch up and mount it both then "parachuted" locked to the ground, they were only a few feet of the ground at this point but the descent was being controlled by the male bird, I really wanted images of this bit but sadly way to out of focus but from them I could see they hadn't copulated the male bird standing on the back of the female using it's wings to safely land whilst gripping the females wings, so she couldn't escape or maybe to prevent other males from getting in on the action maybe? Not sure I have never seen this.
Clcik on the below image and you can see how the male is gripping the females wing whilst mating.
|ALWAYS ONE TRYING TO SNEAK IN ON SOME ACTION|
|ROUGH RIDE..OOPS I MEANT LANDING|
Sadly they stayed a bit distant, but feel this image has some merit, you can see the bug to the left of the birds mouth, but I also love the sprayed out tail....sadly I am working for the next four days but what good start to the working week and given Glastonbury Festival is starting this week I am not surprised to hear the weather is turning lousy :o( Have a good week and now Blogger seems to have sorted the dashboard issues I look forward to seeing what you have been up to, can I recommend if you haven't check out "Rugby Birder" blog on my list on the left, there is a rather gorgeous melanistic Barn Owl on there, captive bird but still a right good looking bird.
A quick re-edit I am having an image published in Birdwatch magazine (July issue) too.