Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Fledglings galore

The resident birds seem to have synchronised their breeding to such extent that I saw/heard seven different species of fledglings or chicks in my way to work. A Blackbird (#1) fledgling gave a try to hunt for itself, its parents out of sight. It was hilarious to watch it picking up a dried berry and dropping it and listening for worms.

A lovely fluffy Robin (#2) fledgling by the university parking lot, still very naive, let me get quite close (top photo), a pair of Greenfinches landed next to it and had me confused for a while!
Then a pair of noisy rook (#3) youngsters by the university woodland area demanded to be fed, I could only get a poor shot.

The family of Wrens (#4) I pictured a couple of posts ago were still around, the young giving their calls from a bed of nettles and docks opposite the Wilberforce building.
In my way back from work, a lovely family of Long Tailed Tits (#5) 'see-see-seeing', but the young ones shun me and only gave me their tails to photograph.

In my kids school, the Blue Tit (#6) eggs have finally hatched and I watched the live footage, with one of the parents sitting on very hungry and bare chicks
Near home, the Starling (#7) adults and youngsters in the nest have starting calling to each other with their 'churrr' calls which mean that they are almost ready to leave their nests.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Alarmed wrens

A pair of Wrens in the wildlife garden called their rattling alarm calls. I am always intrigued by alarm calls. Many alarm calls are directed to the bird watcher, as we approach a nest or a bird more than it is comfortable with. In this case, the birds were directing their attention to a cat, which was going about its business in the undergrowth. The pair of wrens moved constantly around, chattering nervously. A Goldfinch sat on a branch paying a lot of attention, but keeping quiet. On the top is my best shot of one of the Wrens, and you can see a little video here.

Wren fledglings

I heard some thin calls coming from a thicket in the University Wildlife Area. Two alternating calls, probably coming from two recenlty fledged chicks. Chicks calling alternatively are incredibly difficult to locate as each call makes you look in a different direction. I spotted an adult Wren giving an alarm call nearby and waited. Eventually an adult approached one of the chicks to feed it and I could see where it hid. The chicks were sitting inside some nettles. I could only get a poor shot, but it shows the yellow rim of the mouth typical of chicks.

Mrs Black

This female Blackbird sat on a fence unfazed by my presence. She looked one way and the other while I approached and took her portrait and when I left she was still there.