This is a photo from 13/03/2015, when nest building was in its early stages.
Saturday, 25 April 2015
Tuesday, 21 April 2015
The female Sparrowhawk is an impressive raptor compared to the almost cute, much smaller, male. She is as large as a Woodpigeon, with broad chest and piercing yellow eyes. She can actually bring down Woodpigeons. Although the thrushes appeared fearless, they always stayed over the hawk, not underneath. The hawk moved onto an ash tree nearby, and although higher up, there were fewer leaves in the way, and after some trying I found a clear line of view and managed to take some photos and a video of the 'missile' thrushes dive bombing her. This behaviour, known as 'mobbing' involves potential prey individuals harassing or sometimes actually attacking predators when they are encountered. Mobbing is at its most intense during the breeding season. It is a behaviour that is not completely understood. One explanation, the 'move-along' hypothesis, is that mobbing diverts the predator attention from places where there are nests or young. When the Sparrowhawk's young hatches, they will be fed almost exclusively on fledglings, so harassing the predators might encourage them to move on, and hunt somewhere else.
Mistle thrush with worms in bill (14/4/2015)
Saturday, 18 April 2015
After a while the parent brooded them on the ground, a bit restless trying to get itself comfortable. The following time I saw them, the adult was trying to arrange some nesting material on a branch by the water, maybe not happy with brooding the chicks on the ground? There were a number of large gulls about, and with just one parent around, I wonder what the future of these chicks holds.
Parent finding food.
Tuesday, 7 April 2015
One of the coots being chased away by the resident Moorhen (with its nest in the island tree).
Coot about to dive
This is the third coot, note its very large frontal shield, protruding from the top of the head and stained pink. The two individuals at the top of the post have much smaller shields.