Please, do not hamper a young bird's life by picking it up, and taking it home with you. It is calling its parents to help them in locating it.
After fledgling from the nest, the parent birds will keep feeding it, and look out for it, until it will be able to look after itself.
And the reason you cannot see a parent is because of your own proxomity to the young bird. And while you are ebating if or not you should take the bird home, you keep the parent from giving it well needed nutrition in the form of a meal!


The photos on this blog are all taken by me. If there is any picture you might want to use for any other than personal use, please drop me a line to the email address shown in the sidebar on the right.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Wood eating Blue Tit.

I sat observing my little Blue Tit, who'd flown in, and come to feed, I assumed. After landing in the Fennel, from where it usually will start feeding in the Fennel planter which is their birdtable. It had different ideas, however. Most of the birds in my garden will feed on Insects on the stalks of the Fennel (and also inside) and many will pick out Insects on the wood of either the planter itself or on the wooden shelving, beyond.

Birds like Wrens will always go underneath the shelf, to feed on the life on the wooden supports, where it can feed unnoticed and in peace.
The Blue Tit was looking deeper than most Birds would. The bird started to confuse, when I spotted these bits of shelf in its beak! OK, I know birds need minerals and also grit, so their stomachs can digest their food. Bt shreds of wood?
At the end of the day, we thought that was that. But it wasn't, was it?

As a great surprise, the same Blue Tit, again landed on the shelf,

Birds And guess what?
Yep!She was back hanging on the shelf again, as the day before!
Blue Tit, Parus caeruleus

Elsewhere in the garden:
Great Tit, Parus major, feeding on Insects/Invertebrates, found among the roots of the Fennel, in the planter.

This assured looking female House Sparrow, Passer domesticus



Female Chaffinch, Fringilla coelebs:
female Chaffinch, Fringilla coelebs

Any explanation towards this behaviour of my Blue Tit, would be very welcome. Please leave a comment or drop an email to birdingonwheels@gmail.com

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dunnock versus Great Tit

With its high-pitched call, the Dunnock, announced its arrival before I was able to see it. A Blue Tit had just left; probably impressed with the pair of Rooks on the rails of the high fence, although all my passerines are well used to the many Rooks, Jackdaws and Hooded Crows which feed in this garden also, and the Coal Tits used to take advantage of the Jackdaws; using them as a kind of avian shield to hide behind these when the Robins, House Sparrows or Great Tits whenever the small ones were feeding. The tiny Goldcrest, Ireland's smallest bird, too, used to do this, during last winter and spring when it came to feed here in the garden and grant us the view of this little beautiful bird . however I must admit that this little one was less assured in feeding with the black/grey birds.
Of all those which I mentioned above, the Robin, the Great Tit and also the House Sparrow, (and also the Greenfinch, which has not been feeding in my garden these past few years) are very territorial. This means in short that these will claim the feeding station as their own kingdom so to speak, and will defend it till the intruder leaves again, once he/she got the message that this patch is not for sale, and more importantly, the food in this patch is property of the territory King or Queen.
The Dunnock, Prunella modularis, is also called Hedge Sparrow due to its habbits of scurrying underneath hedges, shrubbery, trees and other places where shelter and protection are offered low to the ground. Here it will feed on Insects, Invertabrates and seeds.
The Great Tit, Parus major, on the other hand is a bold and aggressive Bird if it finds opposition in its path or on its patch.

In the garden, this morning, the Dunnock had already made its entrance, hung about here and there, out of sight, as it often does. It might scurry about on the ground (not a good idea with cats in the neighbourhood) or it might rest/hide in one of the plant pots, as here under the Fatsia, in the black rubbish bin: This Fatsia is located next to the Fennel planter which I use as birdtable. Often, birds like the Dunnock, the smaller of the Tits, as in Blue Tits and Coal Tits, and Wrens, sometimes seem to jump down, when in fact they just land in the Fatsia's planter; fooling not only me, but also the bird(s) they hid from.

As the Great Tit arrived, the Dunnock became hungry again, and wanted another bite before it would leave the garden again.

Great Tit, Parus major

Great Tit, Parus major. (foreground) Dunnock, Prunella modularis. (behind the Fennel stems in the background)

Did that Great Tit really leave? And is it me, plain, shy Dunnock, who is left with all the food here in front of my feet, of which I can take my fill before anyone else arrives? Unbelievable.
"Wow"! Wait till my mates here about this.

My Dunnock (or perhaps two different ones?) has shown its courage before when it stood up to a Robin. The Robin, Erithacus rubecula, which is a tremendous territorial species. More so than most Great Tits. Robins do not telorate another Robin on one's patch except when the order of the day has to do with breeding, when for a short few weeks the two adults court, and later breed. Then, after the annual moult, when birds shed their plumage for a whole new feather outfit. A new coat, and ready for winter, the Robn returns to their territorial mindset again, and, until spring they will fight each other once more.

Robin, Erithacus rubecula.

Also in the garden:
Blue Tit, Parus caelureus,

Female Chaffinch,

Rook, Corvus frugilega,


Monday, October 12, 2009

Wrens and Robins

With days getting shorter again, and with the Moon taking over from the Sun as to can claim possession of the Northern Hemispere for the next 6 months, nature is preparing for winter and next spring. Around us we see plants produce seeds for Birds, Insects and other creatures (and the wind, of course) to feed on and disperse again, in a way of procreation.

Ferns and Fungi do this via spores at the underside of their frond or underneath the cap of the Fungi, which is the flower of the Fungi growing out of our sight.

No spores yet... be patient
As spring, breeding and the moulting has been dealt and done with, preparations are being made for winter. And in my garden, I have noticed this with the arrival of the Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes and the Robin,Ericathacus rubecula
Erithacus rubecula

Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes
Looking around....
preparing for Take Off..
Checking out the local Deli..

Robin, Ericathacus rubecula
I'm Boss here

What you looking at?
Do you ever listen?

Also, Birds like Chaffinches are a sure sign of autumn and winter. Others, like House Sparrows, Jackdaws, Rooks and Pied Wagtails, are still here, and will stay all winter. Some will see others of their species arrive this month, when migrant birds from the continent join our troops.

Pied Wagtail, Motacilla alba

Jackdaw, Corvus monedula

And although this bird lives right behind us in the Hawthorn, the Starling let themself hear, but not seen in the garden.
Starling, Stumus vulgaris

Monday, October 5, 2009

Bird seeds; will they be ready before winter?

The late (and only) summer we've had during two or three weeks in September, have resulted in the germination of a few of the seeds which I feed my Birds. After the House Sparrows became very happy about Oats seed germinating and producing seed, last summer, I scattered some of the birdseed around the Fennel (not sure which one of the mixed seed being the seed of Oats) and just hoping that the same would happen this summer. Some seds germinated and grew up a little, but not really to fruiting stage. Perhaps also because our summer was being rained away.
This one was growing out of my planter on the side, but I think it has collapsed by now.

This one however does still look promising, were it not for the fact that we have shortage of daylight hours & warmth at the moment. It has only just started flowering, a lovely dainty violet flower, which at one (have 3 similar stalks) was being blown away immediately!

Red Clover, is still in flower, about the village and in my garden.
Red Clover, Trifolium pratense

Rook, Corvus frugilegus

House Sparrows, Passer domesticus

Pied Wagtail, Motacilla alba

Blue Tit, Parus caeruleus

male Chaffinch, Fringilla coelebs

Dunnock, Prunella modularis