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, January 24, 2010

Euroasian Robin, Erathicus rubecula; a silent killer?

The Eurasian Robin, Erithacus rubecula, is a member of the Thrush( Blackbirds, Song & MistleThrush, Fieldfare, Redwing, Dunnock and Wren, among others) family, and like other other Thrushes the Robin is very territorial.

Robins do not allow other Robins on their patch and will defend their territory to the death if necessary. Only in spring will they allow other members of their own specie onto their patch;
In 2008, four Robins were using the garden as their feeding station, each careful not to appear out in the open when any of the others were feeding already. At one time, I spotted all four on my gardenwall asd it was fascinating to watch them change place- giving each a chance to peck at the other and make clear what his/her was position in the garden was. During the summer I only saw two of them; the pair which was breeding nearby.

After the breeding season, and after the moult, Robins will again defend their territory and let other Robins know that this is his or her feeding ground.

This Robin I found in the garden yesterday. Looking more closely, it was obvious that there were no wounds, injuries or other sign of predatory action, and it was clear that it had died without the aid of cats/dogs or any other predator.
Thing back to wat I'd seen that day, I recalled the three Robins I'd spotted during the day. Two had been trying to feed without alerting the other Robin.
Then, with one Robin at the planter and another one in the black bin of the Fatsia (next to each other) I remembered seeing another Robin fly in from the back of the house, passing the window. I remembered this, as this was an unusual way to enter the garden and planter, and also that one of the other Robins took to the air too, flying towards the wall of the kitchen. and into the fly-path of the other Robin already airborne. I am convinced that it was this Robin which killed my poor dead friend. Not really know how, but then, I did see one Robin go after, and attack another Robin, here in the garden, at some time in 2007 or 2008. I didn't see any of it, because it all just happened behind the little wall between the kitchen window and the window of the kitchendoor. A width of say 1,10, or 1.15 at most.

Here's a few photos of my Robins;
Robin, Erithacus rubecula

balancing exercises

The Robin is most people's favourite bird; not so with me. The juvenile Robin however, is a gorgeous bird, with its rusty speckled coat. This one has already starting to moult into its adult plumage. (as you can see on the whitish underbelly. )


There was one witness; getting details from him/her is a trial in itself!
Coal Tit, Parus ater

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto

There are two Collared Doves, Streptopelia decaocto, living here around the village somewhere. For three years one or two has been cooing very close to our home, from the valley, from trees around te hose, from the fence, streetlights or arials of nearby houses. these handsome birds took their time in coming into the garden.
Often I'd get outside, when I thought I heard them really close, camera in hand, finding them on the -not working-streetlight in the corner in front of the garden, or on the mesh fence at about the same height.
with the recent cold spell, I did not hear them closeby, assuming they had moved on.

Two days ago, looking out of the birding window (the planter is used as the birdtable) I was welcomed by the sight of this feeding Dove next to the Fennel. I had no real time to focus, before it flew off; which is why the picture lacks any detail, really.
Collared Dove, Streptopelia decaocto

It has been back quite a few times, but it won't come near whenever any other birds are here. Especially not those very territorial birds, all of the Thrush family are feeding; 3 Robins, the 5 Blackbirds or the 3 Song Thrshes. Then there are the other bossy birds; Great Tits, Chaffinches, and House Sparrows.

These pictures were taken yesterday, when twice it came down onto the wall of the fence, had a look, (and only saw the little ones here (Coal Tits and Blue Tits) yet it decided that it needed to leave again. So perhaps it saw something I didn't see?

Song Thrush, Turdus philomelos

Blackbirds, Turdus merula

Robin, Erithacus rubecula

Dunnock, Prunella modularis
another bossy member of the Thrush

Chaffinch, Fringilla coelebs.

Blue Tit, Parus caeruleus

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Redwing, Turdus pilaris

Francis came into the kitchen to tell me that he had a Redwing underneath his workroom window. This was great news; we had just had a Redwing fatality on the path, the other day. I etched outside very carefully, hoping that I could get a glimpse with my camera of this small Thrush.
Eventually I caught it in one of the two ornamental trees at the other side of the wall.

Redwing, Turdus pilaris

The weather soon got worse again, and I didn't think I was getting another chance to see it. Yet I was wrong: I'd been washing up, and as I returned to the laptop on the kitchentable, I suddenly spotted a Redwing, just as it was going to fly onto the ground.
Redwing, Turdus pilaris

Robin, Erithacus rubecula

Jackdaw, Corvus monedula
Coal Tit, Parus ater

Great Tit, Parus major, rooting for invertebrates, which might be hidden among the wood of the support or among the dead growth of the Bindweed.

This Blue Tit, however, was looking among the cold steel/iron of the large fence which separates us from the school yard. Was it looking for Insects at this time of year, or was it looking for a drop of moisture perhaps?
Blue Tit, Parus caeruleus

And at last, two of my Song Thrushes, Turdus merula

Today, the weather has returned to normal: Rains and Galeforce winds. That's how the winter here is supposed to be.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Great Tit, Parus major, searching for hibernating Insects

Often you hear people say that feeding birds will make the birds lazy and how it might stop them foraging for natural food.
Well not in my garden: Even with all the suet, seeds and peanuts, my Great Tit was still longing for something else rich in protein.

Well you know all these lovely hibernation boxes with little dowels or little pockets for grubs to hide in.
Apparently we all have a plastic version of this, either green or purple. The gales had overthrown the bin onto its side, and made the search a lot easier.
Here the Great Tit is sitting atop his hibernation box, which he then started to raid.

And finally, his prize:

some kind of Insect larvae.

I took this picture a year ago, on the ;9th of January. It was a lot milder but even so, this Wren managed to find a nice big caterpillar

The wooden shelf supports are good hiding places of hibernating Insects too. Dunnocks, Wrens and other birds, search there too.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Cold Robin, Erithacus rubecula

These are pictures I took yesterday; This Robin seems cold, but also in a way that it looks snug and warm, despite the cold temperatures.
Robin, Erithacus rubecula

A cold & windswept Chaffinch female, Fringilla coelebs

And I've posted not much of my Jackdaws lately, so here's one.
Jackdaw, Corvus monedula

I will post photos of the others in wildlife on Wheels; with little Wild Flowers/Insects etc. abuot, it needs some postings on birds too.