1 EAGLETON NOTES: The Birds Are Returning

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Thursday, 30 April 2015

The Birds Are Returning

In the week I spent in the garden the Skylark was singing away merrily and the usual suspects like the Sparrows and Starlings were busy fattening themselves up for the coming breeding season on the food on the bird table. I saw a Great Skua (known locally as Bonxies) so they may be plentiful again this year. The Greenfinches are more plentiful this year than they were last year too. It's strange how some years there are many Greenfinches in the garden and some there are few. This is obviously going to be a 'many' year and they are possibly outnumbering the Sparrows at the moment. In my experience, however, they have fewer clutches than the Sparrows are outnumbered by the end of the breeding season.

Plenty of Robins this year
Not the best Goldfinch picture but the best this spring so far 
This is not a bird but a cat trying to catch a pigeon. They taunt it.
A Wheatear showing its wonderful telltale flash. Shame about the fence.
Not a particularly common bird in the garden the Blackbird appreciated the results of the grass being scarified  
As sis this selection: an unusual sight on the grass in my garden
Wheatear 
The Starlings are noisy and quarrelsome and the bully-boys of the bird table but beautiful nevertheless

30 comments:

  1. Your birds are so very different, i.e. the Robin! At home we are full of mourning & whitewing doves, gold finches, orioles, thrashers (one of my faves), house finches, Gambles quail, and various others. At the moment, we are at Palm Springs in our little travel trailer, and the most common bird is the Road Runner. They would so rather "run" across the road than fly. Usually with something in their mouth! Hot here, by the way!

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    1. Lisa we have very different bird populations as you said and I find it quite fascinating because in New Zealand where the indigenous birds are unique there are many birds which are familiar to me in the Hebrides at the opposite end of the world.

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  2. Great pictures, as always! Yes, shame about the fence, but the picture is still good in that it shows what a beautiful bird the wheatear is. I think the group picture is my favourite of this bunch. Here, the birds I see most from my windows are blackbirds, magpies, sparrows, tits, doves and crows. There is the occasional robin, and I hear finches more than I see them, and occasionally, a jay and a woodpecker. Out on the fields, it's a bit different; many larks with their characteristic songs.

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    1. Thank you Meike. There are more birds around here at the moment although I've not managed to photograph many of them yet. Sometimes because I've been photographing them for years I take some of them for granted. I'm hoping that this year I might improve on some of my previous attempts.

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  3. I never realised that Wheatears had such a pronounced grey hood. I must start taking pictures of birds backs. The image of it sitting on the rock is just perfect.

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    1. Thank you Adrian, I see a lot of Wheatears. I'e always thought them a beautiful and striking bird.

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  4. Your robin is so pretty and your image so crisp and clear. I think our are lovely but they are quite different in colouring. The gathering on the grass gave me a smile and, yes, those darn starlings are quite spectacular.

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    1. I never cease to be amazed Pauline by the two opposites of the birds in New Zealand: the indigenous and the introduced (so many of the latter being familiar to anyone in Britain).

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  5. Thank you Graham! Just lovely to see the birds in your garden. We have two blackbird pairs that live in our garden....one pair in the front and the other pair in the back. One of the males has white marks on it - the 'front' dwelling blackbirds ;-)

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    1. Yes, Serenata, Blackbirds are very territorial but I see so few here that I know little about their distribution.

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  6. I get excited seeing the return of each species. It is fun to find a good selection as you have here to compare with.

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    1. On the whole, Out On The Prairie, your birds in Iowa are more exotic than ours in the Hebrides. I think the returning species do give us comfort though as you suggest.

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  7. What gorgeous photos. I've been seeing several red kites round where I ride, as well as buzzards, and lots of skylarks.

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    1. You are too kind, Frances. There are no Red Kites here yet although I can recall being on the Black Isle when they were still regarded as very rare and that was only a couple of decades ago.

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  8. I never knew starlings were that colourful! And that photo of the cat really shows its predatory nature... Great captures.

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    1. Starlings vary during their life Monica but the adults are beautifully iridescent. The cat spends a great deal of time in my garden trying to catch the Pigeons. They are having none of it and the smaller birds most ignore the cat when they are on the bird table. They seem to know that he can't get there.

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  9. I fell in love with birds when I first visited England. I recognized all your birds! I love that photo of the robin on the barb wire and the wheatear on the mossy rock.
    It's hard to get photos of birds, they move and then, they FLY AWAY!!

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    1. Kay catching birds in flight is relatively easy I find. Catching them in flight with a recognisable photo is quite another thing and I just struck lucky with the Wheatear.

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  10. Hm, yes. There is one alarming picture in that set! :)

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    1. Jenny I used to get quite upset by the cats trying to get 'my' birds. Even the pigeons which I used to regard as an infernal nuisance (they damage the house roof where they perch) but I'm more laid back nowadays. The cats here seem to have little success. The pigeons will actually sit there looking at the cat and often not move until it actually pounces.

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  11. Lovely photos of your bird friends in your garden GB.
    I don't think I would have such a wide variety in my garden at one time, but I enjoy them when they do stop by to visit.

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    1. Oops yet again I read the comment in the email and forgot to acknowledge it. In fact although I've been reading blogs I've not been on Eagleton Notes for a while. I often have quite a variety of birds in the garden. We have many more birds here than are often realised. Many of them are fairly muted in colouring though so the casual observer might well mistake them all for sparrows.

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  12. Your birds are different from the ones we have here in California, except for the starlings and English sparrows who are ubiquitous now. They are tough competitors for our native birds. I admire your clear photos of the birds.

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    1. Thank you Terra. I did manage a few bird photos when I was in California but it would have been nice to have had the lens then that I have now.

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  13. I missed this great post on birds returning. Great photos.

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  14. I missed this great post on birds returning. Great photos.

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  15. I particularly like the robin and the wheatear - beautiful photos!

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    1. hank you Jayview. It's always good to hear from you when you pop by.

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