11 July 2014
There seem to be a lot of baby birds around this year – or am I just more aware of them because I’ve got more time at home these days?
Quite often, we’re alerted to the presence of youngsters by their parents objecting (noisily) to us or the cats. I can sometimes judge the progress of a cat up the garden by the robin ticking at it in one place and the wren churring angrily at it from another – the cat gets to look quite henpecked (wrenpecked?) sometimes. Our neighbour feeds his cats outside in the summer and says the birds like finishing up the cat food, and have even got to the stage of intimidating the cats while they are eating, to get at the food!
A few days ago, there was a young blackbird just outside the window, being fed by its mother. I noticed it at first because it was on the arm of one of our patio chairs (excuse the quality of the photo – it was taken in a hurry through the window):
Mother and child then moved around the border, with Mum finding goodies to stuff down the young one’s throat – I went out and she kept a cautious eye on me, but didn’t fly off.
My husband puts out the bird food in the morning, as says there are always three male blackbirds waiting in the holly bush, watching him and giving the impression of tapping their watches to complain about how late it is.
Young starlings also abound: I counted 17 starlings on the ground the other day, plus more on the feeders, mainly young ones – easy to tell because they start off with brown plumage and only slowly develop their iridescent coats. I like to think we’re helping to build the starling population here: we used only to see one or two, now we have them in twenties and thirties.
Good news on the butterfly front, too: I had a Red Admiral, a Peacock and a Small Tortoiseshell on my buddliea a couple of days ago – summer has propery arrived.