Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The Young Generation

Unfortunately today was a garden observation only day. No matter, there was plenty to see, lots of juvenile birds about, both in and over the garden. By far the most numerous, entertaining and foolhardy are the young Starlings.  As I stood by the pond I was conscious of a dark brown blob fluttering down towards a lily pad, what the poor unfortunate Starling hadn't understood was that a lily pad couldn't support his weight and that he was unable to swim. Fortunately I had left the pond net out from previous dragonfly observations and he was soon back on dry land. I placed him in one of the shrubs and he immediately called for help from his parents who totally ignored him. Concern soon disappeared as in the warm sunshine he dried himself. Anyway, all ended OK as the young Starling was reunited with a parent high up in the cherry tree, safe for the time being. Danger lurks above the garden, the neighbourhood watch consisting of Crows, Herring Gulls and a flock of Goldfinches went into full raptor alert as a Sparrowhawk hunted high above the gardens.

Starlings are not ducks.....

....but great entertainers.

They finally worked out how to use the pond.
These guys need to be careful otherwise they could be a Sparrowhawk snack

Raptor alert

'Our' Robins are busy raising a second brood and they are very confiding and come very close. Several times a day I have to feed them copious amounts of mealworms and suet pellets, the young Starlings soon latch on to the routine and are ready and waiting to pounce. It is a constant battle to find locations to place feed that will remain long enough for the Robins to get their share. However, the Robins still have an advantage in that they now recognise the sound of the lid coming off the food container. Not thick are they? The first brood is still hanging about, the male sends them packing but the female just ignores them.

Another brood has arrived at the feeders

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