Friday, 21 December 2007

Kicking up the leaves

As I said the other day the grass is pretty long in our garden, and there are still a lot of fallen leaves on it. This makes good conditions for Blackbirds to pursue the favourite occupation of leaf turning. They're not doing if for fun, there is a good chance of finding a dainty morsel hidden under the leaf. The bird above is an adult male, still even in winter, showing off his bright yellow bill and glossy black plumage.
Less smart is this female, I think this is an adult, as she is fairly uniform, even if she is a bit blotchy. At this time of year there is a good chance that the Blackbirds we are seeing in the garden are visitors from further north in Europe. Ringing recoveries show that some Blackbirds from Finland winter here while some of ours move south for a bit of Iberian sunshine.
I think that the bird above is probably a first winter female, although I'm not an expert. There is a good manual for ringers that details the differences in the ages that can be seen when the bird is in the hand.
This Chaffinch is looking very dull, but was joining in the Blackbird game of leaf turning. There was a bright male about with quite a pink breast but I didn't manage to photo him. Most birds in the garden were a bit jumpy and I understood why when a Sparrowhawk dashed through. As far as I could see it didn't make a kill in the garden. I'm getting quite a few feral Pigeons in the garden but unfortunately there a bit big for the Sparrowhawk to tackle!


tut-tut said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family; just wanted you to know I really appreciate your blogging!

Worldbirds said...

Great work Tony
From Keith @ Worldbirds