Monday, 31 March 2008

Sedentary Photography

The weather has improved enough for me to run my moth traps again. Last night wasn't great with just four Hebrew Characters and one Early Grey, which was the first for this year.

Once again I failed to get a Firecrest in my view finder although I did hear one briefly. On the sea I had single Common Scoter and Red-throated Diver passed and a Great-crested Grebe bounced on the waves but little else in about 20 minutes. I did see a Sparrowhawk circling in a display flight over Granville Road on the way back home. In the garden there were a lot of birds feeding, so given that the wind was very light and the temperature not too bad, I used the house as a hide for a while and photographed out of my study window.

Each year since we've been here the mallards from the village duck pond visit us during their courting. Mrs Duck seems to enjoy a swim in the bird bath, while her two suitors watched her.

Once she vacated one of the local Magpies came down for a drink, as usual this caused some nervousness in most of the other birds.
Starlings are the most energetic of bathers. It looked as if the bird on the left was using the other bird as a showering machine. He certainly had to expend very little energy to get wet.

The Siskins seemed to be fascinated by the little waterfall over some large stones that is a "feature" in this part of the garden. I think that they were just drinking but occasionally they were prodding between the pebbles, probably finding bits of dropped seeds.

Although this male (above) is stunning the female above him has a certain understated charm that make them attractive. There were enough Siskins about to make a really loud and continuous noise, loud enough to attract the attention of my Grandson Sam when I was talking to him by Skype. He's about 15 months now and always looks up to watch any birds flying over.

Although I didn't see any of the better marked males there were still one or two Bramblings around and this one conveniently came and sat outside the window. I doubt if they will be around much longer but hopefully there's still time for a male in full breeding plumage to appear.

This particular female Chaffinch had learnt to do a sort of "flycatching" flight down to one of the feeders, and then having grabbed a seed it returned to one of the branches to eat it before another sortie.
While all this was going on I could hear the loud "Dwzeeeeeeeee" call og this Greenfinch, presumably he's on that's hanging around and will be one of those breeding in the area.

This is one of the Blue Tits that have laid claim to the concrete nest box on the nearest tree. Although they normally don't seem to take much notice of other species, except interfering Great Tits. they don't seem to be very enamoured with Siskins and on several occasions one would dive down and chase one of the little finches.

The only other wildlife that made an impression today was one Brimstone Butterfly on Hotel Road and lots of Bumble Bees nectaring on flowers in the garden.

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