Thursday, 2 October 2008

Communal bath-time

Watching birds coming down to drink and bath in the garden is something most people can do simply by providing a small container of water and keeping it topped up and clean.

Next to the bird bath outside my study is this little fountain. It causes me a lot of distraction, watching birds come down to play. Blue Tits often go right under the little curtain of water and some do manage to use it as a shower. This Chiffchaff failed to come to grips with the practicalities and stood on top, keeping dry but obviously wanting to take a shower. In the end it moved to the bird bath.

As I was coming back from Sandwich this afternoon I passed this puddle in Godwyn Road and was amazed at the number of Starlings coming down to bath. I think that it was probably from car washing as we hadn't just had a storm. There were a at least 100 birds sitting around the house roof and there was a large turnover of birds bathing. A few House Sparrows joined them but these were greatly out numbered by the noisy, volatile Starlings.

Some of the Starlings were juveniles, while the majority had now got their spotty, shiny winter coats. They may be bullies at the bird table and behave like yobs but I think that their antics are always fascinating to watch.

This isn't very sharp, but it does show some of the colours that this "black" bird has. The wing coverts are very blue when the light catches them.

Today was a very "big" tide and although this is about an hour after the full low tide time there was still a very large amount of the rock pavement exposed. Among the gulls there were several Sandwich Terns, the young birds being very noisy.

This Herring Gull seems to be quite heavily oiled, it is the first I've seen recently. I hope this doesn't mean that there's an oil spill that is going to cause more damage, It isn't impossible that the rough conditions earlier were used to cover up the emptying of some dregs left in a ships tank.

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