Saturday, 4 June 2011

Splish Splash, on a Saturday morning.

I don't know why, but Starlings are not universally appreciated. A lot of garden birders seem to resent the fact that Starlings can come mob handed and consume all that lovely food put out for the more favoured species. like Robins or Blackbirds. Personally I love their bold and amusing personalities.

The Starling family nesting under the eaves is out and about and this morning they enjoyed splashing about in the bird bath. I don't know if it id the male from this family, but a Starling is regularly sitting on our roof doing and impeccable imitation of a Little Owl. The first time I heard it, it was so good that I started scanning through the tree in the front garden it case their really was a Little Owl there.

The little Waterfall an stream flowing into the pond provides ample opportunities for those birds wishing to have a quieter splash away from the noisy Starling mob. Since early spring there's been a Blackcap regularly singing in the garden, and today it was joined by a female for a brush up.

I don't know if they have bred, either in the garden or adjacent to it, as I haven't seen any young or either of the adults carrying food. One thing that has changed is the males song. Instead of the free flowing musical treat that he was giving us in early April. all we get now is a short few phrases and then he cuts off. I think that this is the general trend with territorial male Blackcaps but whether it indicates that they have bred I don't know.

Once here bathing was done the female came out onto a rock and had a quick shuffle before flying off into some denser cover.

The male, no longer looking the dapper, smart bird that he normally does had a good shake of his wet feathers and spent some time rearranging before he followed her.

A surprise awaited me when I went though my moth traps this morning in the form of not one, or two or even three Rannoch Loopers, but four, two in my MV trap and two in my Actinic trap.
It is classified as nationally scarce, breeding in long-established birch and coniferous woodland, in parts of eastern Scotland; also appearing as a migrant on the southern coasts of England.I hadn't recorded it until 2009 when I had two, one on Jun 9th and one on the 26th. Last year, when there was a significant influx in the south of England I recorded six, all after Jun 28th, so this years record are considerably earlier. I have heard of other records from last night, one in Kent, one in Surrey and Two in Dorset. I suspect there were probably may more and that we are in for another influx.

1 comment:

Marc Heath said...

Lovely shots Tony and a great read as ever.