Tuesday, 16 February 2016

More Garden Blackcaps

 Lots of Blackbirds still around in the garden, most seem to be males. Some, like the one above have duller bills and slightly brownish plumage, these may be continental birds or possibly first winter birds.

 There are still three Blackcaps feeding under on the ground, gleaning the bits dropped by the finches on the feeders above.

 Collared Doves join the throng to clean up the left overs. 

 Joining in today were two Robins, not a good situation, as they spend to much time squabbling to make much of an impression. 

 Chaffinches spend more time on the ground than on the feeders, and areby now the males are quite smart.

 I sat with the a sliding door open and managed quite a few shots of the female Blackcap. Although there were two males around they were much more easily spooked and the slightest movement of the lens had them scurrying off. 

 One of the Blackbirds with a bright yellow bill. I'm still amazed that they are feeding as close to each other as they are in such a tolerant group.

 It was good to see groups of Curlews out on Worth Marshes. These are probably wintering migrants from further north.The British breeding population is in trouble.

 The UK breeding population of Eurasian Curlew are declining rapidly. Between 1995 and 2011 the UK Breeding numbers have shown a decline of 45%. The decline is variable between regions Local studies have implicated nest predation and low breeding productivity as causes of decline. However, changes in vegetation structure through changing grazing pressure in the uplands may also have an effect of habitat suitability. 

 At the Restharrow Scrape most birds were huddled round the edge to avoid the cold wind. One Little Grebed ddi come quite close on a fishing expedition.

It caught quite a decent sized |Three Spined Stickleback. I didn't see the end of the story as the heavens opened and the wind meant that the windows needed to be rapidly closed.

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