Saturday 3 May 2014

Garden tick, but not a bird...

What do you call a day that starts with finding a badger in your garden? A good day, that's what!
Badger digging up our garden!

And making its getaway!
Elis and I went to a car boot today to raise money through the Wader Quest mobile charity shop for our charity project. It was great fun and we did reasonably well all things considered.
The mobile charity shop.
Birdwise in the garden recently, we had been reasonably expecting a few more birds to turn up for the list since it is spingtime. One was pretty well predicted, another only a matter of time but the third a real surprise.

The expected bird was Swallow. They have bred in the past in the garages that were once stables and we hoped that they would return, in any case we thought it likely we would see one of these summer birds at some satge. Well today we did, a swallow swooped over the stable block. we will now have to leave the door open in the hope that they'll nest again this year.
Barn Swallow, not our bird but one we saw a few days ago in Wolverton. Photo: Elis Simpson.
The second bird was Black-headed Gull, as said, inevitable one day with a lake at the bottom of the field, it was a single bird in breeding plumage.

No photo of the Black-headed Gull, instead a Eurasian Blackbird with a beak full of worms.

One afternoon my son and I were gazing out across the field watching his frriends plodding about among the oil seed rape when I heard the unmistakable sound of piping oystercatchers. I scanned but could see none on the ground, then Martin, my son, pointed to three birds in flight. It was the oystercatchers. I watched them circling around calling until one of the birds peeled off and flew strongly west and away, the remaining two circled slowly down and I have reason to believe they may be forming a territory down by the lake. As a wader lover this is a very unexpected and pleasing addition to our cottage list.
Guess what? You guessed it, no decent photo, so... Greenfinch instead.

We have also had a bit of fun with a Dunnock. This chap has taken to sitting on our windowsill singing to himself in the window's reflection and occasionally pecking at himself. Once or twice he flung himself at the glass, but soon learned this was a fool's errand.
Ok, not the demented Dunnock, a Robin instead.

I still spend much time gazing skywards in the hope of seeing our first swift.

Obviously no swift picture; Eurasian Jackdaw.

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