Tuesday 26 May 2015

Coal Tit returns and Mother gets a tick aged 92.

A Coal Tit has visited the garden for only the second time, whether it is the same bird or not I am obviously unable to say, but its behaviour was almost identical. The last sighting was on 16th October last year when it was first seen on the feeders. It then flew off to a position where it was out of view returning a few minutes later to take a second sunflower seed. It never returned. Until (possibly) today, when the same happened. It was again first seen on the feeders, it took a sunflower seed then flew to a nearby tree where it devoured the seed, this time in view. It then returned to the feders where it attacked the peanuts eating for a few seconds enabling this photo (the first was not photographed) to be taken. It then sat in the Ribes bush, flew to the sunflower seeds, took one and then disappeared altogether not to be seen again up to the end of the day nor in subsequent days. Strange business.

The 'occasional Coal Tit' finally captured.

We have also had other activity in the garden, the Chiff Chaff that has been singing away for the last week finally put in an appearance sitting outside the window.

Common Chiff Chaff

A Jay a rare visit too, We get Carrion Crows and Magpies every day, the Jackdaws that were regular have apparently deserted us and it has been ages since we saw a Rook down the field.

Eurasian Jay helping himself to the mealworms.

Changing the subject a little, although I'm not sure how she has achieved this feat, my mother had managed to get to her 92nd year without seeing a Long-tailed Tit! This must surely count as a bogey bird! Admittedly she is not an active birder and admittedly they don't visit her garden, but she is the mother of an active birder who has them in his garden on a daily basis! Anyway, she and Dad came over to visit for a cup of tea and a Belgian bun and finally she got to see her first Long-tailed Tit. I wonder what tick I'll get when I'm 92?

Long-tailed Tit

The Great Spotted Woodpeckers have been seen a couple of times as a pair, they don't come to the feeders as regularly as they did last year but they do seem to have formed a pair. We know that at least one great spot was taken by a Sparrowhawk last year but whether it was one of the pair or the youngster we are not sure; however we are inclined it think it was the latter.
Great Spotted Woodpecker

The other day we came across this unfortunate Starling in the car park at Tesco. Its bill was grotesquely distorted and it had to tilt its head to one side to feed. Reminded me a bit of the Wrybills we saw in New Zealand, but its bill turned to the left not right and it was a lot more colourful.

Deformed Starling doing an impression of a Wrybill.

We also saw some 'Starlings with normal bills, they rally are an incredibly lovely looking bird close up.

Eurasian Starlings feasting on cat food. Gorgeous birds. Male at the front, female in the middle and one or the other behind that.

And to think I twitched one of these back in the 1980s! We see them from our cottage window now.

Little Egret

Finally, the toads are at it again, a sure sign that spring is here.

Common Toad love in the long grass.