Category Archives: Bird Diaries

Swallow Dance

I bet you thought I was going to talk Butterflies, so Im I thought Id give you all a break…just for a little bit.

Every year we have the pleasure of watching the Swallows prepare for their long migration on our electric lines running right through our garden. But three weeks ago for the first time they arrived earlier spoiling us by bringing 2 families of chicks and feeding them on the wire and in the air.  We counted over 14 fledglings and it was an absolute pleasure to watch these being fed for about 8 days.

The parents were working their socks off feeding such a mountain of feathered fluffballs. It was clearly two families with 4 adults swooping in and out regularly most the day. Its incredible to watch such small birds work so hard, these little chicks kept all 4 parents on the go for hours on end.

But it felt quite an honour to be part of watching these beautiful chicks grow, feed and get stronger and better fliers. The noise above us was wonderful as the chicks started to get quite noisy. After several days though we did start to witness the parents knocking some chicks completely off the wires…poor things 😉 but we know it was to teach them to feed in the air despite how harsh it looks.

After about 6 days most chicks were feeding in the air and quite proficient fliers and within 10 days they were all gone again. Im hoping they come back to prepare for their migration in a few months time.

It was a really special to be a part of their lives just for that short space of time and cant wait for next year.

Coming soon on Natural Ramblings Butterflies inflight, darters, moths and horseflies.

Advertisements

Handsome Stranger – White Pheasant

Handsome Boy!

Handsome Boy!

I had to share with you one of the most handsome strangers Ive ever had in our garden.

Weve had the pleasure of pheasants in our garden for over 2 years now and Ive got to know them all individually each with their own little behavior traits.

So you can see my surprise and pleasure when we found this handsome fella wandering round the garden. He strutted with such confidence when he had arrived with the new “turkey boys” ; the scruffy new jeuveniles we get every year, not in full plumage, no tails and a little bit cocky but then running off at the slightest movement, squawking for their friends.

I absolutely love having the turkey boys every year they are so comical and adorable at the same time. With them this year came this handsome devil, quite a rare white male pheasant, but his not albino as he has some black flecks across his chest and his eyes are brown not red. I say rare but last year we did have a pair of white pheasants in the garden but only ever saw them for 1 day; so Im over the moon to see this little guy appear.

He stayed behind after his young turkeyboy friends had scarpered when they saw me, he watched our usual flock carefully at the sidelines near the hedge…incase he needed a quick getaway lol! After only a few minutes he showed absolutely no fear and mirrored my regular birds happily feeding at my feet.

Although he was slightly nervous and showed respect to my regular male by keeping his distance at the beginning.

Males2

As he got closer he tried to feed right next to him and got pecked as a warning to put him in his place, but then was allowed to eat nearby after about 20 minutes with no attack.

Males

What was lovely to watch was this little guy shadowed our male; maybe like a father figure as he kept watching him closely, learning and almost mimiking his behavior, down to the way he walked, he stretched every time our male did, he followed him for nearly 2 hours around the garden, intermingling with the girls. The females however just blanked him, they didnt attack nor were they interested.

For me I was just blown away to have him so close and I will be doing a full post on him soon as it was a really special moment to share with these guys both emotionally and photographically.

Sadly after 3 hours he realised his own flock had left without him and became quite distressed calling for them; luckily several came to our gate where…. they called him and he was able to rejoin them.

A wonderful ending to the day and I hope to see again in the future.

Coming soon

More on this handsome white beauty.

My Pigeon Post

 

 

 

First stick

Do you think this is too small then?

 

I thought you may want to see something different than butterflies; although Ive still loads to show you of those; but for now I had to show you these piks I took today of my favorite female wood pigeon.

Earlier last month she had one chick, which sadly got attacked by my hoodlums of my local magpie family. We disturbed 2 adult magpies about to feast on approx 23 day old squab. I took the poor thing in, cleaned up the blood but we sadly lost her the next day.

So in a way it was nice to see Mum searching for sticks to either build or repair their nest, we have an electrical pole bringing us…er…electric…as we live in middle of nowhere so its always been the focus of attention of the birds…makes a great giant perch. Especially now the swallows have finished with it, they are giving the others a chance.

pigeon-stick2

I loved the confused look on her face as she tried to move this stick around ontop of the electric pylon. I really hope shes not planning to nest up there; especially with the storms predicted for this week.

Dropped-my-stick

Now look what you made me do!

I had to laugh as this was the glare I got after she dropped her stick…yes of course it was my fault…eeep……if looks could kill.

But you will see from the images below Im a very long way from her…gulp…shes not a happy bunny is she?

Dropped-my-stick2

This image is taken at the Lumix’s shortest 24mm, if you look closely you can just see the pigeon right in the middle at the top inbetween the wires.

 On another note I was pleasantly surprised at all these shots as I didnt have my trusty Canon  40D with my beloved 100-400mm lens, I just had my handy Panasonic Lumix TZ30.

These 2 images (one above, one below) were taken around 5.30am…yes I did say 5.30am…I had to say that again so I could believe it.

I couldnt sleep so I grabbed my camera and went for a wildlife mooch. You never know what you may find so early and it always feels so special that time of the morning. The wonderful fresh dewey smell of the trees and grasses. The dawn chorus was in full song and it was just beautiful, its not often I feel good enough that time to just up and go. I need to do more morning mooches.

pigeon-pylon

This shot was taken at the same time but at the full 480mm, ok its not a masterpiece as as the sun wasnt quite up and it was still dark. But I was amazed to get such clarity at full extent in low light…well done Panasonic.

So fingers crossed she doesnt decide to build all the way up there; but of she does we will try to keep an eye on the family.

I look forward to some more interesting morning findings…yawn…..soo…sleepy….!

 

Coming soon for Natural Ramblings

Species spotlights on

The Peacock Butterfly,

Painted Lady,

Comma and the Small copper Butterflies.

For those scared of spiders…nice fluffy kittens…ok..maybe..not quite…

Species spotlight on the daddy longlegs spider with some fascinating behavioral video footage.

Thanks for stopping by

XxX