Sunday, 24 May 2009

Food and Flight

The hoards have arrived - the invasion of the Starlings and their offspring. So started the day at about 6.30 a.m. with the raucous sound of young, hungry Starlings. Fortunately the bit of video is silent!

This youngster was hungry but didn't seem to approve of what was being offered:

This sort of thing continued on and off all day with various offspring coming to the birdy Bistro.

A Starling finally managing to get some food in the right place:
Open Wide

Later in the day a young Blackbird was brought to be fed:
Blackbird Feeding Young

While yet another Starling was going frantic collecting food:
Starling feeding Young

Even amongst all this activity the usual visitors were helping themselves whenever the opportunity arose:
Meal Time

Every so often some youngster would seem to be forgotten or maybe the parents were taking a well earned breather.

Ma! I'm Hungry!!
Ma I'm Hungry

As it was a very pleasant sunny day I spent the time pottering about at home - far from the madding crowds. Made a new latch for the gate. Planted some Sunflower seeds - beautiful flowers to admire later in the year and food for the birds in the Autumn. During the afternoon I sat out for a couple of hours, mp3 player and headphones, cup of tea or three and camera within easy reach. I had some practice trying to photo some of the birds flying about. Mainly miserable failures but here are three I kept.

A Starling launching from a branch:
Starling in Flight

A Blackbird dropping down to the feeders:
Blackbird in Flight

A passing Jackdaw:
Jackdaw in Flight

Writing of Jackdaws - they appear to have become very regular visitors.
A piece of video to finish with:

Phew - it's warm indoors so I'm going back out with a nice cool glass of amber nectar!

Oh - nearly forgot. No wonder there always seems to be a juvenile Blackbird around. While I was enjoying the Sun I spotted these two resting on the garden seat and at the same time another was picking up scraps from under the feeders.
Twin Juvenile Blackbirds


  1. I really enjoy your blog and think your pics and videos are great. I particularly liked the photos of the starlings as we rarely see starlings in our garden anymore.

  2. Wonderful post John and you are certainly providing the birds with an irresistible menu!

    My garden has just this minute returned to peace and quiet (it's 20.05) - the Starlings having left for the day..

    Your "in flight" shot are really good - mine are move favoured by the "delete" key and the "save" key!

    The two young robins are lovely! :)

  3. Welcome Helen. Thank you for visiting and for you kind comments. Strange how some places have few Starlings and others have so many they become a nuisance.

  4. Seems we had the same idea John, stay away from the crowds. :)
    Fascinating to watch the birds being fed, and it all looks so rough at times, the way it's thrust down their throats.
    Beautiful shots of all that activity.

  5. Hi Tricia. Thanks for the kind comments. It may be the number of feeders which allows quite a few birds to nosh at the same time.

    A couple of times the noise of hungry young Starlings was almost deafening - certainly non-stop.

    I've still to get the exposure right on the flight shots as they often end up as silhouettes with no feather colours showing. Most were out of focus which was a pity as they were the interesting ones - such is the frustration of taking moving subjects.

    I really was fortunate to get the two young Blackbirds together like that. The one at the back kept disappearing behind the front one.

  6. Hi Keith. Yes - I always stay at home on Bank Holiday weekends. It's the only times the village achieves the tranquility it had all the time 30+ years ago when I moved here.

    The force feeding does look really rough as you say. The young ones can open their beaks so wide it makes me cringe sometimes.

    Thanks for the kind comment.

  7. The video of the Starlings really made me laugh John, it was a definite case of 'If I say you will eat this you will eat it, and you will stay here until you do!'

    It seems you and Keith and I are like minded in shying away from the Bank holiday crowds, HLH and I sat in the garden for a while but I did have the (probably unworthy!) thought that it would be lovely to sit there without hearing other voices in the vicinity, but we don't live in the middle of a town or city so I suppose I shouldn't be too ungrateful!

    I loved all the photos, is it just me or does 'Ma! I'm Hungry!!' look like he is wearing a trainer on his foot!? The flight photos were brilliant and the two juvenile Blackbirds lovely,

  8. Beautiful shots!! I love the collage that you put together with all the birds at your feeder that's my fav!!!

  9. Hi Jan. I don't think the first young Starling appreciated someone else's stale bread. It wanted something a bit tastier.

    Being able to choose which days to go out is a definite advantage of being retired. Think what it would be like if we all rushed out on Bank Holidays.

    Thanks. Photos are so much crisper with better colour when I don't have to shoot through double glazing.

    Didn't you know? - we have chav Starlings round here - they all wear trainers :)

  10. Thank you for those kind words Nature As Is. Making collages is now so easy with Picasa I really enjoy putting them together. Also it helps to cut down the length of the posting.

  11. Sounds like you had a perfect day blessed by sunshine and visits from your feathered friends... :)

    In that first video, what in the world was the starling trying to feed its young 'un? It certainly doesn't look very appetizing and I think the young one was quite wise in turning up its nose at to speak ;)

    I love looking at the detail shown in your photos of the many different birds ~ and your airborne ones are inspiring as well. Thanks ~ and glad you liked the poem on previous post ;)

  12. Hi Glo. It was a very relaxing day. Plenty of Sun and a cool breeze kept the air fresh. Nothing better than watching the birdy visitors on such a day.

    The Starling had brought a piece of bread from someone else's garden which could well have been dry and stale. It happened again this morning - a Starling had a large piece of bread crust and spent ages trying to get it in its youngsters beaks, poor things. Bread is of little use anyway as it has virtually no energy value.

    Thanks for your kind comments, pleased you enjoyed your visit.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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