Sunday, 21 June 2009

Bird Behaviour

A few days ago I was watching a pair of Wood Pigeons. First the male was walking along the ridge tiles following a female. He was making the usual cooing sounds with his chest puffed out and his head bobbing up and down as he walked. She was moving ahead of him but slowly so he could keep up. This activity usually ends up with the female flying off, but not this time.

Shortly after that they were together on next doors roof. Both standing very close together. Every so often the male appeared to rub his beak down his back between his wings and then offer his beak to the female. There would then be a rubbing of beaks. I can only assume that he is picking up some oil from a gland on his back and offering it to her, which she appeared very willing to accept.

Wood Pigeons

Several times I have heard the sound of a Song Thrush bashing the living daylights out of a snail. usually on one of the concrete paths. Yesterday one was down the bottom of the garden trying to use a piece of timber to do the job. I managed to get a few still photos but as I homed in with the camcorder it moved out of sight behind a planter.

Song Thrush with Snail

Earlier in the day I had heard a Song Thrush singing very close by but couldn't spot it. Towards dusk it was sat high up on a Leylandii in the pouring rain singing away. As I got the camcorder set so I could see it and waited for the thing to auto focus, that was painfully slow as the light was poor by now, the Thrush flew away. Once again the bird's inbuilt camera detecting radar was working to perfection!

The day before I did manage to film a male Chaffinch on the same branch of the same tree as it was calling. It was a long way away so I couldn't get as close a shot as I would have liked.


A few more flowers are showing their blooms to perfection. This is the second of my pond lilies to show this year.


And this is a small grafted standard rose, Raspberry Royale, which produces an absolute mass of flowers each year. It grows in a planter next to the pond.

Rose Raspberry Royale

No sign of the Hedgehogs before I went to bed but it was raining the proverbial cats and dogs. All I saw was a frog as it leapt its way across the paved area under the bird feeders.


  1. A lovely post John, the Wood Pigeon sequence is delightful. Bird behaviour really is fascinating and WPs are particularly intriguing I think. The Song Thrush photos are lovely, I could do with three dozen of them here to deal with my snails!

    Your water lily and rose are so colourful, I don't do well with roses but you obviously have the knack, it is beautiful!

  2. Hi Jan. Thank you. Watching the Wood Pigeons was fascinating. The Song Thrushes certainly help with the snail population!
    Roses seem to grow well here. I don't really like plants which fight back. :) but I couldn't resist that one. When I first moved here there were several full size standard roses but they were slowly destroyed by high winds breaking the stems as they got so top heavy.

  3. Good observations on the Woodys John. Always fascinating to watch bird behaviour.
    I wish I had some Song Thrushes here to deal with the snails. :)

  4. I love the rose next to the pond. I don't like their habit of "fighting back" either! so wasn't going to plant any here but last year found a climber without thorns - a banksia rose - and am hoping for a good flowering this year.
    I enjoyed the video clip of the Chaffinch. It's nice to have the sound to go with the bird when its one you don't know.

  5. Thanks Keith. There is usually something going on round here which is interesting to observe, when the birds aren't dodging the camcorder.
    It's been a few years since I last had Song Thrushes around the garden. With luck their numbers may increase slowly.

  6. Hi Mick. It was a pity the Chaffinch wasn't singing instead of calling - much nicer to listen to. Maybe another day I'll get lucky. I want build a sort of library of the local songsters on video. That way I may have more luck in remembering which sound goes with which bird.
    That 'patio' standard rose is a beauty. There are more buds waiting to open than open ones at the moment. I look forward to a snap or two of your thorn less climber when it bursts forth.

  7. What a lovely post John; Wood pigeons are fascinating to watch - they often sit on the fence at the bottom of my mother's garden in easy view.

    Lovely to have song thrushes visiting - always fascinates me how they know to crack the shells on their dinner! And a lovely picture of the water lily!

  8. Thank you Tricia. If only the Wood Pigeons were not such efficient vacuum cleaners around the food!

    I suppose baby Song Thrushes learn from their parents but I have never seen any young ones to find out.

    I have always wanted water lilies and since I planted some they are a treat to see every year.


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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