Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Red and Black with a bit of White

Not a lot going on here at the moment. The weather is so variable. Most mornings start off sunny but it doesn't last. The cloud cover builds and by early afternoon it always seems to be raining, sometimes just drizzle but other times we get a tropical downpour with thunder storms thrown in.

There seem to be a lot of red flowers around my garden at the moment. Here are three of the pond lilies and the flower head of a succulent in my 'rockery'.

Red Flowers

Occasionally when the cloud cover clears a little near sunset the sky turns shades of red or orange and one evening it gave some quite unusual tints.


During one sunny spell there were numerous male blackbirds trying to feed from the ground feeder. This is always an occasion for some action as they take it in turns trying to monopolise the food. I have tried, and failed, to capture the moment I really want to record. When male Blackbirds argue they always fly up close together facing each other in an aggressive stance. They rarely come to blows but just try to face off the opposition.




Even when they already have a beak full of food they continue to argue. Writing of full beaks - Compo the scruffy looking Blackbird has a nice juicy worm but still insists on collecting more food. As soon as he leaves a juvenile Jackdaw takes his place at the ground feeder. (no sound)

The two juvenile Magpies have been daily visitors ever since the parents first brought them several weeks ago. Interesting the way they open their beaks after they have reached down to the ground as can be seen in the second section of the video. (no sound)

Looks as though it may be a better day today. Nice bright sunshine at the moment anyway.


  1. Hi again John, got a bit of catching up to do here. Hope you are well now :-)

    What a wonderful colour blast your pink montage has. Very nice… as is the rainbow night sky :-)

    Oh I know what you mean about the fast blackbird action. I’ve never tried to photograph it but you’ve caught the moment alright here. Excellent :-D

    Great videos, it’s always fascinating to see the blackbirds collecting beakfuls. Thanks for sharing your magpie visits on video too. I don’t see them in my garden so it is great to see yours. I’ve been collecting some video footage over the last few days so look forward to editing it soon… been delighted to see a hedgehog out and about again :-D

    Hope the weather holds out for you today, our clouds have moved just a little and the sun is peeping through now :-D

  2. Hi Shirl. Quite well thank you.

    I really want to photo that moment when two Blackbirds meet almost head on in mid air but even the camcorder has missed that so far. It was unusual to have so many males (five at one stage) at the same time so the action was fast and furious for a while.

    Looking forward to your next video. I think today is expected to be the best this week with more rainy days to follow.

  3. John, I think you've captured the action of the Blackbirds in that last shot. Really good.
    Another couple of great video clips too, and beautiful looking pond lilies.

  4. Your pond lilies are beautiful and you've shown them off very effectively in the grouping with the succulent! Any little froggies hopping about recently, and how's the newt?

    Your blackbirds are feisty, aren't they, and here's hoping you'll get the photo of the 'face off', although the ones you have taken certainly show their aggressive squawking behaviour, even with their beaks full!

    Very thoughtful of the parents of the juvenile magpies to introduce them to such a nourishing back yard! The young ones are growing nicely, and look sleek and healthy.

    Your sunset photo is lovely and is actually quite similar to the ones I view from my back garden ~ framed with trees :)

    Our weather stays hot and dry here, with a sea breeze which definitely saves the day. Lightning storms have been nearby, which is always a threat as far as forest fires are concerned.

    I did get a photo yesterday of a little nuthatch at the front feeder which is shaded.

  5. Thank you Keith. I managed to capture some Blackbird activity but I still want that one particular moment when both virtually meet in mid air. Something to keep striving for anyway.

  6. Hi Glo - they have been feisty recently, probably as there are several too close to each other.

    Unfortunately I can't get a very clear sky shot in any direction from home but those trees do help to frame the shot.

    No little frogs - as I thought, all the spawn was barren but when I go out on wet nights I have to make sure I don't tread on a frog as there are several around. I think the newts will have left the pond for the Summer as I haven't seen one for several weeks now.

    It must be a worry with very dry weather, storms and forests. We often get newsreels on the news here. Fortunately it is rare here though heathland fires can be a problem in long hot Summers.

    Look forward to see your nuthatch. There should be a new photo of Hope tomorrow.

  7. Beautiful flowers. I guess all the rain is keeping the grass green and the flowers blooming. Lovely...

  8. Thank you Kelly. Yes the mix of rain and sunshine is certainly making things grow, especially the weeds.


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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