Sunday, 8 November 2009

A Noisy Day all Round

Yesterday started with the usual invasion of Starlings squabbling over anything which looks remotely like food. There are times when you can hardly see the fat ball feeders or the floor of the bird table. The two inch mesh round the bird table is no barrier for a determined Starling.


Later in the day I could hear some alarm calls. There were two Great Tits setting up a din as they took it in turns. I don't think they were arguing with each other as later on they were both taking seeds from the feeders. Most probably there was one of the local cats in the bottom of the bushes.

The normally tranquillity of the village was broken by the third night of fireworks as families celebrated the failure of Guido Fawkes to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. This year was the first time I have tried to film some from the kitchen window. In the past I have failed miserably to get still photos. Sound is a bit tinny as I was using the same outdoor microphone I use for capturing the sound of birds.


  1. Good Morning John,here’s hoping is a lovely blue sky and sunny one for you too :-D

    Here the invasions of Starlings have started too. Blackbird numbers have increased too. Yep the mesh has to be quite a bit smaller to stop the Starlings ;-)

    Ah… the great tit calls can be quite noisy can’t they… good capture. Surprisingly, for their size, the coal tits are too. When out in the garden sometimes I hear theirs and the blue tit calls almost having a conversation. Often I can’t even see where they are :-)

    Interesting to see your fireworks video… I’ve never considered trying that. A good idea and you caught them well with sound too. Liz, over at Gwirrel’s garden caught some great fireworks photos too.

  2. Good Morning Shirl. The mesh is there mainly to keep the greedy pigeons and collared doves off the table but unfortunately it stops the blackbirds as well.

    It is surprising how noisy some small birds can be. I think there is also a Chaffinch joining in.

    It took a while to get the manual focus somewhere near correct for the video as the auto focus couldn't cope and then the battery ran out!
    The last time I tried for still photos I had the Fuji FinePix which doesn't have a long exposure facility so I must try with the Canon next year. Thanks for the link. They are beautiful photos.

    It started cloudy with the temperature just under 4C but now the skies have cleared and the Sun is blazing through the windows saving my heating costs ;)

  3. John nice post, I'm saying nothing about fireworks, off to try tonight if it doesn't rain.
    The great Tits have just woken the dog, not to worry.

  4. Thanks Adrian. Personally I hate fireworks, even as a youngster I would only watch them from indoors. Probably a hangover from the days of jumping jacks and bangers being thrown around by all and sundry - and a rather painful experiment when I was about 10 yrs old!

  5. John, do you know what are the starlings nearest relative? They are quite unlike any other sort of bird. Kind of blackbird, and kind of crow - what do you think their nearest relative is?

  6. A very good question Matron. I had to go looking for an answer. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica

    they are in the family Sturnidae, order Passeriformes which consists of Starlings, Mynas and Oxpeckers. The latter seems to be open to question on other authorities. There are many different Starlings around the world. So it would appear they are not related to any other type of native British bird but to Myna birds.

    There is a list here


  7. That makes sense, I have heard that starlings are great mimics and can make sounds like mobile phones, car alarms, camera shutters - so not at all surprised they are related to myna birds.

  8. Those Starlings are very determined and get in anywhere. What a coincidence, I have just finished commenting on someone's blog who has been visiting New Zealand and watched Mynah birds on the lawn being bully boys just like the Starlings which led me to check what I suspected, that they are in the same family, both mimics too of course.

    I'm afraid I hate fireworks too, Poor Louis goes into a sort of trance and just trembles for ages, it is mainly the ones that sound like bombs which I'm sure are illegal!

    I enjoyed the Great Tit video, smart looking little birds :)

    PS. Why doesn't it surprise me that you had a rather painful experiment with fireworks when you were a youngster?!!

  9. A good point about the ability to mimic Matron.

  10. Hello Jan. That was interesting about the Myna birds. It seems to be a trait of the species.

    I hope Louis has recovered now. My last dog was just like that. She wouldn't even come to me for comforting. There was one particular firework which rattled my double glazed window this year. They were supposed to have been banned a year or so ago but there are always people who find a way round such laws.

    He, he. Boys will be boys, Jan. Especially those who just can't resist experimenting!


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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