Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Missed Action Photo Opportunities

A few days ago I noticed that the usual bird chatter had stopped except for a Blackbird and a Great Tit exchanging alarm calls. As they were taking it in turns to call I first thought they might have been having a go at each other. My second thought was that a cat may have been lurking under the bushes where the birds sit waiting their turn at the feeders. Looking out of the window all I could see was what at first glance appeared to be a Collared Dove sat on a branch above the bushes. Then I noticed the dark spots under the wing. That was no dove - sat patiently waiting about eight feet above the bushes was a female Sparrowhawk. No wonder I could hear alarm calls. Needless to say, as soon as I lifted the camera to take a shot the Sparrowhawk flew off.

Over the past few days I have seen two Dunnocks flying together. They seem to feed independently but when one takes off they both fly away together. I wonder where they will nest.

Yesterday for a brief time two Blue Tits were together in the nest box. They seemed friendly so I guess it was a pair giving the box the once over.

As we take our early morning constitution we are now serenaded by several Robins, each staking out its territory with a beautifully varied song. As the light was fading yesterday one was sat in the tree next door and the complexity of its song with so many trills was a real pleasure to hear. Too dark for a photo but it shouldn't be too long before I manage to get it on video.

All in all it may be Winter and cold as far as we are concerned but for our feathered friends Spring is round the corner and many are preparing for the breeding season.

I wonder whether Carrion Crows are spiteful or just playful. There were some crows sat on a roof top and a Wood Pigeon sat on top of a telegraph pole. Suddenly one of the crows flew across and dived on the pigeon knocking it off its perch. As the pigeon flew away the crow returned to its place on top of the roof.

Still plenty of Blackbirds visiting for breakfast as daylight begins the break. Numbers are down from the 20+ of a week or so ago to about 12 now. I think some are roosting in the large Leylandii which is also a popular place for birds to sit and bathe in any available sunshine.

Blackbird Sunbathing


  1. Interesting observations John.
    I've also noticed the Robins seem in fine voice now in the mornings. Won't be too long before we can enjoy a full blown dawn chorus.

  2. Hi John, yep seeing the Sparrowhawk fly by always silences the birds in seconds. Although I don’t like to see it leave with birds that are only in my garden because I feed them I have to say after capturing some video footage last year of a long visit by one at my feeders (a bit shaky camerawork) I have looked at them in a different light.

    Interestingly today I’ve posted on someone who has some excellent footage of Sparrowhawks. This person has studying them for a few years now.

    Wonderful to hear that you are seeing birds in your garden pair up already!

  3. We all miss bird action shots! But it just makes it that more exciting for the ones we get right!!

  4. Hello Keith. There always seems to be something going on with so many bird visitors to the garden.
    The Robins' songs seem to getting more powerful and intricate each day.

  5. Hello Shirl. Yes I did have a quick look at your post and the great video clips of the Sparrowhawks. One of these days I will manage to photograph the local one. I think I could do with one way glass in the kitchen then they wouldn't know I am there ;)

    A bit of warmer weather seems to be bringing on the breeding instinct. It has been great to see the two Dunnocks as I have only ever seen them solo in the past.

  6. Hello Mick. True, if we didn't miss the odd bit of action there would be nothing left to photograph another day ;)

  7. I have noticed, since the snow went, the birds are much more vociferous particularly the Robin/s. The Blackbirds are also definitely laying claim to their territory here.

    I'm sure the birds knew the cold snap was coming before we did so maybe they sense Spring will be early...wouldn't that be great? :)

    I hope you'll be able to give us more news of the Dunnocks eventually, I had them nesting last year.

  8. Hello Jan. I still have quite a few Blackbirds around but I have noticed the male Chaffinches seem to be getting more aggressive with each other.

    Maybe we will end with the 'mild' Winter we were promised ;)

    It is great to see the Dunnocks so active. t would be great to see a family of them.

  9. I like the description of your morning constitution while being serenaded by robins ~ let's hope we see more spring-type weather. I'm going to take a look at the nest box at the bottom of the garden tomorrow and see if there is any interest being shown!

  10. Hello Glo. Although it was raining when we went out this morning the Robins were singing away. That really cheered up a gloomy walk.

    My Blue Tits have been missing for a couple of days but they did that last year. I think they are checking out several boxes in the neighbourhood.

    I hope you do see some interest being shown in your nest boxes.


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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