Thursday, 6 May 2010

First Fledgeling, Unidentified Bird, Pond Rustler and Others

Yesterday was the first time this year I have seen a young bird arrive in the garden. To start with there was an adult Dunnock on a branch near the feeders. It was singing and flapping its wings over and over again. At first I thought it was a mating ritual until I spotted this juvenile.

Juvenile Dunnock 1

On observing for some time it looked as though the adult was trying to call its youngster and persuade it to fly to the tree. The fledgling Dunnock was having none of it and stubbornly stayed where it was for several minutes.

Juvenile Dunnock 2

In the end the youngster flew to the back of the garden and the adult followed it. At no time did I see an adult attempt to feed it.

While we were on our afternoon walkabout there were a couple of birds in the horse paddock. They looked vaguely familiar to me but for the life of me I haven't been able to identify them. The photos are not good as they were a long way off and nearly always on the move.

Unknown 3

Unknown 2

On the photos the markings look so much like a Song Thrush but I am sure they were much bigger and with longer legs. Their movement was reminiscent of a shore bird. I tried to get a better view but that scared them off.

Also during the walk through the back of the graveyard we saw the largest congregation of 7 Spot Ladybirds I have ever seen. There were these few on a fallen branch and the surrounding Ivy held not dozens but scores of them.

7 Spot Ladybirds

As usual there was at least one escapee from the neighbouring house. Normally the ducks or chickens retreat rapidly when I try to get closer but this fine fellow was more than happy to pose for a portrait.

P1000654 cc

Late on in the day I spied a female Blackbird which kept standing on the rim of the nursery pond, reaching in and taking something out.

Blackbird and Pond Snail

Blackbird and Pond Snail 2

Initially I thought it was rustling the tadpoles for a tasty snack but when I went over to the pond I could see the remains of pond snail shells. A good job there are dozens in there.

This morning it is dull and wet but I did my duty and tied Bobby up outside the Polling Station while I finally made my mind up which would be the least of the political evils on offer.


  1. 'The least of the political evils on offer' I think that sums it up perfectly John! :)

    Your bird looks like a Mistle Thrush to me. Well done on capturing it.

    A thoroughly enjoyable post altogether, with lovely photos, so nice to see the juveniles and you have seen more Ladybirds in one outing than I have all Spring!

  2. I would say your unidentified bird is a Mistle Thrush.

  3. Is the unknown bird a mistle thrush? looks a little like one that we have in the field regularly.It gives that very strange call.

  4. Three for the Mistle Thrush lol

    Great to see the little juveniles around.

  5. My first thought was also a Mistle Thrush! I found my trusty Oxford Book of Birds... can make 10" long and the largest of the thrushes. Looks like it to me.

  6. Thanks to all. It looks unanimous for being a Mistle Thrush. May have been the perspective and distance as it seemed too large but the markings are definitely thrush like. It probably seemed taller as it kept stretching its neck to get a better view of me. In fact there were a pair but the other was even further away.

    As for the ladybirds Jan. I must have seen well over a hundred recently. I even have to watch where I'm walking in the garden so as not to tread on one!

  7. What a sweet little fledgling :) Looks like its just trying to figure out what the world is all about. Good luck to it, in that regard! The cluster of ladybirds is unusual to see (for me anyway) and prompted me to do a bit of googling. I found this site informative:

    Perhaps they're playing dominoes and trying to match up their spots ;)

    Interesting seeing the blackbird enjoying the escargot! Nice clear photos and it was good to see a clucker in the midst, as well.

  8. Hello Glo. The fledglings always have that look of puzzled amazement don't they?

    Thanks for the link - very informative.

    I expect to see thrushes eating snails but I have never before seen a Blackbird go fishing for them!


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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