Saturday, 27 November 2010

Blooming Snow

For me one of the strangest sights in my back garden this week has been the dwarf standard rose in full bloom covered with a layer of snow. I don't remember it ever blooming this late in the year in the past.

Blooming in the Snow

Fortunately, so far, we haven't had a lot of snow but I have no doubt there will be more on the way over the next week.

It would appear many of the visiting Starlings have now arrived to join the residents. Certainly the numbers visiting my feeders has suddenly increased. As always they spend more time squabbling than they do eating and the smaller birds have to find a gap when it is safe to fly in for a quick bite to eat.

Starlings 1

Starlings 2

Starlings 3

 There are three male Chaffinches which usually visit at the same time. It is fascinating watching their antics as they try not to invade each others space. Occasionally there will be a short chase but most of the time they manage to avoid contact with each other.


  1. As a recently qualified animal behaviourist I am just so struck at the social life of birds. There is so much going on in their relationships and their lives that can only really be captured in still photos! I can't help thinking that we really underestimate the intelligence of birds.

  2. You are the best Starling photographer I've seen. They are entertaining wee hooligans.

  3. When I observe the birds I am struck by their quite complicated social structure. Most of it has to be instinctive as the small ones live such short lives. I think their brains are much more complex than we give them credit for. Even the smallest can be seen waiting, watching and working out what to do next.

  4. You are making me blush Adrian. Some periods of the day I don't have much more than Starlings to look at - and listen to! I think I took over 50 shots to get those few worth looking at. For birds which snuggle up in vast numbers at night they do spend an awful lot of their waking hours scrapping.

  5. Lovely blog, arrived here via Twitter.

  6. I absolutely agree with Matron's last sentence and I think that applies to the rest of the animal kingdom too!

    The rose does look odd with snow on it. It only seems five minutes since we were all freezing earlier in the year! We had a dusting of snow overnight and it is still only -1C here and according to the weather map feels like -4C...I can vouch for that!!

    Great photos of the Starlings John. I was happily watching a Coal Tit popping in and out of the little roofed feeder (the one like you have) yesterday when all of a sudden the bullyboys arrived. I don't know how much further I dare lower the roof before one gets stuck. There is plenty of food elsewhere in the garden for them, it is just a teeny weeny bit annoying... ;)

  7. Agree with everyone else John, cracking Starling shots.
    Not had many in the garden recently, and then suddenly, yesterday, 30 odd dropped out the sky. lol
    Such a racket.

  8. Thank you for visiting and your kind comment Blu. You are welcome any time.

  9. Thank you Jan. The Coal Tits here are grabbing as many black Sunflower seeds as they can.
    I gave up on the roofed feeder. No matter how low I put the roof the Starlings always managed to get a head and beak in. I wouldn't mind if they weren't so messy in scattering half the seed all over the ground - though the fat Wood Pigeons think it a great arrangement!

  10. Thank you Keith. They do tend to arrive en mass don't they. Then open warfare breaks out with seed scattered all over the place.

  11. Great pics of the Starlings John. Linda

  12. Thank you Linda. When they come by the score three times a day I am bound to get the occasional action shot.


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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