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The Arrse Twitchers thread

I hadn't seen our resident Blackbird 'Squawk' for a few days. She normally turns up for breakfast, elevenses, lunch, tea and lately a couple of times, supper, when it's practically dark and the solar lights are coming on.
Then I remembered, when it rains a lot there's worms-a-plenty and she doesn't need us.
This morning when I fed the other birds, I whistled, something that would normally have her winging in on a high-speed collision course with my face, to flair and swerve at the last moment.
Nothing.
Then, several minutes later, she appeared on the bit of fence, where she can just about be seen from the lounge.
She ate a bunch of mealworms and then flew off. I'm guessing that although she doesn't need us at present, she's keeping us sweet.
Not so dumb.
 
Not my photo as the bird in question has never come close enough for me to get a decent picture of it, but an albino magpie at Lake 32 Cotswold Water Park.
View attachment 513093
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Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Another great shot stolen re-packaged from the excellent FB group 'Wild New Forest'

'I don’t really see that many red kites in the forest, so it was a treat to see this one today being mobbed at times by crows and then this sparrowhawk. Seeing them both side by side, you realise just how big those kites are! It was a fabulous encounter!'

1603753884775.png

Photo credit : Louise Revill
 
Huge they are in comparison with everything else around.

I have watched their progress westward over the years, when my son went to Reading University nearly 10 years ago they could be seen in the approaches to the University, they are seen but not common in our area on the edge of Salisbury Plain near Devizes and the furthest west I have spotted one is near Mere.
 
Huge they are in comparison with everything else around.

I have watched their progress westward over the years, when my son went to Reading University nearly 10 years ago they could be seen in the approaches to the University, they are seen but not common in our area on the edge of Salisbury Plain near Devizes and the furthest west I have spotted one is near Mere.
And now, perversely, they are becoming fewer and fewer in my corner of their previous stronghold.
 
I saw two over the western end of the Vale of Glamorgan a few weeks ago.
 
I saw two over the western end of the Vale of Glamorgan a few weeks ago.

Out yere, by deepest Little England Beyond Wales*, they are almost as thick as sparrows: take yer pick from flocks of Buzzards or Red Kites.

Beautiful creatures.

. . . though there's a bit a resistance building up as they are thinning out other smaller wildlife at a rate . .




*Pembrokeshire, for the idle
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Last week I needed to stock up on peanuts and fatballs. I have a dead 6' ceanothothus at the end of the garden, cut back to a skeleton, from which I hang the feeders.

The sparrers were all over the new stuff. They flew off. In their place, something quite magnificent, rather smaller than a buzzard. Trying to get bird expert Zero Alpha's attention without shouting while this beast stood looking at the food a few feet away was not easy. She called sparrowhawk.

Also last week, for our afternoon constitutional we walked round the site of the new Lidl megastore being built at the end of the road to check progress. Round three sides of the site we had a good view of a kestrel over the field adjacent to the site.

Haven't seen many kites or buzzards this year and I still hold out hope of one of the white tailed sea eagles flying over from the Island where they've been reintroduced
Break in the rain. Popped out to reload fat balls (no Fat Balls is not a former Labour minister lodging with me). Four fat balls in hand (stop it!), I strode up the garden.

Heard a squawk. Turned, saw pigeon feathers under the forsythia. Looked again, realised a (the?) sparrowhawk was sitting proudly on the pigeon, watching me out of first one eye, turn the head, and the other.

Could I get Zero Alpha's attention? Could I sh¡te. I moved. Sparrowhawk headed for ERV. I've left the pigeon there (give sparrowhawk a day or two to feast and discourage the pigeons), then I'll mag to grid. Fingers crossed he does come back.

Thoughts?
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
Well It’s about birds and it’s a pity the poor cop didn’t spot the cock flying towards him.

Most unfortunate for Lt Bolok.

And now for a song.

 
Break in the rain. Popped out to reload fat balls (no Fat Balls is not a former Labour minister lodging with me). Four fat balls in hand (stop it!), I strode up the garden.

Heard a squawk. Turned, saw pigeon feathers under the forsythia. Looked again, realised a (the?) sparrowhawk was sitting proudly on the pigeon, watching me out of first one eye, turn the head, and the other.

Could I get Zero Alpha's attention? Could I sh¡te. I moved. Sparrowhawk headed for ERV. I've left the pigeon there (give sparrowhawk a day or two to feast and discourage the pigeons), then I'll mag to grid. Fingers crossed he does come back.

Thoughts?
Had similar happen in our garden, you might be disappointed as once the sparrow hawk had feasted the pigeons soon returned, not very bright pigeons.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
this one won't.....

1605557910713.png


{Photocredit: Viv Wiles]

There is also a gory live -action snuff movie of said raptor wrenching its victim's living heart from its body - but you'll have to ask FaceBook for that, as Arrse Mods judged it too violent for this Forum ;-)

LINK
 
I know it's wrong to endow them with human emotions, but I swear I detected jealousy in our resident Blackbird today.
I always give her a call when I do the daily feed. Sometimes she's waiting, sometimes she rolls up a bit later, occasionally she doesn't bother. Today, I was part way through the task and she hadn't shown.
The Robin had, though. He's not the friendliest one we've had, one would eat from my hand and others would come very close. This one will check out anything you've done - after you've left.
Today he was annoyed by my presence, and was TIK-TIK'ing me from the neighbours conifers. I imitated him, which angered him more and he got closer and the Tiks more rapid. In the end he was in the Cherry tree above my head, going berserk.
The Blackbirds prefer our Pyracantha to roost in, can't blame them given the thorns, suddenly the bush shook and an angry looking Blackbird appeared. She took off, buzzed the Robin and landed on the fence by the patio, near where she gets fed.
I fed her and when she'd finished she flew back up the garden, passing within 2 feet of my head, all the while
"TUK-TUK-TUK"ing in a don't do that again fashion.
As I said, you shouldn't see human emotions in them, but it is difficult.
 
The starlings have returned to their winter roosting site at Redhorn Hill, just a few of them this morning but I expect there will be more on the way. Last year there were enough for the flock to take 2-3 mins to pass as they departed to find food in the early morning.

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