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The Arrse Twitchers thread

I've had a ton of Redwings in the garden recently and average about 15 Goldfinches on the feeders throughout the day, plus Greenfinches, Tis and all the other usual suspects.

Chaffinches seem to be breeding now (which seems a bit odd given the weather) as I've seen a couple of newly fledged juveniles.
Buzzards were pairing up here last week, I would say 4 weeks earlier than normal.
 
Sorry if this is a bit long - you've been warned!

Sunday lunchtime Squawk, the Blackbird was 'got' by a Sparrowhawk. I'd been tied up all morning trying to sort out a pc problem and by midday was very knobbed off.
Consequently, I walked through the dining room without checking if she was waiting under the bushes to be fed. She has a escalating routine:
1) Wait to be spotted under the bushes.
2) If not spotted, fly as conspicuously as you can onto the patio table.
3) If still not noticed, land on the doormat and jump up and down.
She's normally a feathered Meerkat, constantly scanning the sky, so I can only assume she'd been waiting a while and was as knobbed off as me.
I heard a thud as something hit the patio door. I turned and saw the Sparrowhawk on the patio with something. I was pretty quick to the door and scared it into flight - carrying a Blackbird; I immediately knew who.
Instead of flying off, it flew under the Pyracantha at the end of the garden and I sprinted after it, getting there within seconds. This frightened it into flying off empty taloned.
Crawling under the plant I found Squawk still alive, breathing heavily and shaking. After a short chase I managed to pick her up and look her over. There was only a slight sign of blood, but I could feel her heart going like a triphammer.
I brought her back and sat indoors in the warm by the patio door with her in my palm, gently stroking her back (I caused a parrot to fall off it's perch when it fell asleep whilst doing that). her heartbeat slowed really quickly and she started looking around. She, not surprisingly, refused a mealworm and after a while hopped off my hand and tried to go through the patio door. Once I'd opened it she ran accross the patio and onto the raised bed at the end.
I figured that either internal injuries or shock would do for her or she'd survive and likely not return because of the Hawk or the fact I'd caught her.
Yesterday I fed the birds early morning, as usual and there was no sign of her; but no corpse, so not all bad. Her kids were about, but staying at the end of the garden, by the spiny bush. She didn't appear throughout the day.
This morning, midway through filling the seed trays, a Blackbird appeared in the Cherry in front of me. I thought it was one of her kids, who is so nonchalant that I've nearly put my hand on him trying to fill a tray with dried mealworms when he'd already dived in.
This Blackbird flew down the garden to below the bushes. I went and got some fresh mealworms (she still won't eat dried, even though she's not feeding young) and put them in her dish. She waited just behind it, within a foot or two of my hand. Looks like I've been forgiven. She seems a bit slow and sore, but flying and eating.
I can only wish a car or cat interface for the bloody Hawk, I know it's only doing what's natural, but stupidly, I'm involved.
 
I've already posted this on the Arrsers self taken photo collection thread, but thought it might be of interest here as well.

The field behind our house in Arreton, Isle of Wight, has become very much dotted with molehills and this buzzard frequently attends to dig out worms and grubs from the soil. It also looks for food in the grassy areas, where it moves quite rapidly for a few paces and then pauses, with head on one side; listening, possibly?

Anyone able to advice. for interest, whether it is a male or female, or adult/juvenile?


2021 Buzzard 1j Jan resized.png
 

tiv

LE
Something different turned up in our neighbour's gaden, two Ringed Neck Parakeets. There have been a few sightings of them in the local area so perhaps they are moving in. For some reason I've been unable to get a good photo, if I do I'll post it.
 
I've already posted this on the Arrsers self taken photo collection thread, but thought it might be of interest here as well.

The field behind our house in Arreton, Isle of Wight, has become very much dotted with molehills and this buzzard frequently attends to dig out worms and grubs from the soil. It also looks for food in the grassy areas, where it moves quite rapidly for a few paces and then pauses, with head on one side; listening, possibly?

Anyone able to advice. for interest, whether it is a male or female, or adult/juvenile?


View attachment 540208
I would say a full adult, Buzzards vary in colouring from almost black to white. The head tilting will be listening for movement, I notice it is on a molehill there so could be waiting for the little chap to poke his head up.

We have one around here that is almost pure white with just brown barring on the front and a light brown back.

(PDF) Discover colour variation in Common buzzards! (researchgate.net)
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Not my picture, but sent to me by a cousin.

My first thought was to wonder what was going through the Heron's brain as it contemplated it's potential young alligator meal........" Er, maybe I've bitten off a bit more than I can chew today........those teeth look sharp!" Another post follows.

2021 Heron and alligator 1.jpg
 
Must be rather hard to digest what with that thick, leathery, scaly skin.

Also, if it scrabbles around inside it could do some serious damage with those claws I’d have thought.

I suppose the heron knows what its doing, though?
 
Must be rather hard to digest what with that thick, leathery, scaly skin.

Also, if it scrabbles around inside it could do some serious damage with those claws I’d have thought.

I suppose the heron knows what its doing, though?

I was wondering about the teeth and claws. Had the heron killed the alligator? If so, how? Stabbed with beak?
 
What country was that taken in?

Have now heard back from my cousin, who spends a lot of time when she can in Florida, USA.

The answer to your question is Lake Apopka, Florida - but my question was clearly not detailed enough and she didn't elaborate. I didn't ask her if she had taken the pictures herself, or were from another source. I suspect the latter, but will ask her a more specific question next time we communicate. (she is recovering from surgery and although I normally take great pleasure in winding her up, I don't want to hassle her at present)
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
A much less dramatic (Hertfordshire) Heron

Hatfield Heron.jpg

Pictured at the former De Havilland Airfield by Mick Bryce


Much fun watching the RSPB Big Bird Watch Live Cam today LINK

 
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I'm not sure if my 'relationship' with Squawk the Blackbird is doing her any good.
We've had a bit of snow and it's been a tad nippy, so she's been a very regular visitor for worms from early in the morning until after the solar lights come on some evenings.
This morning I fed the birds in the back garden, putting mealworms in her pot and then cleared the snow from the Alfa at the front of the house in preparation for going shopping. I was suddenly aware of a bird missing my shoulder by a couple of feet, at high speed and then there was a 'THUD'.
Close fly-bys are par for the course as a way of getting my attention, but the problem is, our next door neighbour has a mostly glass porch and Squawk was obviously more interested in me than looking where she was going.
She hit it hard and pretty well square on and was lucky to survive. She bounced off and landed a couple of feet away from me, looking dazed and winded. She scuttled under the car when I went to see if she was OK and sat under there for a few minutes.
She must be hard as nails as within 15 minutes she was on the patio eating mealworms. She's been back several times since.
 
I've been out doing double feeds for the past few weeks, but I'm getting fed up with the starlings. The bastards push all the smaller birds away, so basically I'm feeding 100+ starlings to the detriment of all the sparrows, blue, coal, great and long-tailed tits, blackbirds, dunnocks, chaffinches, wrens, gold finches, etc.

Between the starlings and the bastard jackdaws I'm pretty chuffed off.
 
I've been out doing double feeds for the past few weeks, but I'm getting fed up with the starlings. The bastards push all the smaller birds away, so basically I'm feeding 100+ starlings to the detriment of all the sparrows, blue, coal, great and long-tailed tits, blackbirds, dunnocks, chaffinches, wrens, gold finches, etc.

Between the starlings and the bastard jackdaws I'm pretty chuffed off.
You get chuffs as well?







It is an alternative spelling.
 
I’m doing a fairly good job of feeding the local sparrow hawk. So far its had a pigeon and a blackbird from round the bird feeders, but hey, that’s nature and birds of prey have to eat, too!
 

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