Monday, 19 January 2015

Back garden soap opera

Our little birds in the back garden are full of character and keep us all constantly entertained and intrigued. They're always up to something and watching their lives unfold is like watching a soap opera right outside our kitchen window. In the latest episode....

Mrs Blackbird has become very territorial recently, particularly over the bird table. She's been chasing away anything that tries to use it while she's there, even the starlings (and not much will keep a starling away from food!)  However, this morning she met her match and one of the starlings actually stood up to her. She was getting very cross with him!
She's a fierce lady!
A stand off - the starling did seem to be taunting her though!
Mr Blackbird just hangs around in the background, rushing around the garden or sitting in a bush looking handsome. He leaves her to it and doesn't get involved. She seems to wear the trousers in that relationship!

The starlings remind me of Vikings, with their heavy black eyes, harsh pointed features and audacious raids to plunder the feeders.

Keeping out of the way of Mrs Blackbird - waiting for her to leave
I saw a male blackcap on the bird table yesterday. Could there finally be love in the air for our female blackcap? Mrs Blackbird soon chased him away, but then I caught a brief glimpse of him again this morning with the female blackcap, so I'm hopeful! He's far more timid than the female.

Lady Blackcap
Many of the birds seem to be pairing up and 'courting'. The sparrow family seem very 'coupley' and are very excitable. They have moments when they make a terrible racket, squeaking and twittering and chasing each other around. A pair of robins have been flying around the garden, following each other from tree to tree. They seemed to be enjoying the sunshine and seemed to be paired up.

A pair of blue tits are in and out of one of the bird boxes all day. One goes in and the other looks in the hole. Then goes in when the other one comes out. I'm surprised they're interested in that bird box, as it's on the patio right outside the dining room, stuck on the front of the bird table. I thought they would nest somewhere a bit quieter, but they're showing a lot of interest in it.

I saw a jay in a tree in the garden, but it didn't venture down to the bird table. Bug Mad Girl will be cross she missed it, because they're one of her favourites and we don't see them very often in the garden.

The woodpigeons are as comical as ever. This one decided to take a bath and completely filled it. Just shows how big they are!

Finally, the squirrels have found my new feeder. I was hoping they may leave this one alone as it's hanging from the side of the house, but it looks like that's not going to be. They have to do quite a balancing act to get to it though and this one almost fell off a couple of times this morning!

That'll upset the Blue Tits!
I've also seen dunnocks, goldfinches, chaffinches and a jackdaw this morning. Let's just hope there are as many birds around next weekend for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch!

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