Wildlife in the garden

Wildlife in the garden

Wildlife in the garden can bring a lot of pleasure to anyone.  You can even watch it through the window if getting around is a problem. Once again I’ve been messing about with lenses.  Testing them on wildlife in the garden is an easy option, but can turn up some interesting results.  This is a series of photos that any wildlife cameraman could take.  In the taking some of them reveal something that I was not aware of at the time.  It’s not startling, revelationary behaviour, but it is at least mildly interesting.  Perhaps its even QI. If you want to identify birds on your garden I recommend this link from the RSPB: identify

dunnock gathering moss (frame grab)
dunnock gathering moss (frame grab)

I took lots of pictures of this female blackbird.  Most of the time she was gathering insects for her chicks.  I swear, you could stare at that lawn and not see any of these insects for love of looking.

female blackbird with worms
Female blackbird gathering worms

The same bird seemed to know when the pots were being watered.  It’s an old wildlife cameraman trick anyway. Wildlife in the garden is aware of our activities.  Most of the time they seem to be escaping from us, but much of the time they are ‘clocking’ what we do and when.  Water around the pots makes the ground soft, and often brings worms right to the surface.  Bingo for the blackbird.

male blackbird on fence
Male blackbird on garden fence

This male blackbird is less tolerant of people than his mate.  He is quick to fly to the fence, ready for a hasty departure, whereas his mate will hop around our feet practically.  Here he is perched on one leg, something that birds do quite frequently.

rook showing nictitating membrane
Rook showing nictitating membrane

This bird was a mystery for a while.  My Mum kept saying that a huge black bird was taking all the food from her feeders.  From her description it was not impossible that it was a raven.  But I was doing some gardening down there one day and this confident rook turned up.  It perched on the chimney quite patiently until I took the hint and went inside for a cuppa.  Only then did it swoop down and gorge itself on suet balls.  Not obvious at the time of taking, this snap captures the nictitating membrane that protects the rooks eye.  I think this is correct:  a rook normally feeds by plunging its beak into the soil, the membrane should protect the eye while still allowing it to see to a degree.

male house sparrow displaying
Cock sparrow showing off

You don’t have to be in the jungles of Indonesia to see birds displaying.  This cock sparrow was giving it everything: tail up, wings straight and back, breast feathers primped and puffed out. It was calling its little head off.

female house sparrow drying off
Female sparrow drying off

Water is really important for birds at this time of year.  They drink and bathe frequently, especially when they are looking after chicks.  This female had just been in the waterfall and perched for some time on the fence.  She held her wings out alternately in the breeze, presumably so that they could dry out fully.