Monday, 21 May 2012

Feed me!


Feed me!

May brings an explosion in the garden. Everything burgeons and each day offers fresh delights. The month becomes increasingly noisy as young birds demand that their parents feed them. The parents are on the go from just before break of day until the last vestiges of light have left the sky - they are being worn ragged by their demanding offspring. Feeding several bottomless pits is exhausting and some of the adults are beginning to look rather unkempt, their usually pin neat plumage dishevelled. There is little time to preen when there are so many mouths to feed.
It was flirting my tail like this that got me into trouble in the first place.
Me too!
I'm exhausted - no time some days even to  run a comb through my feathers . . .

. . . but at least my babies say 'Please' and 'Thank you', unlike those rude starling youngsters.
Feed me!
FEED me!!
FEED ME!!!
Say Please . . .
Feed me PLEASE - I'm starving. I'm a starving starling . . .
That's better, dear - now don't gobble.

We have seen blackbirds, goldfinches, nuthatches, coal tits, magpies, blue tits, great tits, greater spotted woodpeckers, wood pigeons, robins and a chaffinch at the feeders.  It’s very unusual to see a chaffinch – they prefer to feed on the ground. The long-tailed tits are noticeable by their absence – no doubt they’ll be along later for they must have young too. The jackdaws have been back to take food from the bird table and the local crows are vigilant and noisy when a red kite soars above their nests, looking for an easy meal.
My youngsters are hungry, too . . .
 . . . and mine  . . .
. . . mine, too . . .
Look right.
Look left.
All clear? Tuck in.
I wait till it's quiet.
Our most conspicuous visitors are the starlings. A few days ago we saw only three or four young birds but in the last couple of days the numbers have proliferated. Yesterday Barry counted forty starlings perched on the arches. They chatter and shriek from early morning until dusk. They enjoy communal feeding on the pergolas and communal bathing in the pond. Watching the harassed adults it’s difficult to ascertain whether the parents feeds their own young or whether they respond to all gaping beaks – I suspect the latter. 
Wood pigeons need food, too. Some chance with all those starlings.
I watched the plump, cheeky starling babies as they alternately preened vigorously and called vociferously. One of them was paying more attention to his plumage than his safety. Good grooming is essential for a bird but he wasn’t looking about as frequently as he should, as, indeed, the adults do. I feared for his welfare. I knew a sparrowhawk would appear on the scene sooner or later and today was the day. He swooped down from the roof and carried off a screaming youngster. Barry was startled when he walked along the garden path a few minutes later to see the sparrowhawk on the ground preparing his feast. We may deplore the depredations of the sparrowhawks but they have young to feed, too.
                         A few soft feathers are all that's left to commemorate a brief existence.


18 comments:

  1. Wow, what an amazing bunch of birds you attract to your garden! All we see are pigeons and magpies!

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  2. Beautiful bird photos! You must have a super zoom lens of some kind. An enjoyable way to begin a morning here.

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  3. Fantastic photographs. We don't get many birds visiting in our garden as all the neighbours' cats seem to treat our garden as their territory as well as their own gardens.

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  4. I love your photographs - you must have so much patience, waiting for some of those shots!

    Nature is nature and birds of prey need to have 'prey' - I just get annoyed when a lone fox gets into the hen house and goes into a killing frenzy ... I mean it's not as if it has access to a freezer.

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  5. What beautiful birds.

    And yes, some birds, while beautiful, are another bird's food source...

    Pearl

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  6. Gorgeous photos...you have a steady hand and a patient eye.

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  7. Those are awesome pictures! How'd you get so close to them?
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  8. Beautiul photos of the birds.

    Great match on Saturday night
    lots of shouting in this house at the tv.

    Have a good week.


    Fiona x

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  9. Cute bird dialogue! I love the robin. Our robins aren't nearly so sweet looking. But the chaffinch is my favorite. He has so many colors. As for the sparrow hawk...when I first started feeding the birds a good number of years ago, I had to stop because the Coopers Hawk was ambushing the goldfinches while they were on the feeder. Eventually I had to accept that this was their way of life.

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  10. Amazing photos, as always! I love visiting your blog.

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  11. this series of photos is fantastic!
    makes me smile and smile
    I especially love the feed me, feed me shots!!

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  12. Watching the birds is always fun. You have quite a variety! I'm amazed by how wide those starling beaks can open.

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  13. Amazing pictures! :) I didn't really like birds until I moved into a house with an awesome backyard. Now I'm always on the lookout for the elusive cardinal who visits a few times a year!

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  14. Nature red in tooth and claw, bt there you are, that's how it is.

    I love this season of fledglings. The martins are twittering sweeter than any human tweet could be.

    You have a fine selection of birds, we have much the same, except for the starlings. Perhaps ours find enough food in the fields? We rarely see any in the garden.

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  15. Great pictures! It's a little noisy around my house, too, because of the baby birds.

    I tagged you. If you want to play the game, visit my blog, Mama Diaries.

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  16. You have lots of birds around your house ! and what very nice pictures. We have less and less birds here around. When we moved here there were lots of fields and Mr. G. complained about the bird songs at 4 or 5 in the morning. Now the fields have been replaced by houses and even the little wood has shrinked, so no squirrels, birds or other animals besides cats strolling around. Ah, yes once I saw a little fox on my terrace. I suppose you are so busy with your garden that you don't have enough time to blog.

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  17. Super photos Janice. It's that time of the year.

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