Saturday, July 25, 2009

My Garden Birds

I must admit to neglecting My Garden Birds somewhat of late. Not, I must hastily point out, neglecting their well being or welfare, but rather it seems I have not had the time to observe the everyday activity of our feathered friends. They have been fed and watered, although at this time of year there is an abundance of natural food for them to find. As regards water, we have experienced so much rain lately that every possible solid bottomed container is full to overflowing (At this point I was going to include some pun about Mrs Woodpecker's solid bottom, but I have decided not to).

Most of our usual species of garden birds are about and putting in their regular appearances but there has been no recent sightings of the Blackbirds. This is a trend that I have noticed in past years whereby at this time of year they disappear from the gardens then re-appear during the winter months. I am sure this absence is linked to food supply. The time when the youngsters have grown strong, coincides with an increasing abundance of fruit that continues well into the autumn. Blackbirds love to eat fruit and I believe they move around to wherever the different varieties of fruit are in season. The young birds learn by following the adults and so will continue to do this when they are mature with young of their own.

Many Starlings are still coming to feed throughout the day and the young ones are beginning to show their new speckled plumage. I do feel however that the numbers are less than they were when the youngsters were fledging, maybe they tend to spread further afield as they develop. This is also true of the House Sparrows, who seem to be fewer in number than in recent weeks. An alternative explanation of course is that some may have perished. We do see Sparrowhawks from time to time, there is the ever present menace of cats, and maybe this extremely wet weather may have taken it's toll of some of the weaker birds.

Overall the birds are doing well with sightings of newly fledged young Woodpigeons and Collared Doves. Hopefully things at home will get a bit less hectic than of late and I will find some spare time again to sit and watch My Garden Birds.

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