|"Mum, is this where I'm supposed to go to find food?"|
|"Like this? I think I'd rather you fed me yourself!"|
|"Mum! Mum! Feed me, feed me!"|
"I'm coming as fast as I can, dear!!!"
(Photo credit: my OH)
|"Here, now give me a break and go and feed yourself"!|
(Photo credit: my OH)
|"Well I can just manage it, but I'd prefer you do it for me as I'm only a baby!"|
(See how tatty the poor old parent is?!)
|Two weeks later, still not sure where to put its tail!|
After a long time of not having seen any Nuthatches (Sitta europaea) on the feeders, they were suddenly back with a vengeance. We realised why a few days later when their fledglings suddenly appeared. The young haven't visited the feeders so I haven't any pictures of them yet.
|Poor Nuthatch is also looking a bit bedraggled|
|I love how they feed upside down!|
|This is a week later after the young have fledged, but |
they are still waiting around in the old apple tree to be fed by parents!
Our common visitors to the feeders, Great Spotted Woodpeckers (Dendrocopos major), also have youngsters which they are feeding from the peanuts.
|Great Spotted Woodpecker (think it's the male but hard to tell)|
Yes the pole is leaning here. That's partially because it's a pole in a parasol base on a sloping driveway, so the pole slopes. Also because as we discovered when the whole lot collapsed a little while later, the pole was rotten at the base and was leaning anyway! It's now been replaced from our stock of surplus curtain poles from previous houses we've lived in. Everything comes in useful for something, eventually! The whole feeder has been moved up the slope a bit to where it's a little bit flatter now too.
|A week later and their young have fledged too. However this youngster isn't even trying to |
feed itself yet. (Adult male with red marking at back of head on right
and all juveniles have a red cap. Females have no red on head.)
|We haven't seen many females around - maybe they are having a rest!|
|Grey Herons (Ardea cinerea) have started revisiting recently|
Now I have some exciting news about the Moorhens! One solitary one has been coming up to feed from the duck food by their shed, and we thought it was alone without a mate. Yesterday morning I saw a Grey Heron come in to land at the garden end of the pond, then very surprisingly saw the Moorhen run at it full pelt, whereupon there was quite a flapping of Heron wings. A bit later my OH reported that he'd seen the Moorhen trying to chase off a wild Mallard female that was on the pond. The penny dropped. Aha - maybe they have a nest somewhere; this would account for the aggressive behaviour, and the fact the Herons have been coming by!
So yesterday afternoon I went to check out the 'Moorhen tree', a willow that grows out over the water. Sure enough, there was a great big nest in it! I could hear a few 'mips' coming from the other end of the pond, so had a look through my camera lens (as I didn't have my binoculars with me) and lo and behold, I saw this..... (very rubbish photo as I was taken by surprise and a nano-second later they had disappeared). Neither of us can believe how we missed the whole nest building and brooding period! I guess the signs were there - Mr Moorhen was coming up for food to feed to Mrs Moorhen who was sitting on the nest, and Herons around hoping for a tasty chick. She's now back on the nest with at least two pompoms under her - and maybe more eggs to brood. Time will tell, but we are soooo excited as they only had an aborted nest build last year and no babies. And I shall be chasing off herons!
|Can you just make out two blurry little black pompoms?|
I'll finish off with another funny :-)
|Photo bombed again!|
The new pole on the feeder - at least it looks nice and straight now!
However that pole to the right, holding up the wires for the raspberries, is definitely wonky!