Saturday, 21 June 2014

Lunch with Birds

On a fine day we often have lunch on the front terrace but don't sit down to our meal until we've scattered birdseed on the low walls that surround the terrace.  Now that our cats are too lazy to come round and visit us, the birds provide company.  All these pictures were taken in the space of a few minutes one lunchtime.

The first to arrive were a pair of yellowhammers.  We've had more of this species through the last winter than we've see before.  They're pretty in their winter plumage, but spectacular when in full mating gear.

The garden sparrows are another species which has done well recently, but this cock sparrow is particularly welcome.  He's easily recognisable as he has lost the lower part of his right leg so, when he arrives, he squats on the wall while he eats.  Despite his injury, he seems to be doing well.

Master robin is definitely a bird with attitude.  At the moment this picture was taken I'd made a noise, so all the other birds had flown off.  He needs to learn a little wisdom if he's to survive the local sparrowhawk.

The male blackbirds expend a great deal of their time and energy chasing each other away from the food.  We have two who are particularly visible, one with a much paler beak than usual, but he seems less dominant than this one.  On every visit he fills his beak with food before flying away, so he has a brood to feed somewhere on the croft to our left.

This is our resident male redpoll, a species which we've hardly seen before but which is now coming in numbers to our food.  He's very tame: this picture was taken when he arrived on the wall not two metres in front of us, and stayed to eat a large meal.

Another individual we're learning to recognise is this male chaffinch who, like the redpoll, is prepared to come very close to us.  After enjoying a good lunch, he....

....moved a little way along the wall to have a drink.

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