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taxi4ballet

Any cuckoos out there? ... and other BirdWatch news

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I missed it by about half an hour!

 

Three more opportunities over the coming days to see them fledge :)

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I know it's life but I am devastated to report that the chick that fledged yesterday at Norwich Cathedral has been found dead in the grounds this morning..

 

I'm crying my eyes out.

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Report on BBC Norwich news about the circumstances that lead up to this event. Maybe centre of Norwich didn't give enough open space for the new chicks plus established population.

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I swear birds have personalities sometimes!

 

Yesterday there was a group of about six starlings around our bird box. One was poking its head inside whilst the other sat on the nearby fences watching, all in a cluster. No idea what it was trying to get at, but after a few minutes it swapped places with one of the spectators and a 2nd bird began the frantic pecking towards the inside of the bird box.  I shifted position in the house and one of the birds turned its head and looked at me. The birdbox bird stopped pecking and at exactly the same time all six birds looked at me, then each other, then flew off.

 

It really was as if I had caught them doing something they shouldn't. They looked so sheepish.

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Starlings are totally hilarious!

 

We've watched on many occasions now .... one gives a false alarm call so they all fly off but that one who then has free range of food supplies!

Sometimes they all sit along a rather over long young fig tree trunk we have and if an alarm call is given the poor bird on the end nearly gets catapulted over the roof as they all fly off!

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We've put the hummingbird feeder out, and after a slow start we seem to have a couple of clients. It's amazing how they can hover in place while feeding, even in a fairly strong wind.

Edited by Melody
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I was in the cathedral close in Norwich this afternoon, and the noise of the Falcons was amazing. Amazing sight too!

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The two remaining Norwich peregrine chicks have been taken into protective care due to aggressive behaviour of female according to this morning's local news.

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The two remaining Norwich peregrine chicks have been taken into protective care due to aggressive behaviour of female according to this morning's local news.

 

 

Here's the press release from the Hawk and Owl Trust:

 

http://hawkandowl.org/norwich-cathedral-peregrines-update-tuesday-14th-june-2016/

 

I know it's life, but sometimes life sucks!  I do hope the 2 little ones flourish in rehabilitation.

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Wondered what was spooking the cats this morning - it would be the buzzard sat on the telegraph pole in the corner of the garden.

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Speaking of Cuckoos, I haven't heard any in our part of Hertfordshire for a couple of years. However we were in Snowdonia the week before last and could clearly hear a Cuckoo. :-)

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There was a fascinating programme about cuckoos on Radio 4 this morning as part of The Life Scientific series fronted by Jim Al Khalili. His interviewee was someone who had made a study of cuckoos.

 

The programme is probably available on Catch-Up.

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Yes it was really very interesting and some fascinating facts learned Aileen!

 

Last time I went to Wicken Fen didn't hear a single cuckoo but was July maybe getting a bit late to hear them.

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At one time the only birds I used to see locally were pigeons and sparrows.  The sparrows have disappeared to be replaced by magpies, but I now  hear the cooing of wood pigeons, see a jay occasionally and far more rarely. tits.  One rare event was when a pheasant sat in next door's garden for half an hour.

 

Foxes proliferate locally and I wonder if more wildlife is moving into town.

If I didn't know better, MAB, I'd be thinking you must live in my road! I don't think I've seen goldfinches, though.

There were a whole load of wood pigeons I startled the other day when I went along the road, and I went "Huh? Those are *wood* pigeons! What are they doing here?"

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spotted these two love-birds though the kitchen window just now, going through a quite chatty courtship ritual!

 

 

_DSC6728.jpg

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That is a lovely photo.

 

I'm trying to tidy shelves in the study but distracted by the sparrows nest that is built into a hole in the garage fascia board. I can see the three little chicks heads and their wide mouths every time a parent bird appears. Parents very busy despite the downpour.

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I'm advised by a more knowledgeable friend that it was a young one begging for food, not an amorous pair!

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I'm advised by a more knowledgeable friend that it was a young one begging for food, not an amorous pair!

I did wonder if one was a fledgling but no photos of young in our bird book only adult pictures of both gender.

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DH asked me a question the other morning - which was the first bird I thought he saw that morning? Bearing in mind we are in the middle of the countryside and nowhere near water, and assuming it was probably slightly out of the ordinary and not a sparrow, blackbird, blue tit, starling etc otherwise he wouldn't have asked, I had a few guesses based on what we have seen on other occasions.

 

Green woodpecker? No.

Pheasant on next-door's doorstep? No.

Red kite, buzzard, sparrowhawk? No.

Any other kind of hawk? No.

Duck-billed platypus? No!

Heron? No.

Cuckoo? No.

Homing pigeons? No.

Goldcrest? No.

Little egret? No.

A swan waddling up the middle of the road? No.

Flock of long-tailed tits? No.

 

It was a cormorant apparently. It must have been a bit lost.

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Not a bird that would first come to mind Taxi.

 

There had been no activity all day from the sparrows nest so I thought the heavy rain yesterday evening had done for the nest. But in the last hour the parents are back feeding the two chicks. Not as frequently as yesterday and rather than returning straight back to the nest they are sitting on the garage roof above it obviously trying to coax the chicks out. After a few minutes they give in and feed the chicks in the nest.

 

I'm desperate for the house martins to fledge. Walking out of the back door is hazardous as they drop their parcels to keep the nest clean.

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First Quintus thanks for the lovely Piccie!! They are gorgeous. Usually birds with either lots of spots or stripes tend to be the chicks!!

 

Taxi loved your post .....it is very strange sometimes what birds you see where.

 

We occasionally have passing chiff Chaffs fire crests and blackcaps which are not particularly prevalent in this area but great if they hang around for a couple of days.

 

The sparrows in our box Jane are on their second brood! The first brood took ages to come out but I think the weather has been a little obstructive this year so far. The second brood have now hatched and very vocal outside the kitchen window which is where the boxes are......it's a sort of three in one affair as sparrows are supposed to be communal nesters .....but we think only one of the three joined boxes has been used!!

We are very happy to see this good result this year as sparrows here had disappeared altogether for a while so glad to see are back in abundance!!

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sadly, we found this little fellow expired outside the door this morning - a brown long nosed bat.  a face only a mother could love, but an amazing feat of evolution.. look at those ears - apparently they can hear a ladybird walking across a leaf!

 

_DSC6753.jpg

Edited by Quintus
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That's very sad, Quintus. I love bats although when I was seventeen and on a dusk walk with some friends, I wasn't keen on how low they were swooping. I was a bit concerned that they might get tangled in my hair and so was the other young woman who was there. They also carry some pretty nasty diseases. Don't touch it! :o

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Seems that the fear of bats getting tangled in long hair is unfounded - another urban (or rural?) myth. If you google "do bats get tangled in your hair" you'll get 2,200,000 hits! Haven't read them all. They may fly close to humans because we attract flying insects which the bats like to eat, but their echo-location is good enough to stop them getting tangled in tresses.

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When we went to see a bat cave on holiday in Indonesia many years ago I took a hat especially to go there ... just in case!

 

They are wonderful creatures.

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I remember seeing a David Attenborough documentary once, and just as he was explaining to camera that bats don't fly into your head... :D

Edited by taxi4ballet
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I swear birds have personalities sometimes!

 

Do birds have personality? I am convinced that they do.

 

I would like to use this forum to record some of my observations over the past years. I do belong to a leading birding forum, but am reluctant to post some of my thoughts on there, as I would probably be accused by some of being "unscientific", especially of "anthropomorphism" (attributing human feelings to non-human animals). But I believe that such emotions as love, hate, jealousy, grief, enjoyment, suffering, etc. are not confined to human beings.

 

I also believe that birds are more intelligent than they are often given credit for. There is growing scientific evidence that, after human beings, the next most intelligent animals are certain psittaciform (parrots, cockatoos, macaws etc.) and corvid (crows, ravens, jays etc.) birds.

 

As a volunteer at a local Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) Centre, I get frequent opportunities to observe birds and other wildlife. Especially members of the Anseriformes (swans, geese, and ducks), which are one of my favourite groups of birds, not least because they are comparatively large and easy to identify. Many are also very beautiful. No one would claim that these are among the most intelligent of birds - although a recent study seems to show that ducklings are capable of abstract thought! Anyway, I have often found myself intrigued, puzzled, amused, and even moved by some of the behaviour I have witnessed.

 

If there are no objections, which I would understand, I will from time to time post a record of some of my observations and encounters with what I truly think of as "feathered friends".

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