Sunday, 17 April 2011

Bird life chez Clack

For the past several weeks we've had blackbirds nesting in one of our hedges, and it's been fun to watch the parents rushing back and forth feeding their young, and listening to the crescendo of cheeping each time a parent visits the nest.  Sadly, the other morning, I found one of the nestlings face down in the pond.  It had evidently decided to sample flight, but had misjudged badly.  The remaining three seem to have fledged successfully, though we've only seen one since.  I assume they're around somewhere and have seen at least one parent with a beakful of food, so that's probably OK.

Another bird event became obvious yesterday, too.  We have a brick-built raised bed in which we grow red alstromerias for cutting.  These plants die back during the winter, and had started sprouting a few weeks ago.  They're about 30cm high, perhaps half their flowering height.  Yesterday we found a big area in the middle had been flattened and there were collared dove feathers all around.  And the wings of a collared dove in the middle of the flattened area. 

This is typical sparrowhawk behaviour.  After killing their prey, they chop off the wings before flying to a feeding post, where they pluck and eat what they've caught.

I'm rather more in favour of sparrowhawks than I am collared doves, so am delighted to have physical evidence of a sparrowhawk feeding in our garden.  I'd be less enthused if it was catching blue tits or house sparrows, I think!  The alstro's will recover, I'm confident.

No comments: