Garden

Hummingbird Hawkmoth (revisited)

Hummingbird Hawkmoth edit

Illustration: Hazel Brown

We were on the look out, waiting for it, hoping it might.

It did. Return. Once. Then again a few weeks later.
Humming and hovering over the buddleia.

Quick! Where’s the camera?!
But the films we got were only fleeting, barely in focus.

Probably not the same moth we saw back in August.
But still just as astonishing.

Lets hope for more astonishment next year.

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A Bald Magpie

At this time of year you might see the occasional garden bird looking baldy bonced.
The baldness is moult or mite related.

The slightly desperate way this magpie was attempting to attack the feeders suggests a bird eager to boost his depleted resources.

The wing and tail feathers appear healthy enough so in all likelihood it will have a fully feathered head eventually.

He’ll revert back to being a horrid magpie. Rather than a hair-raising horrible little vulture.

Filming: Hazel Brown; Vid: Ian Nisbet

A Squabble of Sparra’s

A whole colony of sparrows appear to have decamped into the back garden over the last month or so.

As many as 20 were counted bouncing about last week. Jumping in and off the feeders, the birdtable, the waterbowl, the apple tree, the palm tree, the willow, the ivy, the gate, the fence, the pond, the wisteria. Just about everywhere choka wiv sparra.

Fighting one another to get on the fatballs.
A squabble of sparras would be an apt collective noun for these cheeky chirpers.

UPDATE: And now it appears there’s a sparra nest in the wisteria. Haze found a tiny tipped out dead chick on the ground today.
An increase of 20 to 30 to 40 is not out of the question.

Question is: How many sparras can a little back garden take?

Filming: Hazel Brown; Vid: Ian Nisbet

A No Nonsense Great Tit

A great tit has appeared on the feeders this month.

Dashing in, lashing on, flashing off.

Gives a little toot in the wisteria to let you know he’s about to jump in, jump on.

Very business-like, purposeful, intentional. A no nonsense sort of chap. Gets the job done.

Peanuts are what he’s after. Peanuts are what he pecks.
Peanuts are what he gets.

Update: Hasn’t been seen around this week. Is that him gone?

Filming: Hazel Brown; Vid: Ian Nisbet

Clacking The Cloaca

Clacking the Cloaca. Or possibly Cocoaing the Choccy.

Its what them naughty dunnocks have been doing rather a lot of the last couple of weeks.
Mrs D rumps up her bottie. Mr D pecks at, or out,  her choccy cocoa. Making sure he’s extracted any other Mr D’s errant seed.

He dances about behind her doing his Choccy Cha Cha.
Then – bump! – he clacks her cloaca.

Takes a fraction of a second to do the deed.

To make sure she’s got his choccy he has to chase the wench around and clack her again. And again. And again.

Sex mad these durty dunnocks.

Vid & Words: Ian Nisbet