Tuesday, 23 May 2017

young birds

Tawny owlet
I downloaded images from our little trail cam this morning. I'd set up by the pond to record action overnight on two nights. 1830 images later the snake I thought I'd captured as a photo was a slug. I also got one image of the side of a drake mallard.

We're entering prime bird breeding season. Our first young blackbird has appeared and a mistle thrush was collecting material this morning, presumably for its second nest of the season.
Juvenile tree sparrow
We've been around the bird boxes, noted success and ringed those baby birds of an age to be ringed.
We also checked boxes on neighbouring New Farm.
76 chicks were ringed altogether. They were mainly blue and great tits - but also tree sparrows and a tawny owl.  The tawny was a lone bird in the box. Whether older siblings had already left, this was a single egg or this bird had eaten its younger brothers and sisters, we won't know.

Four young tree sparrows were ringed in the box on our east facing gable above the kitchen door. The young continued to call from their nest for three days but then all went quiet. Presume they had fledged.
Today the male was singing up on the ridge of the roof. Was he preparing for a second brood?

Amid the gloom of conservation news I receive, I feel a small sense of pride that our birds have reared young, partly as a result of the efforts we've made. With luck, this will be a platform for future success.

There will be plenty of young birds out of the nest soon and this is when they are most vulnerable. We can all play a part by ensuring that young birds have access to food and water. If they avoid hunger, remain strong and healthy there is a better chance they'll avoid predation or illness. I've filled feeders in anticipation.

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