Saturday, August 6, 2011

Evening migration

Another muggy day in the Big Smoke (London, for those not on this island), when even the blackbirds were sunbathing.
I don't think I'll ever make it as a bird photographer, as you can tell, because I'm a twitcher. I have a hand tremor. But these are a few species from my dad's North London garden yesterday. Sadly the jay didn't put in an appearance and the green woody kept hidden behind the flowerbeds (grrr). Couple more excuses; photos were taken through dusty, double-glazing with sunny glare, on full zoom. Excuses over.

When my sister and I were young there was a male blackbird with white tail feathers we used to call Mortallus (Morty for short). He seemed to be in the garden year on year. This lad below, hopped about in the shade of the bushes.
A flock of about 13 long tailed-tits entertained us. Fluff on wings.
Exotic green woodpeckers are frequent visitors to the mown Axminster carpet lawn. This one was determined to keep out of camera shot hiding behind the phlox.
Magpies, perhaps not so welcome guests, this one out on the Green at the front, are comical to watch.
The aircon in the car seems to have given up the ghost so I had a sweaty journey back home up the A1M. 

I was yacking on the phone when I heard a rumpus outside, and noticed a deal of swooping and diving through the front windows. Hmm.

Zipping upstairs to the bedroom I saw, I'd say, about 40-50 swallows, putting on aerial acrobatic displays down the lane that the Red Arrows can only dream of. It upset the resident spuggies quite a bit. They were all of a fluster and took some time to settle down to bed. (We have about 15 chattering sparrows living in the climbing rose out front.)
Of course the swallows settled on the phone wires outside next door. More shaky long zoom through windows.
There was much preening and stretching; avian pilates. 
Lovely jubbly to watch. I was sad when they moved off.

The evening turned out fine and cool, so I took a chill-out trek round the RSPB HQ (The Lodge is just nearby). Had immediate sighting of a hobby (thanks Mark) and several green woodpeckers (including 2 juveniles up to noisy no good on the heath). A tawny owl flying silently through the woods was a special treat. 

I'm told a nightjar has been heard recently. I saw the one that turned up at the Lodge a year or so back...from a few feet away. That was awesome (but of course I had no camera with me) (see here).

1 comment:

  1. It's so great to see your overseas birds! I recognize the blackbird and magpie from my trip to Scandinavia in June, and we have the swallows here, too, but I've never seen the other birds before. That woodpecker is amazing!! Also, your bird pictures are nothing to scoff at -- thanks for sharing!