Tag Archives: jackdaw

Monday Miscellany

We’ve just had fruit and ice cream – fruit from the garden and ice cream from a local dairy. That’s some of the fruit in the picture – I’ve been trying out the macro facility on the camera. It’s not as good as the old camera for close-up work and though the super macro setting produces great results it isn’t that good with butterflies, which tend to fly off.

The lavender in the allotment area is dying back but I have made a start to the Big Butterfly Count. Small Tortoiseshell (5), Meadow Brown (3), Gatekeeper, Large Skipper (2), Large White (2), Small White. I’ve done better, but I’ve certainly done worse.

There are a couple of pictures from the Friday trip too – a herring gull perching on a lamp post which has had spikes fitted to stop gulls perching and a bug hotel/pollinator nest box from the Sainsbury’s at Bridlington.

 

The final picture is of a jackdaw at Bempton Cliffs. Yes, a jackdaw. We spent two and a half hours travelling just over 100 miles. We braved idiot drivers, motorway roadworks and a fried breakfast, and at the first viewing platform someone was in raptures at the sight of jackdaws on the cliffs. I suppose it all depends what you are used to seeing; I thought the Tree Sparrows on the feeders were great at Bempton, but they didn’t rate a second glance from most of the people there.

Man v Jackdaw

They found the fat balls I hung in the hedge so it’s time for the next phase.

Wilkos have these feeders in for £7, which is the cheapest I’ve been able to find. You get what you pay for but I can’t see that Jackdaws are strong enough to bend the bars so cheap should be good enough.

I’m going to try one and if it works I will buy more.The main worry isn’t if it works but if it acts like a sail in the wind as it gets quite windy out here and it’s quite common to find the feeder pole at an angle of 30 degrees after high winds.

Meanwhile, I suppose I ought to consider alternative foods (as in the peanuts) and whether of not I have the right to feed finches and starve Jackdaws. For the moment though, as Monday morning is not prime time for debating questions of ethics, I will confine myself to trying to outwit them.

It may not be easy.

 

More birds

I was feeling pretty downhearted when I returned to the farm this morning – what with an evening of admin balancing a laptop on my knee and the lack of birds yesterday there wasn’t much to enthuse me. And tghere it was!

In the hedge by the entrance we had a mixed tit and finch flock. Chaffinches, great tits, a greenfinch, coal tit…

It’s not easy peering out of the car into a hedge, but it was a good start. By the time I’d found the keys to the centre and put some more food out I’d added jackdaws, a robin and blackbirds to the list. A pair of mallard flew over as I started watching properly, a wood pigeon followed and dunnocks hopped around the base of the feeder.

To be honest I was a bit upset I hadn’t brought the camera, a feeling that increased when a reed bunting took up position in a bare branched apple tree by the vegetables, being joined moments later by a yellowhammer.

As I went back into the main room to use the telescope I noticed movement by the wilow arches – a goldfinch, followed by three more – a veritable charm of goldfinches on a grey day.

When I got to the telescope I couldn’t believe my eyes. A long-tailed tit on the fat balls, then another. In the end we had four at the same time. I’d heard them calling yesterday but hadn’t seen one.

What a turn round, but with no camera and no witnesses who will ever believe me after yesterdays grim showing?

This particularly true as after writing this I spent ten minutes straining to see any avaian movement at all, finally adding a blue tit, a pair of rooks and twenty five jackdaws to the list (the jackdaws were sitting on telephone wires – that’s how I managed to count them). The reed bunting came back and the dunnocks and blackbirds reappeared – with a white shoulder on the male, it’s easy to identify the blackbirds as the same pair. Several female chaffinches lurked in the hawthorn, pretending to be more interesting than they really are.

I’ve decided I like my job again…