Saturday, 26 December 2009

Saturday 26th.December 2009

Firstly from yesterday , it appeared that ever time I looked out of the kitchen window , whilst helping Carol prepare the Christmas dinner , or should that read , getting in Carol's way whilst she prepared the Christmas dinner ? , I seemed to see the male Blackcap feeding on the Callicarpa berries . After a while , I kept a continuous watch on the shrub , and , lo and behold , the reason for the continuous sightings was , that there were in fact two males feeding then leaving , to be replaced by the second . But , every now and again , their timing went out of synch , and they both appeared at the shrub at the same time , which always started a scrap . If that wasn't enough , one of the local male Blackbirds has also taken a liking to the Callicarpa berries , I have never noticed any other birds eating them before , also starting arguments between the two species .
Back to today , another grey , damp start , with very little sign of brightness , that was until about 11 o'clock , when a glimpse of the sun had me getting ready to get out for a walk . By the time I was ready , the brightness was gone , the grey had returned , but as I reached the road , a flock of Thrushes wheeled overhead and landed in the Lime Tree outside the house . As I was kitted up for the cold , I decided to go into the back garden , close to the Cotoneaster bush in next door's garden , and secrete myself amongst the shrubs . It wasn't long before the extremities started to get cold , standing still , and all I got for my effort was a flock of 3 Rose Ringed Parakeets that came to feed in the gloom . My hopes were raised when a female Blackbird landed and proceeded to feed . She chose her berries carefully , moving between almost every choice . At one point , she hopped further up the Cotoneaster , and came face to face with one of her overseas relations , helping themselves to her berries . That sighting opened the floodgates , as soon , all branches of the tree were moving , as more Redwings flooded in and gored on the berries . The 'chak-chak' call overhead , alerted me to a pair od Fieldfares , waiting around the edges , to join in the berry-fest . Eventually , and very cautiously , they made their way closer , constantly on the lookout for any danger . By now , the locals were over-run by the foreigners , and I managed to get both Winter Thrushes in the same frame . The Fieldfares began to feed just as ferociously as the Redwings , but , it only took one alarm call , from somewhere in the surrounding gardens , to send everyone high into the surrounding tall trees .
When I looked at my watch , I had been standing motionless for 45 minutes . My hands and feet were like blocks of ice , but if I had been asked to estimate the time I was in the shrubs , I would have said 10/15 minutes .
A hot cup of coffee was very welcome back in the kitchen , as hands and feet started to thaw out .


Warren Baker said...

''standing motionless'' for that amount of time must have reminded you of when you were at work Greenie!!! (-:

So Blackcaps no longer go to Africa to migrate, they go to Greenies place. :-)

Lucky old sod.

David L. Bayard said...

Incredibly beautiful.

thanks, david