|Male Blackbird (helping with moss removal!)|
We are fortunate to have a garden with hedges on all sides and consequently see and hear lots of hedge loving birds such as House Sparrows and Starlings, both of which are now red-listed species of conservation concern due to their serious population declines - not something that would have been predicted only 30 or so years ago. According to the RSPB website, House Sparrow numbers in the UK are estimated to have declined by 71 per cent between 1977 and 2008, and since the mid 1970s, Starling numbers have fallen by 66 per cent.
A nest box we put up for Sparrows has so far been ignored in favour of nesting somewhere behind the lead flashing up near the chimney where I've watched a pair busily taking feathers to line their nest. I had kept to one side a downy Woodpigeon feather (I'd intended to perhaps try using for a rainy day macro photo) but thought I'd see if it attracted any attention from these busy sparrows. I let the feather float to the ground and watched as quite literally within seconds (and yes too fast for me to focus the camera!) a plucky Male Sparrow spotted this valuable resource and took it for his nest.
|Heavily cropped photos, to show the blue and pink respectively on male and female Starlings' beaks|
Woodpigeons have had thoughts of courtship and breeding on their minds for the past several weeks, and it was interesting to watch a male trying to impress a female with his elaborate bowing and tail fanning... persisting as the female continued to turn her back walk away in the opposite direction!
|A precarious perch - one of several Woodpigeon visitors|