In the last week or so the garden has filled with new bird sounds: the urgent calls of fledglings demanding the attention of their hard-pressed parents.
The picture at this time of year often gets very confusing. Of the nesting pairs of birds which I mentioned on April 13th
, I have not established beyond doubt that any have been successful.
In fact I suspect that both the blackbirds (Turdus merula
) and the blue tits (Parus caerulea
) failed because I never saw any blackbird fledglings in the garden and the blue tits never reached the stage of taking food to the nestbox. I was fairly certain that the blue tits had got as far as laying eggs but by now they should have been well into feeding the young. I was going to take a look in the box this weekend, but I saw a blue tit go in and stay in the box for some time, so I decided it would be better not to disturb them.
Starling at bird box.
On a more positive note, starlings (Sturnus vulgaris
) appear to have taken up residence in a nestbox which I put up specifically for them earlier in the year. I have been entertained by the male bird which claimed the box as his own and began, in earnest, to 'advertise' for a female by singing and flicking his wings on a nearby netball hoop. His displaying seems to have paid off and now a pair are busy around the box.
The garden has been busy with fledgling house sparrows (Passer domesticus
), starlings, robins (Erithacus rubecula
) and greenfinches (Carduelis chloris
). All of these birds are usually to be seen in the company of their parents. Coconut shells filled with 'bird cake' (a mixture of fat and bird seed) seem to be very popular with a number of species feeding fledglings.