Monday, 14 June 2010

Garden Fledglings & Scruffy

Apologies for quality - all pics taken through glass!
Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker
Male GSW regurgitating suet block!
Parent GSW finishing off Suet Block
Record shot of Long-tailed Tit Fledgling
Record shot of Coal Tit
Poor old "scruffy" - worst part of beak has broken off 12/6/10
Scruffy on 18/4/10 - beak even longer than above
Showing the difficulty it was having picking up food
The sinews in the neck really showing up - 18/4/10
How it looked when we 1st noticed it 17/12/09
The garden is absolutely stuffed with entertaining fledglings at the moment. The young Great Spotted Woodpeckers are probably the most engaging as the awkward youngsters fly around trying to perch somewhere the parents may feed them, and just occasionally landing sommewhere they can feed themselves. On Saturday the Woodpeckers managed to munch their way through 2-and-a-half suet blocks - an unprecedented amount - we were thinking one block a day was quite enough! There are plenty of Great Tits and Blue Tits of course, but the Coal Tits were more unexpected as the adults hadn't been seen or heard for months. Yesterday evening in very poor light a group of at least 5 Long-tailed Tits also put in an appearance, but they were difficult to photograph, as they were constantly on the move, and it was very overcast at the time.
Also present was "Scruffy" our poor Blue "Crossbill"Tit. As you can see from the latest photo (top) part of the elongated upper mandible has broken off sometime after 18th April, presumably making it easier for her to collect food. The pictures in April show just how difficult it was getting for her to even pick up dropped seeds on the baffle plate. Also depicted is a picture from December, so you can chart her 'progress' since we first spotted her. From her appearance it's hard to imagine that she was lucky enough to find a partner this breeding season, but her visits have been much less frequent in recent weeks, so maybe she did find lurve after all!

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