Thursday, 23 March 2017

Woodpeckers close call

The BBC's local forecast got it all wrong Am today showing unbroken sunshine from sunrise until rain moved in from the East around 1 PM,  The sunny morning just did not even get started so I headed for Stithians southern cut-off hide in a cold easterly wind that brought nothing but cloud and drizzle,  Within 30 minutes of my arrival all local birds suddenly scattered by the Sparrowhawk that featured in one of my earlier blogs:

It suddenly made a classic long ground level swoop through the feeder assemblies and on out over the water to disappear behind the tree line,   I had noticed in the past that the Great Spotted Woodpeckers seemed to judge safety around the feeders by the number of other birds present and in general this seemed to show that they saw some safety in numbers or perhaps a sign that all was well,  Today was different for the female Woodpecker that was not present during the Sparrowhawk attack was now the first bird to show on a moss covered tree trunk near the far peanut feeder,  The sparrowhawk suddenly swooped through again this time coming in across the water on a direct line towards the woodpecker which appeared to freeze but then it suddenly made a split second rotation by 90 degrees around and up the trunk that was now between the two birds,  Smart move!  and the rumbled Sparrowhawk just flew on by as if to say  ' I was just Passing ! '    It might have been a different story had the woodpecker been busy feeding

The two local pairs of Little Grebe were as noisy as ever and busy hunting,  No Newts caught today but several Sticklebacks were taken some of which were passed between the pairs,  What amazingly efficient little hunters these birds are

Below are a few 500mm lens close portraits of the smaller bird life that visit these feeders on a daily basis
                                                                  Long Tailed Tit

                                                                   Male Chaffinch

                                                                  Female Chaffinch

                                                                   Male Reed Bunting

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