Monday, 14 June 2010

A Who Was It Not Who Done It

First off please forgive the quality of the photos. Upstairs I have a little Canon Ixus which is on it’s last legs and I use it to photograph work in progress. Downstairs I have a Panasonic Lumix lurking for quick snaps which is better (the less blurred ones) but the photos are also taken through double glazing and a way back from the window so as not to spook. I don’t have the Nikon out unless I’m in photographic mode! Don’t forget you can click on the pictures for slightly better size.

On Saturday I saw a Woodpecker that wasn’t one of our adults. First hope of it being a Lesser Spotted are always remote, but it is a juvenile Greater.

We were really pleased that our smitten couple had probably produced an heir.

Sunday morning just before 4am we were woken by a call right outside the window. I thought it was a female Cuckoo. I know this sounds strange but we have been inundated with Cuckoos this year at least three in the valley that we know of and very vocal all through the day. John has seen a pair in the ash tree at the top of the garden whilst hearing another on the other side of the stream. He said he’s waited 60 years to see one and now they are everywhere. There is a country saying of asking the cuckoo how long you are going to live. From this year we are eternal!

Just as we were going back to sleep there was an awful racket outside and the blackbirds were sounding off. Cats we thought. John looks out of the window again.

Photo taken at 04.03 so low light to add to other photographic complications!

Later the double edge sword was waving around. We are always pleased to see the Sparrowhawks but we have dozens and dozens of ordinary birds it could have taken. Instead...

A bit sad but this is Mother’s way. But which one was it? We know we have three visitors, Mum, Dad and now Junior. Yesterday afternoon I played the call of the female Cuckoo and the Sparrowhawk (wonderful internet!) and they are quite similar especially when you have just been woken up and are unsure. It was probably the Sparrowhawk we heard.

This morning...

Curiouser and curiouser. This is not the same juvenile as in the top picture. Not as red in the cap for a start and quite a bit more immature. Feeding is Dad although you can’t see his nape in these photos.

Here with pet sparrow who was also asking Dad for a feed at one point!

So who’s are the feathers?

I’m opting for Mum. They are well formed and quite large feathers not as fresh as you’d expect on a youngster. Also, why is Dad bringing Junior down to the tree and feeding alone? We will just have to keep watching for the other juvenile and see but for now fingered crossed Dad and Junior carry on regardless.


  1. Each photograph is part of its charm.
    It's nice to live in nature with birds and animals around.
    Successfully photographed landscapes as beautiful!

  2. Such beautiful feathers. How good to be able to see nature's dramas being played out in your own back garden. Thanks for sharing.

  3. The circle of life! Too bad for the youngster if it were mum, but looks as if dad is being a good parent!

  4. Haven't got such a good view of our woodpeckers who, along with everyone else, are having to brave the close attention of our two ginger hooligans. Hope Junior continues to thrive.

  5. How sad, I know that is nature, but I always hate these things happening. The feathers are beautiful though.

  6. Thanks for the comments. Well we saw Dad with Junior another couple of times yesterday. It's so sweet to watch. Dad was even encouraging Junior to walk up the bark of the Ash tree rather than just hang there! I've been out today so no sightings yet.

    We heard the call again this morning at 04.30. I went and played the bird sound on the iPad in bed again and it was definitely Cuckoo so that's one mystery solved!!!


Thank you for commenting, it is much appreciated.