Sunday, 20 April 2014

A regular visitor to the garden

The jays are frequenting the bird table and helping themselves to the peanuts.  They grab four or five at a time, seeming to store them in their beaks before flying off.  Sometimes one of them stops to feed itself but I assume they must have hungry youngsters to feed.

Magpies are also spending a lot of time in the garden and they always chase off the jays.  They're very adept at finding food, even when I've placed it somewhere I think they would prefer to avoid. Unfortunately they are also very observant and spot where smaller garden birds are nesting.  I've seen them perch on nest boxes and steal the baby birds from their nests.

 A jay about to raid the bird table

Although the swan fights have decreased in number they are no less ferocious.  When the dominant swan decides to chase off its rivals the sound of his wing beats and the raw power in his take offs is impressive.

A recent swan chase

The attacks on Flare Tail have also decreased and she is now left alone for hours at a time during the day.  Unfortunately the night time attacks are still regular, especially from 4.00am onwards, but at least she is able to incubate her eggs for hours at a time.

If she is chased off the nest during the day she sometimes takes the opportunity to do some 'pond dipping', grubbing around for water snails and the like in the silt.  She loves the pond and spends quite a while in it when she gets the chance. If I see her there I put some wheat out at the feeding station for her and she and her partner come running down the rill to be fed.

 Flare Tail heading down the rill for some wheat

If she's lucky and there are no stray drakes hanging around she sometimes enjoys the luxury of a long preen on the plank before heading back to the nest.

Duck yoga

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