Tag Archives: Magpie

My photograph for January

This took me a week to sort but here is my first photo of the month for 2018!

I took this photo on a steep hill in Dudley. A lovely opportunity to be at the same eye height as a family of Magpies, one of which was clearly having a bad feather day!

IMG_4308PSCC

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Life between the headstones

One of the ecosystems I find most fascinating and wonderful  is that of urban wildlife. We concrete and build, but there a some small instances where still nature struggles on, adapting where it can and clinging to the pockets of green that remain within our towns and cities.

One wonderful example of those pockets of green amidst our concrete jungle is the cemetery. A place for our dead is a home for nature’s life.

I visited my local cemetery yesterday and was instantly surrounded by bird song. I even had a bee fly up to me which, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say was a greeting!

I had Wrens express their alarm at me and a Blue tit call loudly to any who would hear. Crows sat high, observing the world, whilst Magpies hopped  between bushes and  gravestones. Wood Pigeons franticly flapped into flight and Redwings darting about looking for berry-laden branches. Squirrels foraged frenetically. I watched Blackbirds warming themselves in the winter sunlight and Long-tailed tits flit from tree to tree. A Sparrowhawk circled repeatedly and was then chased off by a bold Black-headed Gull. A Goldcrest combed the branches of a Yew bush for any morsels it could find.

All this activity thriving amongst the tributes for lost loved ones, because life finds away!

Wren

Blue Tit

CrowsMagpie

Wood PigeonRegwings

SquirrelsBlackbird

Longtailed Tit

Sparrowhawk

Goldcrest

HeadstoneLove

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Homeward Bound

A view of the MalvernsBeing trapped in an office during the winter months is all types of cruelty to the outdoors type of person; sat looking longingly out the window during daylight hours, only to watch them fade to night as your working day draws to a close. With my birthday being last Thursday I negotiated a shorter day, only by an hour, but it time enough to meander homeward through the fields in daylight!

Redwings danced from berry laden branch to berry laden branch. The pathway I walked was surrounded by their high pitched tseep calls, but all of them were just out of clear shot of my camera… almost as if they were camera-shy! Though I have a very early record of a Redwing flock in September, this flock brought with it a feeling that winter was finally arriving, albeit about 3 months late!

Great Tit (Parus major)

Blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

Longtailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)

The Great tits, Blue tits and Longtailed tits that danced and bounced through the trees, stopping to eye me carefully before continuing on their merry way, were the last little delights of that pathway. From there my walk took me through open fields, Wood pigeons, Crows, Magpies could be seen flying in the distance. A Robin saw fit to sing to me as I passed a lone bit of scrub.

Dunnock (Prunella modularis)

As I neared the edge of a housing estate I spied a Dunnock, tail pointed up and wings pointed out, darting from branch to branch along a garden hedgerow whilst calling to a more cautious, intrigued and less ‘showy’ individual. The display continued for quite some time, and moved to the low branches of a nearby wood. It was there that a third party started to follow!

I continued down the path; to one side an open field with the occasional landscaped patch of young trees, while on the other side were houses, their rooftop aerials covered in Starlings which cracked and whistled away to each other. I still find myself surprised at the size of a Starling; they’re not small birds at all!

Redwing (Turdus iliacus)

Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

I decided to take a closer look at a gathering of birds settled at one of the ‘plantations’. A few Redwings sat in its centre but departed as soon as they felt I had gotten too close, but the Chaffinches and Goldfinches remained. One Chaffinch saw fit to sit up on a branch and chink! to the world, while the Goldfinches sat at the very highest branches and wittered to themselves!

Magpie  (Pica pica)

My walk drew to a close, but before it did I spotted two Magpies – for joy! One sat amongst some trees while the other flew in from some distance away to join its companion. They sat quite happily side-by-side for a few moments before departing together.

I arrived home with a smile on my face. An hour-long walk filled with all sorts of delights! I wonder if I can leave work early more often?

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