Monday, 24 September 2012

Autumn Bounty

Starling ( c. Shay Connolly)

The Elderberry trees are showing off their black clusters of fruit to the sky: an invitation that has been taken up by a selection of birds that rumage in the canopy: Blackcaps alert me to their presence by their repeated alarm call: like two stones chipping off each other: repeated frequently and faster than the similar sound made by Stonechats.  The feeding technique is to lean forward into the fruit from a perch: Starlings are particularly good at this, having noticably strong legs to support the balancing act.. Not surprisingly the birds are nervous when feeding like this, and don't generally give a good enough view to allow a photo ( so far!).

Elder berries (c. C Mac Lochlainn)

At the rate of activity and feeding in the Elders, the berry crop will be exhausted by the end of September, the October arrival of Fieldfares and Redwings will have to look elsewhere for sustenance, most likely the Hawthorns which have yet to ripen.  

Female Blackcap ( c. D Dillon)

The Blackcaps, en route to Africa very soon, are joined in the September sun by berry hunting Robins, Blue Tits, Starling, with Wood Pigeons joining in: 
(berries and juice are a nice complement to the intake of grain: what a feast, for now).

Starling in Blackberry thicket (c. R Martin)

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