Monday, 27 July 2015

The Young Ones

Lemon cheeks! (c. O OSullivan)
After a month of pretty indifferent weather, the birds of the year are making their way to my basic offering of shelled peanuts, tucked up in a feeder under a very leafy Willow bush.  The young Blue Tits have a lovely lemon wash to the cheeks, compared to the regulation white of the adult birds, so too the young Great Tits.
They have had to join a queue which includes up to 4 Jays, presumably a family party, along with  a few Greenfinches.
Young Great Tit (O OSullivan)

Other seasonal delights include the constant 'squeaky gate' calls of young Long eared Owls at dusk, and through the night.  We have had a real run of phone calls in BirdWatch Ireland concerning these nocturnal noises and even som submissions of downloaded recordings of these young owls. They are of course,  begging to be fed and hoping to evoke a response from their parents. If you spend a little time and track the origin of the squeaky call, you might be lucky enough to locate a young owl 'branching out', as they make their way to independence..what a fantastic sight, as captured by Shay Connolly in the pic below.

Young Long eared Owl showing off! (c. Shay Connolly)

Another bird that catches out some of our readers is the young Bullfinch, a very brown and plain looking image compared to a showy adult male.  This bird was photographed by Lesley Collins and had actually struck a window, but recovered to fly away and feed amongst some weed seeds.
It is great to catch these youngsters in early autumn plumage before moult when they lose some of their first feathers.  Just like young children, they possess lots of character and a fearlessness that befits youth.

Young Bullfinch, has the bill and beady eye.. but very brown (c. Lesley Collins)

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