Sunday, 12 April 2015

Little star and Little brown one

Now that it's spring, all kinds of birds that visit our garden here at Hazel Cottage are making more noise, and there is no bird noisier than the common starling.  We have been watching them closely and we have heard some quite remarkable sounds!  I never realised how much they mimic other birds - we heard a bird of prey followed by the quack of a duck today which sounded rather funny.
Starling and winter jasmine in our garden
Starlings are often seen as noisy and swaggering birds, which is probably true, but they are quite remarkable.  They are acrobatic in flight, you only have to see the photos of the wonderful murmurations in the countryside to see that.  We often see a little group at our bird table, squabbling and chattering amongst themselves and slightly intimidating the otherwise bullish woodpigeons. 

We've been learning more also about the Dunnock.  Its name means 'little brown one' and it is one of the unobtrusive birds in the garden, usually quietly hopping amongst the undergrowth.  For such a small, generally quiet bird it has many names, hedge sparrow, accentor as well as dunnock.  This time of year of course, the dunnock is singing beautifully - I think this year is the first time  I've heard it sing and known what it was. 

Dunnock in a small hazel sapling
Two common birds in the garden, but by watching them more closely we've learned quite a lot about them and probably learned to appreciate them more.  The weather this week has been bright and lovely and great weather for taking pictures as well as gardening.  I'm very pleased with how the garden is coming along, and we haven't reached the height of spring yet.

Today in the garden

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