Badgers in the Garden (video)

Just a video tonight, taken late last month on the trail camera. Two badgers enjoying peanuts in the garden. I’m no expert at identifying the sex of badgers but I believe that the narrow tail indicates a male, and the broad tail a female. Anyway, here’s the video.

Camera note: video captured on a Bushnell Trophy HD trail cam.

The Hungry Chick

It was a good day for bird spotting, with local sightings of greenfinches, goldfinches, pied wagtails. Even a kestrel. For once though the herring gulls are going to take pride of place. These shots are part of a longer sequence I took on the grass banks just outside the buildings at work. The gull on the right is a semi-mature herring gull (judging by the plumage it looks like a 2-year old). It was supremely uninterested in feeding the fledgling.

Herring gull chick and juvenile

Herring gull chick and juvenile

Herring gull chick and juvenile

Herring gull chick and juvenile

One bonus shot tonight. It doesn’t really fit, but I like it and I did see it today. I’d heard the green woodpeckers in the woods when I was over at Seven Sisters this morning, and grabbed a few frames as one flew across the fields in its unmistakeable bobbing flight pattern. The background makes all the difference to this kind of distant-bird-flying image.

Green woodpecker in flight

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens.

Untidy Birds

It’s not all that uncommon to come across a bird that has lost some of its facial or head plumage (I posted a similar shot a few years ago), but it was slightly bizarre to see two bald birds within a few minutes of each other.

The first one was a blackbird. I suspect it’s a juvenile (rather than a female). The second blackbird (in the background of the first shot) was entirely normal.

Blackbird with bald head

Blackbird with bald head

The second was a great tit, looking extremely tatty. If you look closely you can see most of the facial feathers are missing.

Bald great tit

It’s difficult to identify a cause in single sightings. One possibility is a slightly erratic moult, which is certainly feasible at this time of year. Mites or ticks can also cause baldness, though ticks are usually visible. Generally the feathers will re-grow in a few weeks, so the condition is likely to be temporary.

Thankfully not all the birds were in quite such an unkempt state, though this young thrush was having some difficulty clearing away some webbing that had become attached to it.

Thrush cleaning webbing

It took a juvenile blue tit to provide a decent photo of a tidy bird. Seems late in the season, but there it was.

blue tit fledgling

At least the herring gulls were behaving impeccably as they marched out of the pond and on to the sandy bank.

marching herring gulls

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens.