Tag Archives: great tit

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.

Posted in Birds, water birds Also tagged , , , , |

Fledgling Time

It’s been a Bank Holiday – hence wet and miserable weather-wise. Yesterday was better which is when I grabbed these first two photos of newly fledged birds.

The first is rather a large baby… a young woodpigeon already showing its aerial capabilities. At this age they tend to look somewhat scrawny and lack the neck markings of the adults.

fledgling woodpigeon

Late yesterday afternoon a small group of more typical fledglings turned up en masse. A family of blue tits. The light was all but gone, but a corner of the garden was just catching the last of the sunshine.

Fledgling blue tit

Today it’s been pretty much a constant drizzle, but fledglings can’t stop for the weather and we had two more visits. Well, there were probably more than that but I was inside sheltering from the rain. First is a young great tit.

Fledgling great tit

And then a little later on the family of blue tits were back. These were taken from the far end of the garden, in the drizzle so apologies for the lack of quality. In the first two frames two fledglings can be seen (one’s at the back, out of focus). The adult then appears and feeds the one nearer the camera before continuing in its search for food.

Fledgling great tit

Fledgling great tit

Fledgling great tit

Fledgling great tit

Fledgling great tit

Camera note: photos 1 and 2 taken with the Canon 7D and EF 400mm f/5.6L USM lens. The rest were taken with the trusty EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens.

Posted in Behaviour, Birds Also tagged , , |

Kestrel plus Young Rats

Two short sequences from today. The first is of a kestrel at Sheepcote Valley early this morning. I stopped off there on my way to work, tramped around the valley for a while without seeing much of anything only to spot the kestrel hovering over the car park as I was about to leave. There was no time to follow it around, so just a couple of photos (nicely set off against the blue sky which conveniently emerged from behind the earlier cloud cover).

kestrel

kestrel

Back at Falmer Pond I think the great tits have fledged, and I think this is one of the youngsters. It was hopping around in the branches of a tree near the nest hole (which was quiet).

Fledgling great tit

As for the rats, they too are busy breeding. They would be. They’re rats. Still, rats can be cute in a roguish sort of way.

rat

Just checking the coast is clear

rat

Looks safe to me

Baby rats

Are you feeling brave?

eats

Sorted!

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens.

Posted in Behaviour, Bird of Prey, Birds, rats Also tagged , , |