|Juv Gt Spot: note red forehead ( c. Shay Connolly)|
The last two weeks have been full of the sounds of high summer, perhaps it's a bit unfortunate that they all sound the same: "tsee, tsee ,tsee", which translates to ," I'm a juv., tit I might be out of the nest but I still want to be fed", which sounds familiar on various levels!
This time of the year I keep the peanut feeder topped up, there's a procession of Great Tits which nested just 3 meters away from the feeder and the adults often utilised this food source for a quick protein hit after emerging from the nestbox.. Since the young have fledged, we witnessed the young standing off and begging to be fed which has now matured into a family feed, with adults and young hanging from the feeder all together.
Back home, we are still waiting for the woodpeckers to just drop in: they nest about 800 meters down the road and are reliable enough in winter: there's been lots of records in Wicklow over the last two weeks on the Bird Net, of birds flying through relatively open ground, a sign of dispersal of juveniles and adults, setting up new territories: perhaps it was a great breeding season!
I saw one, then two birds whilst down at the coast at Newcastle: they fled scrubby, Alder trees, disturbed by my car and bounded across a meadow, before settling in the canopy of more willow and alder on the ECNR.
|Juv Stonechat, an engaging gem on the Wicklow coast (Juvenile Stonechat (Mairéad Ní Chuirc)|
It was a decent lunchtime: haunting, evocative calls of returning Curlew, from northern Europe, reminding us that the clock's really ticking, for breeding Curlew and the advance of Autumn. One of my favourite juvenile birds is the Stonechat: their engaging stone clacking call and often animated behaviour grabbing the attention: tail flicking and rising to he highest frond of bracken or briar. A real gem of the Wicklow coastline, they are now breeding well after the hard winters of 6 or 7 winters ago, which set the population back.