THE RAMBLINGS OF A STRUGGLING ARTIST ON LIFE WITH TWO TERRIERS, A PONY WITH ISSUES AND OTHER WILDLIFE AND BIRDS THAT CROSS OUR PATH

4 July 2013

WHEATEAR FLEDGLING AND MEET THE SISKIN PARENTS


Yesterday, I saw this lovely little Wheatear fledgling up at Kestor Rocks. Given that they often nest in rock crevices, I imagine their home might be somewhere in the many that occur in our local monolith; I've certainly seen its parents up there for a couple of months now. I read somewhere that their English name may derive from a 16th century linguistic corruption of 'white arse' rather than anything to do with ears of wheat! It allowed me to get really quite close and I've noticed that many of the fledglings lack their parents' fear of humans to the same degree. They'll soon learn. Sorry these are all a bit similar but I felt each showed slightly different colours appearing in the feathers. I think it's probably female. 




And here's the Daddy showing his white arse!


The Siskin fledglings have brought their parents to the seed feeder which has been a joy to see. What tenacious little birds they are, seeing off their much larger Chaffinch and Great Tit competitors. The first visit they were hiding on the garden side of the feeder....


The next day there were more bold.



Thanks for all your encouraging words for Origami Boy after the last post. On the day, he came fifth out of the whole school in the high-jump and THIRD in his sprint race. Amazing for a boy who used to struggle in second last place two years ago. Last year it was inside due to rain so we couldn't judge. I really think having the ubiquitous trampoline in the garden has helped him with his physical confidence. I might hate the sight of the thing in our fairly small garden but it's been worth it to see him go from being very tentative to doing front somersaults. Overall his house team, which on paper was looking like they might struggle in fourth place, came first - amazing. Here is their cup with yellow ribbons. None of us owns anything yellow so poor child had to wear a yellow sash on the day, tied, Ninja style, around his waist.


A few more visitors yesterday:


Tufty Chaffinch



The Great Tit fledgling's black chest marking is becoming more distinct by the day


Mr Chaffinch just before being chased off by the Siskins

Looking out of the window I'm wondering why I bother listening to the weather forecast as a heavy persistent drizzle scuppers my washing-line plans. A great day for doing all the towels I thought but looks like they're going to have to sit in the machine festering for a while yet. Snippet is asleep upstairs, exhausted from a big digging session at Trigger's field this morning:


Origami Boy is doing a Roman march today. Yesterday it was an art day at Castle Drogo. Do they ever do any work any more at school? Until next time, here's one of the Siskin fledglings watching its parents who were on the feeder below. 



44 comments:

  1. Wonderful to see wheatear bubbas!! And siskins for that matter! Well done to OB :) Must have used his mathematical skills to calculate the correct angle to jump at :)

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    1. At one point he was up at the bar checking they'd got the measurements right!

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  2. White Arse and Great Tit in the same post! Shouldn't this post carry an X rating?
    Jane x

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    1. I dare not look at the traffic statistics. I quite often click on innocuous sounding feeds that turn out to be pornographic. Am I alone here????

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  3. Goodness aren't the baby wheatears different from their folks? Lovely pics. And I adore siskins- ours have all buggered off elsewhere so it's a joy to see yours. Well done to OB, great to see their confidence coming on isn't it? Snip looks suspiciously clean for a dog who's been out digging ;-)

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    1. He rubbed it all off on the darker rug downstairs. It's dark blue with a hint of brown. No amount of Vanish carpet cleaner seems to get rid of it!

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    1. I'll pass it on Cindy - thank you.

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  5. Hi EM Lovely set of shots but I really loved seeing the Wheatear chick. I have never seen one in the flesh. In fact I love this time of the year when the chick are being fledged and we see them for the first time. Margaret

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    1. I say a group of five wren fledglings today but they were too far away and my camera auto-focused on the bush rather than them!

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  6. Your bird photos are fabulous!

    I've run Norton on my machine here at home and work, the USB clip I use for transporting files (photos) back and forth with nothing showing up besides the usual tracking cookies that have once again been disposed of. I finally went in and deleted the last post.

    I appreciate your telling me about the malware. More must have seen it for there were no comments on the post.

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    1. Hi Gail
      Have you tried Spybot Search and Destroy new version is 2.1. It's free and very good, my works computer guys use it and recommend it.

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    2. I hope you sort it out and Suzie's advice has been seconded this end!

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    3. spybot is not showing anything.

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  7. I've never heard of Wheatear's before, you are right, what a lovely little bird, as are all of them. Of course we have our share here of little finches, siskins, etc., but unfortunately today they are being chased away today by the big bullies.

    I hope you have (or had) an enjoyable day, and all goes well for Origami boy on his march!

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    1. The march was apparently exhausting and longer than we thought!

      Wheatears are now thought to be part of the flycatcher family rather than finches so I read.

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  8. What lovely photos of the Wheatear babies (and all the others, come to that!) I saw a couple of Wheatears as we drove over Llanllwni Mountain at the weekend (think HILL rather than mountain . . .) but as I was driving, I couldn't look at them properly.

    WELL DONE OB. Just shows what confidence will do doesn't it? Onwards and upwards now . . . truly!

    BTW, as someone to whom Gimp was just a name for the trimming you use in Upholstery, I had a heck of a shock one day . . . and my offspring then fell about laughing : )

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    1. It amazes me that purveyors of such content would bother to target bloggers so randomly. As for the gimp thing.....tee hee.

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  9. Forcing myself to pick a favourite it has to be the last one of the Siskin. Well done to OB. The Wheatears are lovely too, so close up you can see the detail in their feathers. Great clothes drying weather here Em, you should have brought your washing over!

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    1. Luckily, by 1.30pm it had cleared and the towels were dry in three hours flat. I wish I'd pulled out for that last shot so you could see the parents underneath.

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  10. Congratulations OB!! I'll bet he's grown inches taller with pride!!
    And I'll not comment on Snippet's hairstyle again - I can see it'd be a loosing battle brushing him!! He does look exhausted after his efforts.

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    1. Would you believe I brush him every day? He looks great for three seconds, shakes himself into a fluffy poodle and then rolls in the grass to create the scruff-ball look. I don't know what else to do that doesn't involve clippers!

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  11. Congratulation to Origami Boy, Well Done !

    Your bird photos are wonderful as always ! If I had to pick one it would be the last one. He just looks so interested. What a handsome little fellow.

    The Square Ones send woofs to Snippet.
    cheers, parsnip

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    1. The square ones could do with sending Snippet some beauty and hair-care tips!

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  12. Lovely baby birds Em. We have wheatears up here on the moorland but never anywhere near the garden I am sad to say.
    Interesting how Origami boy's classes are all going out for days. My son is a Peripatetic music teacher and his term finishes two weeks before the end of the summere term as there are so few children actually in school - they are all out doing something somewhere. I am all for it - as an ex teacher I think these excursions, if they are properly organised (so that the children think they are having free days but in actual fact they are learning a lot) - are absolutely first class for the end of the summer term when every one is winding down.

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    1. They're all so tired and find it more difficult to concentrate. OB tells me they've had no lessons at all this week so I guess they'll be going back to it for the next couple of weeks. Definitely ready for the holidays though I'm not sure I am!

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  14. Gorgeous wheatears!
    Congrats to OB! He has done well. I was always last in sports days' races with monotonous regularity. I blame it on short legs.

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    1. I was good in the bean bag race but they don't seem to do that any more!

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  15. I love the puffy little fledgling ...okay yes I can say it ... "the Great Tit" ( can't help the school girl giggle ~ silly I am ).

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    1. I wonder if that's why I keep finding pornographic referring sites in my stats!

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  16. You take the best bird pictures!
    Congratulations to OB!

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    1. I have passed them on and he thanks everyone.

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  17. Congratulations to OB :) So pleased for you both - you must be very proud :)

    Great bird photos as always :)

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    1. Very proud but I'm still more proud about the maths!

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  18. Well done to OB! Wonderful photos again, especially the little Wheatears. I have to smile at the way many Old English words have become more respectable. Was this down to the Victorians? I love Snippet looking exhausted after his very important job of digging.

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    1. They were extremely prudish about stuff like that weren't they, after the eighteenth century's excesses.

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  19. Hi Em, a very quick comment here, I've lots to do as in case you haven't already seen (if you have, then I apologise for repeating myself) : just want to say that I have lost my original blog! grrr. All explained on the new one I have set up and hope you will follow:

    www.annatstudiohyde.blogspot.com

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    1. You have my huge sympathies. Blogger can be a nightmare.

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  20. I love going bird watching with you!
    Not too much bird life around here - American Robins, pigeons, sparrows.
    We once saw a hawk.

    I think Origami Boy's lessons sound fine.
    Who ever wanted to sit in a classroom all day anyway!

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  21. He can't wait for the holidays. Only two and a half weeks to go.....

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  22. Smashing photos, we all should be able to recognise the different small birds from them.

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    1. Some considerable time was spent on the internet identifying that Wheatear fledgling I can tell you! The only clue I had was where it was, otherwise I would have been clueless. Thank goodness for the web.

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  23. I would love to have been invited to an art day at Castle Drogo! Your Wheatears (a compression of white-rears, as I understand) are lovely. We had Siskins outside our window on holiday in Assynt, but have yet to see them around here. Thank you, Em, for your otter comments.

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Thank you so much for leaving a comment. It's great to read them and I will always try to reply.