Thursday, 6 February 2014

Away with the birds.

At last we seem to be getting to see a few signs of the coming of spring. I noticed today that the colours on some yellowhammers that I have been recently watching are becoming a more vibrant yellow as they get a bit closer to their breeding season. The yellowhammer is a bird which has declined greatly over the last number of years and is now mainly found in the east and southeast of the country. It is on a conservation "Red List" which means it has declined in breeding numbers by at least 50% over the last 25 years. It is very reliant on arable crops such as barley, wheat and oats, and as a lot of these are now pretreated with pesticides it makes it harder for the yellowhammer to survive.                                                                                                                                                They were briefly joined by a robin who had a decidedly shifty look in his eye as he was intruding into a neighbouring robins territory and knew that he would be soon evicted. Even a lone rook that came to join  was looking splendid with a lovely navy/black sheen on his feathers. I have heard it said that many a georgous bird ruined herself by having a dirty mouth. I don`t think that it was the Rook that was being spoken about. Was it?

The first picture is of a Yellowhammer taken three weeks ago. All the others were taken this morning.
The males are definitely becoming a better shade of yellow.

 Male Yellowhammer taken three weeks ago.

Male Yellowhammer photographed this morning.

 A nicely coloured male yellowhammer.
 There was up to twenty of these lovely birds feeding together on some spilt grain today.
 Whenfeeding on open ground they are very nervous and the whole flock will flee at the slightest noise or movement.
 There is a noticeable difference between the male and female birds.
A cheeky robin flew in to swipe some food from his neighbours territory.
The Rook. A bird with beautifull plumage who could do with a bit of photoshopping on his beak.