Thursday, 27 May 2010

Juvenile Starlings

At this time of year I love the contrasting colours in our top garden.  The glaucous greens to yellow greens of the shrubs; the pink of the Tamarix ramosissima with its filigree foliage; the clematis flowers in the Leylandii hedge.  very soon, the first of the bright blue flowers of the geraniums that surround the top lawn will be out - now that is a treat.
The starling chicks have fledged now and they are almost as big and fast as the adults.  This year has been a good year for the starlings and they have produced a bumper number of young.
A few adults have been supervising the feeding on our lawn today.  The juveniles are learning to find bugs, worms and grubs in the lawn by using their beaks to part the vegetation and scrape the soil.  There appears to be a lot of food to be had as the birds are taking a lot of time on the lawn.  In the photo you can see two adults supervising a dozen youngsters.  There are just as many youngsters off shot. 
Today my helper is Max.  He is quite fond of wildlife, but at 14 he is not so excited as he used to be. (photo by Rosie) The local birds treat Max as neutral and will seldom bother to move when he is around.  I have seen him stroll past a feeding pigeon on the top lawn and on another occasion he walked past a dog fox and they just shared a brief nod as they went their separate ways.  Max is a very placid cat, but the neighbourhood tom cats all respect him on this patch.

1 comment:

Susan Griffiths said...

What a wonderful photograph of the two of you, especially Max! Markiza isn't showing much interest in chasing birds either, possibly because the only ones to stay on the ground for any length of time are two wood pigeons which seriously outweigh her!