Hungry Mouths to Feed

Hooray the robins in our garden have successfully fledged!! Two juvenile robins have been flitting around our garden all week, with the parents never very far away. They may be able to fly, but they still seem determined to sponge off Mum & Dad (typical teenagers) for as long as possible. So I’ve spent the week chasing them around the garden trying to get the perfect shot of them being fed by the doting parents. The results were mixed to say the least – if I got a perfectly focussed photo then they weren’t doing anything very interesting. If they started feeding the chicks, then in my excitement the photos came out blurred!

The adults were as always pretty easy to photograph – they seem to love the camera and pose happily on any available perch.

Robin

They’ve always taken a keen interest in whatever was out on the bird table and of late I’d seen them flying off with their bounty rather than eating it there and then, so I’d suspected chicks might have hatched. We’ve never spotted the robin nest, so perhaps they’re nesting in one of the neighbours gardens and just using us as a buffet?

Robin (3)

The fledglings appeared a week or so ago. Initially they were shy, keeping to the bushes, but have gradually got bolder. At first I thought it was just one – perhaps one fledged before the other. The one below looks particularly dejected as if it’s been told of by the adult, although it’s probably just fed up with the bank holiday weather like the rest of us!

Juvenile robins (7)

This weekend though, I started seeing two of them together (although this photo only shows one and a half fledglings!)

Juvenile robins (1)

Despite seeing the parents feed them several times, it took ages to catch them doing it somewhere where I could get a relatively clear shot with the camera. Of course when I did, the photos came out blurred – the excitement must have got to me! But you can at least see the parent is feeding a suet pellet to the eager juvenile.

Robin and baby (5)

Robin and baby (2)

They seemed to use this corner of the garden regularly to feed the young – perhaps the thorny Berberis twigs offer some protection from the neighbours cat? So I tried setting up the trail cam to capture the action – 163 videos of twigs blowing in the wind later and I got a few brief snippets of the young. They were indeed still using this area to feed them, but always it seemed just out of camera shot.

So I may not have got the perfect photo or perfect video, but the main thing is that we seem to have 2 healthy (and very greedy) fledgling robins in the garden. Fingers crossed we get the same success with the blue tits.

Seeing Red

I’ve been so absorbed with my new trail cam for the last few weeks, I’d almost forgotten that we have other “normal” cameras! Having dug the Nikon out though to take photos of the moths (see previous post), I had a rummage round the garden to see what else was about. The two animals that caught my eye both happened to bring a burst of colour on an otherwise grey day.

One was my first ladybird of the year – a Seven Spot Ladybird to be precise. I disturbed it while weeding (yes I actually did a bit of weeding, more on that in another post soon). I had to enlist the help of hubby Chris to take these photos as he has mastered the macro lens, whereas I am still an auto mode kind of girl!

7 spot ladybird 2

7 spot ladybird 3

The seven spot ladybirds are apparently the most common ladybirds in Europe. Having said that, in the summer, we seem to get just as many of the invasive Harlequin Ladybird, so it was a delight that the seven spot that had made it through the winter. We returned him to the pile of weeds once his photo shoot was over, so hopefully he’ll make it through to the spring.

The second splash of colour in the garden was a pair of robins, chirruping away as they watched me fiddling with the moth trap. One in particular seemed disposed to pose for the camera, probably hoping I’d leave a few moths out as payment!

Robin

Robin 2

Robin on fence

It’s pouring with rain and blowing a gale here in Malvern today, but these cheery little characters bring hope that spring is on its way at last!