Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pecking Order: Greenfinches

Greenfinches seem to be one of the more aggressive (assertive) of the small birds.  When they're on the feeders they will see off anyone else who wants to get near, although they also squabble amongst themselves.

They fly around in large flocks and are often seen at the top of nearby trees in a group of 20-30. Probably a mix of older and younger birds, parents and siblings (maybe even foreign winter visitors) with a hierarchical pecking order within the group.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Breakfast Roll Call

Who's coming for breakfast?

First ones that I see are the house sparrows - a small group that turns up every day.
- greenfinches squabbling amongst themselves to get to the seed.
- two robins chasing each other around the garden in between feeding on the ground or the pole feeder.
- four goldfinches - switching between feeders and taking cover at the slightest disturbance.
- a blue tit on the fat balls and another on the seed
- the woodpigeon that's been sitting on the fence, finally ventures down to collect the fallen seed
- male blackbird appears - ground feeding.
- goldfinches back for a second helping

Second wave coming in an hour or so later:
- the pair of collared doves have appeared - hanging precariously on the feeder.
- a starling investigates both the bird table and the seed feeder
- a pair of chaffinches - not so adept at the seed feeder but also on the ground
- robin back - now on the bird table
- finally the great tits - snatch and grab on the feeders
- an unusual visitor - a magpie on the lawn, peering at the feeders before flying off

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Pecking Order: Dunnock

The poor dunnock is definitely at the bottom of the pecking order in my garden.  It gets chased away by pretty much everyone - including the blackcap which isn't usually one of the residents and was being chased off by everyone else at first.

There are a pair that come into the garden and they spend most of their time under the feeder pole, close to cover but sometimes venturing out into the open or on to the bird table but usually retreat to the bushes if anyone else comes close.