Regular readers will have noticed the last post on one of the villages serial killers, this follow up is again not for those who are squeamish or of a nervous disposition. You have been warned !!
The day began in the village like any other with early sunshine suggesting the smell of BBQ’s would be wafting across back gardens before the sunset. Early visitors to feeders included the usual array of young birds including the latest edition of recently fledged greenfinches. This is a bird struggling with populations in the UK in decline so good to see them flourishing locally.
These streaked green cuties are potentially easily confused with one of the villages other visitors the siskin. However this other green streaked visitor is not likely outside of the winter months. Earlier in the week I stopped at Roudham on the A11 and snapped a quick photo of the dexterous little finch feeding on insects plucked from high branches.
To try and add a temptation for garden birds I sprinkled a few peanuts on the lawn and within a minute I was rewarded with a visit from a bird that must have some sort of peanut sixth sense as I haven’t seen one for days and there it was. This is not the first time this trick has worked to attract a jay and as they are such a fine addition to the garden colours I will be trying it again.
I was hoping for a nuthatch as I haven’t seen one for months so rather than wait in vain I took a stroll in the sun. I took the favoured west Hethersett paths and spoke to various people whose sightings included three Jays on the path to the Village pit and another who is seeing nuthatches regularly in the Oak Close area.
The hedges are still relatively noisy and are still some way off their Summer quiet period. It was good to hear Lesser white throats still singing on the path to the pit.
There was still plenty of song from chiffchaffs, wrens the odd yellow hammer and blackcap. I took a long loop round past Great Melton Church and as I was heading away from the newly refurbished church tower I heard the calling of a nuthatch.
Despite a long search found nothing other than a pair of stock doves and a grey heron. Back home and the garden was still full of life and sitting dozing was a robin Britain’s national bird looking cute and fluffy.
Picture the scene and remember where the story started. You may have seen the phantom of the opera and you may have seen the pirates of the Caribbean when the cursed pirates walk into the moonlight and make you jump as they become skeletal. As I snapped away the bird turned and I drew a deep breath at the sight that filled the viewfinder.
I would welcome comment from any avian veterinary experts as it is unclear how this one eyed bird came to be. They are feisty birds and will fight rivals to the death so this may be the outcome of a scrap or close call with a predator. Or it could be some disease or illness. The bird whilst a little dozy in the sun flew off and was seen feeding later so look out for this little resilient horror coming to a garden near you.
If you are looking for a trip out during the rest of the weekend as you dare not go out in the garden the rare bird guide highlights today are: 5 bee eaters which have been seen briefly down on the Suffolk coast at Aldeburgh and Spoonbills which have been present on the Norfolk coast with best numbers being at Cley were 11 have been seen on Simmonds Scrape.