A change of feathers

Baldwin's Birds

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As well as a “hacking cough” this week, I have had my computer “hacked” too, so I am writing this courtesy of one of NGT’s computers, whilst my own is being “cleaned”! Many thanks to them for allowing me to do this. Fortunately, for me, the birds don’t get these interruptions to their daily lives, so I can still get some inspiration from them to write to you all about.

I was able to get a couple of pictures of a male Goldfinch who, despite our continuing beautiful sunny and warm weather, has already almost completed his autumn molt into his duller winter plumage. Even so, he still makes a good picture to be enjoyed as does the Blue Jay who gratefully accepted the offering of water provided by my bird bath for that purpose. He is still in his brilliant blue plumage, which the Blue Jay family don’t seem to lose, even during the winter months. The other regulars to our feeders like the Rock Pigeons, Mourning Doves and Chickadees also tend to look the same, although they obviously do go through a slightly duller looking feather change;  it isn’t quite so obvious to us, but is to them and gives them a bit better form of concealment when the “white stuff” falls and they are fully exposed against the whiteness of it to their potential predators. Some of you may have been able to see some of these for yourselves recently at the bird of prey display held in the Ferguson Forest put on by the Friends of Ferguson Forest. It was a lovely display and it was pleasing to see many parents there with their kids getting a chance to see these birds first-hand. It was great to see!

The Canada Geese are now starting to appear in greater numbers, as they drop in to visit us en-route to their winter abodes “down south”! It will be a while yet before the waters get really cold, so all their landings will be smooth ones and not so tricky as their spring migration ones when the ice has to be negotiated. I hope that you get to see some as they come to our smaller waterways, and enjoy watching them in their splendor, but please make sure that if you do go to see them, that you stay safe and well.

Cheers,

John Baldwin

 

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