Just a few ruffled feathers

Baldwin's Birds


As I looked out of our front window and was thinking about what I should talk to you about this week. A circling Turkey Vulture caught my eye as it patrolled the fields and hedgerows seeking some sort of kill on which to feed. Coincidentally, but not really related, Turkey Vultures don’t catch “live” food; there was a sudden flurry of activity as all the birds in the front garden beat a hasty retreat! I scanned the garden quickly to catch a glimpse of what I think was a Merlin, as it flew rapidly by, with its quite distinguishable barred tail feathers showing, but with no success at grabbing some poor smaller bird for lunch! The Merlin definitely likes a fresh catch, but in this case wasn’t successful, so our birds were able to re-group and then return to their normal activities.

Their constant very nervous looks around them as they fed easily explained how quick they all were to react to the marauding hunter and they survived yet again, for which I was grateful, but not so the still hungry Merlin.

Last week, I mentioned how quickly the birds transform themselves from their somewhat drab winter colouring to their brilliant spring ones. My example of such a bird is the Chipping Sparrow with its now very clear eye markings and its lovely bright brown head, making it quite a striking member of our avian friends. Who is not lost in the new wealth of colour that the spring plumages bring us to enjoy? I hope that you too are enjoying what Nature’s birds are doing for us here in our garden. Stay safe and well but above all else enjoy.

John Baldwin


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