Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Firstly, thank you for the very kind feedback I have received from the first of my entries, I was a little nervous about writing and showing my pictures but you have made me want to write more.

At this time of year the main focus for birdwatchers and other followers of wildlife are the migratory birds that turn up over here. Rarities such as Hoopoes and Golden Orioles are worth hunting for but I find that if you are looking for something specific you can miss all of the abundant things that either reside here or are commonplace and easy to see.

We have two kinds of pheasant that wander all over the island. The Common or Ring Necked Pheasant and the one that bewilders quite a few of our visitors, the Golden Pheasant. Both are native to Asia and are bought in.

This is the right time of year to see them as currently all the males are out looking sharp and hunting for girlfriends. The Common Pheasants can end up getting pretty angry with each other and can often be seen circling each other and bouting in an avian version of fisticuffs in order to impress the duller coloured females. In my previous residence here I had a regular male Pheasant I named George that used to drop by daily and quite often peck at the back door when he was hungry. He kept this up for a couple of years until I abandoned him and moved. I wonder how he's doing.......

The Golden pheasants, which are best found in the Abbey Gardens or, at dusk, along the Abbey drive are currently very boisterous and afraid of no one. When they are looking for a mate they do not seem to be bothered even when they are within arms length.
I took these pictures of this male in the Gardens a couple of days ago. One the breeding season finishes they start to moult their feathers and look pretty tragic, If you want your token pheasant picture now is the time to take it! 

Over here the Linnets have started arriving and although very common and often overlooked as they are small and brown, a closer inspection can often reveal the male's pinky/red front. I think they are quite pretty.
They usually hang around in gangs and can often be seen on short grassy areas or perched on gorse bushes or brambles. I took this picture down at Borough Farm but you can see them dotted all over the island.
Even these guys (Bluebottle) can be quite interesting close up. I'd challenge any artist to recreate those colours in his palette. If you click on the picture and enlarge it you can make out quite a bit of detail.
Even though the birds in the Abbey gardens are quite partial to mopping up pasty and scone crumbs from people's plates in the Garden Café they still find the time to catching their own food every now and then. One of many Song Thrushes on the island.
Finally although a bad picture, I took this on the North End of Tresco at sunset. I quite like it

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