Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Watch the Birdie!

Baby magpie with broken wing

One of the advantages of living in the countryside is access to wild life and the rythmns of nature. This morning my neighbour told me that she had spotted two Gold Crests in the garden, little wren like birds with a yellow strip over their heads, we've had Dunnock nests, pheasant nests, buzzards, curlews, wrens, Fieldfares, and all the every day birds like black birds, blue tits , chaffinches and magpies at some time or other in the garden. We even have our own buzzard which sits on the dry stone wall in the field beyond our house.
Pheasants nest in the undergrowth

Dunnocks nest amongst the brambles

This week two red kites were spotted circling over the body of a still born lamb, their forked tails clearly identifiable in the air. I have also seen a Sparrow Hawk swooping down on a collared dove in the garden and my neighbour told me that it has been swooping down on her bird feeder and snatching the blue tits.

Female blackbird (brown colouring)

We've even learned to identify the distinctive whistle of the Curlews as they fly over, and the clear call of the blackbird.
We didn't set out with the intention of studying 'biology' or habitats or birds, our knowledge has grown naturally as we've seen new birds and sought to identify them.
It was lovely during the winter months to see the garden birds feeding from the bird feeder outside the window. We have been using a commercial one this year but when my son was younger we made a Fir cone feeder.Even during the wettest winter days we were able to watch the birds as they fed outside the window and watch them really close up. As with all the subjects my Autistic son studies, we do it autonomously- there is no 'bombarding him with information'. It just doesn't work with oppositional teenagers,particularly Autistic ones! We often see herons and pheasants when out and about on our travels and my son will point them out to me. It's all he's really known since he was five and we moved into our cottage in the Lake District so he doesn't even see it as education.
And how's this for a sight - hundreds of oyster catchers rising up from the beach where they were waiting by the waters edge as the tide came in! A really spectacular sight to behold and one which will remain with me for a long time to come!

Oyster catchers



  1. I'll have to share your blog with my Poppy...she'll love this :)

    1. It's a great way for her to present what she is learning at home and lovely to look back on and see how far she's come. I always carry a camera. You never know when you'll come across something interesting or unusual!