Gems found in a Suburban Garden.
I live in a bungalow with only a small back garden, in the suburbs of Poole in Dorset. Its very location is a severe limiter of the range of wildlife species that, even with the help of wishful thinking, I could reasonably expect to have pay me a visit. Yes, of course, I have the proscribed bird table and seed and nut feeders but their regular visitors, although plentiful in numbers, do not fill many notepad pages when it comes to listing different species. However, there can be the odd exception.
My office window overlooks the postage stamp sized lawn and said window and its accompanying patio door are double and triple glazed. Mr Nikon and Mr Canon would no doubt turn in their graves if they thought anyone would attempt to take photographs through such a barrier, especially in view of the many millions they must have spent developing the refined glass used in their lenses. I am, however, guilty of such an offence – and on more than one occasion. The number of days on which I can sit here with doors and windows open are few and far between and so it is that when anything out of the ordinary pays a call I cannot open up without frightening it off.
I have attached a few shots of some of the visitors concerned and, though they may not be legion in number, it just goes to show that in the pursuit of wildlife images “you never know what’s round the corner or just about to show up!!”
The Stock Dove is, to my mind, our most beautiful native dove. Supposedly fairly common, especially in the South-West, I must confess that in all my years of Wildlife Photography I have only ever seen, at least to notice, one other of these beautiful birds. To have a pair visiting the garden, and that right throughout the summer, was a real pleasure. The Magpie, of course, is no rarity and we have a dozen or so frequenting our Close. What interests me with them is to see just how many peanuts they can stuff in their beaks at one time before running off, squirrel-like, to bury them for later. The Starlings were part of a flock of about 100 that spent a day or so looking for leather-jacket larvae on the grass of the central green in the Close. Small raiding parties occasionally broke off to rampage through the local gardens and these were part of a small group of about 20 that graced me with a visit. The Green Woodpecker visits occasionally looking for ants in the cracks of the garden path. These it either eats or rubs all over itself so that their formic acid discharge can clean him of parasites and, finally, some four footed visitors. It’s easy to shudder and think of poison when you see one of these in your garden but, whether you like it or not, I’ll bet there’s at least one living not far from you if you’re in suburbia. Their antics in figuring out how to access any potential food source never cease to amaze me and their ingenuity knows no bounds. This family who (only for the sake of my neighbours) I hope was just passing through, kept my shutter finger active for a number of hours one afternoon.
Pair of Stock Doves
Where does a Magpie keep his nuts?
Adult Starling Mutation feeding normal coloured young
Green Woodpecker “Anting”
So that’s where all the bird seed went.