Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Avian Encounters

I sat on the damp newly mown grass with my back to the hen hutch.  My collie sat on the wall at the edge of the poultry area, calmly and quietly surveying his territory.  My two lurchers lay to my right, dozing in the late evening sun.  A chill wind played around us as I watched the three-quarter moon rising above Mynydd Rhiw.  I was hoping for some photos of the Sparrows, and perhaps the Collared Doves that visit the hens food supply in large numbers.  The Doves tend to be very wary though, so I knew that a shot was probably unlikely, especially as the feeding area was not much more than 8 feet in front of me. 

A small shallow ditch which carries away the overflow from the duck pond, a ditch that is damp come winter and summer, lay between me and the food supply.  It was in this ditch that I spotted her, at the same time as she spotted me. 

She hesitated and stood alertly, assessing the situation, working out whether I was a danger, or insignificant. Thankfully she decided on the latter, and carried on her business of gathering a good supply of worms from the damp soil.   I couldn't believe my luck as she hopped closer and closer, totally engrossed in capturing worms.  She moved from in front of me and came over to my left.  I was sure she would startle and fly away, but even as I gently edged the camera and lens around towards her, she barely bothered.  By now she had gathered more wriggling soil covered worms.

She was a good Mummy, and decided that none of her brood were having mucky meals!  She turned, backtracked, and then went to the shallow area at the side of the pond.  Here she washed the worms thoroughly, and then flew away.  I thought that would be the last that I would see of her, but within minutes she was back.  This time she flew in from my left and watched me carefully as she hopped along the ditch, checking for more worms. 

She worked her way along the full length of the ditch, but no luck, not a one to be found.  She turned, stood  alertly on the top edge of the ditch, stared in my direction for long moments, and then was gone.  

Another precious few minutes in the company of Mother Nature: who needs a TV when you can have this?

P.S. I got rid of my TV over thirteen years ago and it was the best thing I ever did!


  1. So Kerry no Eastenders or Coronation street.
    ponds, dogs and worms, best if we say birds and worms. you got some lovely captures of the blackbird.

  2. Beautiful captures, Kerry! How lovely that she allowed you to share her world at such close quarters and what a diligent Mum to wash the food before presenting it :)

  3. Great little story Kerry, and brilliant pics to go with it, Well done!


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I live in North Wales and spend my time caring for animals, walking in the countryside, photographing nature and reading. I hope to share, in photographs and words, some of the beauty that I see. If you enjoy the photographs on this blog then you might like to take a look at my Flickr photostream. View my complete profile for links to both of my blogs.