Sunday, 21 April 2013

Patchwork century and a garden rarity

This morning I reached my Patchwork challenge century in terms of number of species when a Yellow Wagtail flew over the marshes as I walked round. Otherwise it was pretty quiet apart from a garden rarity turning up on the feeders. Don't get too excited! The rarity was a male House Sparrow. Despite having 11 feeders at various locations in the garden, House Sparrows turn up about once a year. I think we've had more Tree Sparrows in the garden. It's also very rare to get Starlings in the garden despite there being large flocks out on the marshes in the winter.
Sadly, I found a dead Barn Owl when I walked in our alder wood although I did hear one calling last night some distance from where I saw the one yesterday morning.
One last mystery, we've been getting up to a dozen Reed Buntings on the feeders but they are nearly all male. Why so few females? Even now we see male Reed Buntings fly in off the marsh from some considerable distance, have a feed and then return to their territories. You would think the females would be keen to build themselves up for egg-laying but may be they need invertebrate food?

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