Who am I?

An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!


Thursday 6 June 2013

Easy life or a vital source of food?

Our garden feeding station remains the focus of all my avian observations; the visitors are numerous, and activity continuous, during the daylight hours. I had originally thought that this was due to the ease of which the food was available but, now, am starting to have second thoughts! Thanet has been blasted by steady winds originating from the North and/or East since the start of 2013. Summer migrants are almost non-existent, our resident species are struggling (Starlings excepted). There are only two pairs of Herring Gulls nesting along Vine Close - there would normally be four. Johnathan has remained faithful to our bungalow but his mate has long since moved away - their nesting attempt was a very half-hearted affair.
One, of four, Great Tits collecting sunflower hearts to feed broods in nest boxes
in adjacent gardens along Vine Close.
Moth trapping has been an exercise in pointlessness - I caught seven moths on Wednesday night, four species! Daytime temperatures are struggling to make double figures in the face of a stiff NE breeze, night time will see the mercury plunge to 6 or 7C. Butterflies are scarce, bumblebees are almost non-existent; the whole eco-system is in utter chaos. The role of my feeding station is therefore far more important than providing an easy option for lazy birds. It is now providing a vital service to those resident breeding species which are struggling to find enough natural food (caterpillars and the like) to feed their broods. Two pairs of Great Tits and umpteen House Sparrows are regularly visiting the sunflower heart and seed dispensers, the fat balls remain untouched? Other species put in irregular appearances, today it was a pair of Goldfinches. There are a few Greenfinches that seem to be holding territories along the gardens, a smart male providing a nice photo opportunity this morning.
Adult male Greenfinch and House Sparrow - both gathering food for hungry broods?
If garden feeding stations were not available I cannot imagine how these birds would be able to find enough food to give their broods a chance of fledging successfully and providing the basis for the next generation. Rachel Carson's 1962 "Silent Spring" becoming a chillingly real scenario.

A colourful garden visitor - rather out of place in June.
Is this yet another sign of the environmental chaos caused by the crazy weather?

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