Friday, 5 June 2009

Here's some photos from today and I am getting very confused by this blackbird, which I thought was a female, just with a very yellow beak. However, other people have said that young males often are still quite mottled with a yellow beak before their plumage developes fully. I don't know about this one though. It's been here all winter, looking much the same and isn't showing any sign of changing it's feathers, so is it a male or female?

As you can see, this individual is very brown, with a small amount of mottling on the breast and no eye ring.

Here's the male just a few feet away. I wouldn't have thought he'd tolerate another male, even an immature one, being so close. He chases off all the other males.

The babies are still cute, despite the unholy racket!

Even the youngs sparrows aren't afraid of the raucous starlings

You can still see the yellow gape at the base of the beak on the juveniles.

Very pleased to finally get some nice pics of the young sparrows.

Those irresistable goldies back again. This looks like a male and female to me, so does that mean they're leaving the chicks now?

Thought the suet block was going down a bit rapidly. The poor starling army got the blame till I saw this one having a go.

Hover fly. Welcome! Bring friends. I've got millions of blooming aphids here! Blackfly, greenfly, whitefly...

Painted lady butterfly. I've seen quite a few, many are looking a bit untidy after their marathon journey, but nothing like the thousands that are being reported.

Climbing hydrangea. I love this plant! I got it to cover the awful grey brieze block bit of wall that has been filled in where someone demolished the original gorgeous stone wall to make a gateway. It's self-clinging and has these lovely sprays of flowers, which the insects like.



  1. I'd have to say that was a female blackbird. Mine has a very mottled breast and a white spot on its throat.

    Hoverflies like aphids eh? My young silver birch is full of them so I hope they come soon. No sign of ladybirds though :(

  2. Lovely pics sue. i would say that blackie was a female, especially if you say its been that colour for a year! Adore the pics of the baby sparrows, i havent seen any yet. Lovely pics of the plants and hover fly too! i didnt know they ate aphids!!!x

  3. wonderful array of photos sumac, we bought one of those boxes last year for housing ladybirds, and also bought the attractant, all we got was a shedfull of houseflies ha ha, they must have sent the wrong attractant.


  4. I keep wondering about getting a bug box. I had plenty of ladybirds last year as that particular bush (orange blossom) always seems to get blackfly but they couldn't keep up with the demand! I tried to treat it by cutting off the new growth with the aphids on just leaving the budding branches but it's still covered again. And there's greenfly on the roses and whitefly on my raspberries!

  5. lovely photos sue is that a baby treesparrow?
    We used to have that hydrangea along our old garage that we had to take down(asbestos)I loved it.

  6. I like the sound of that hydrangea Sumac especially if it is self clinging

  7. No, it's a house sparrow Sheila, I don't get any tree sparrows.

  8. Great shots there Sue, glad to say the Painted Lady has reached us her in the West Midlands. I haven't got anywhere near enough experience to sex that young bird but whatever sex it is it looks very healthy!!