Sunday, February 14, 2016

Nature near home - 2

In an older post I cited John Burroughs (1918):
  • The birds about his own door are his birds, the flowers in his own fields and wood are his, the rainbow springs its magic arch across his valley, even the everlasting stars to which one lifts his eye, night after night, and year after year, from his own doorstep, have something private and personal about them.
Magpie construction site
My personal birds give me much pleasure, especially since they've started to make their nest opposite my kitchen window. You can see the progress on their building site:
 06 February
 13 February

Exactly like their Wikipedia article they build their nest in:
  • ... tall trees ... firmly attaching them to a central fork in the upper branches. A framework of the sticks is cemented with earth and clay, and a lining of the same is covered with fine roots. Above is a stout though loosely built dome of prickly branches with a single well-concealed entrance.
Bird count
Each year I try to participate in the National Garden Bird Count. My area is almost standard and has all the top-10 birds, except the sparrow. We have no sparrows in our territory, even though they're nr.1 in the national bird-count.

Last year I tried to photograph all my local birds and, using our balcony bird-feeder, I recorded some of them on my own doorstep. I add their rank in the national bird count below.

I have no pictures of the following top-25 birds that I have seen on my doorstep:
  • Eurasian collared dove, starling, Eurasian jay, great spotted woodpecker, European herring gull, feral pigeon.
And birds, not in the top-25, that I have seen on my doorstep more than once:
  • stork, grey heron, cormorant, great crested grebe, Egyptian goose, chicken, Eurasian coot, common moorhen, common chiffchaff. And we have a tawny owl somewhere that I hear at night.
In total: 28 bird species on my doorstep and only 12 pictures. I have more work to do.

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