A few years ago, while walking over the Scoulag Moor, ( Rothesay to Kingarth War Memorial) I spotted a Redpoll on the power lines, a fair distance away, but I took a photo for identifications purposes, then it left the power lines and landed a good bit closer to me, but still not near enough for a sharp image, but good enough to let you see what a lovely wee bird it is. It is slightly smaller than the Sparrow, and indeed you could easily mistake it for one as the plumage is very near to one except for the lovely little Red Crest it has. If you see one on its own with its back to you then you could be mistaken for what it is, but if it turns around, then it is no bother.
Well with things like changing from a computer to a laptop, I lost this and many other images, but I had backed plenty in CDs, but not this Redpoll. Later on I was talking to a well-known photographer on Bute, and he said that he liked the image of my Redpoll. I said how did you manage that, and he said that it was in an article that I had written, but I could not remember writing one. (Brain cells gone a drift). Anyway he told me where it was, and I managed to get it into my computer, and now you can see it.
This is the right time for the Buteman to include it in their paper, as they have arrived on Bute in vast amounts, and head for nut feeders all around our Island, but I have still not managed to get a better photo that the one that you see, but here’s hopping, there is still time yet, as they do not seem to be in any hurry to leave.
Well, with the weather being atrocious that last few months, food for the birds that live on seeds was few and far between, that’s why bird feeders have been descended upon with many species that normally by-pass them, but ‘hunger makes good kitchen’. Translated means that you will eat anything, anywhere to survive.
The birds that feed on the ground are lucky as the grass and soil is moist , (soaking wet) moving the worms move to the surface, giving Blackbirds etc. plenty of sought after food for the chicks, as even though it has been very cold , the birds have been playing at happy family’s.
I have been coming across many eggshells for weeks now as, when they hatch out the parents take them away and drop them far from the nest, so that predators will not find where their chicks are.
I felt for the Swifts, Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins, as they feed on flying insects, but as the weather was so cold and windy, there was none about. They come from Africa, and arriving here with empty stomachs , yet nothing here for them, and they start to breed , hopping that it will warm up soon, as it did , but a few weeks flying on empty must have been rotten for them. Now there is plenty of their food around, just in time for the birth of their chicks.
First Published in the Buteman 14-06-2013