I went to check on a male Firecrest in a local wood this morning. I hadn't been to look at it for a few weeks but last time I did it had paired with a female Goldcrest and she was making a nest. I'd never heard it sing, despite others telling me it did so regularly. However, after re-finding the right spot in the wood and hearing what I thought was a Goldcrest sing close-by I locked my bins on the male Firecrest moving around the folliage. It was good to know he was still in residence. After a couple of minutes I heard the Goldcrest sing in the same tree - a bit close for comfort I thought, especially as I know Firecrests and Goldcrests don't really get on. I then realised the 'Goldcrest' song was actually coming from the Firecrest!
My ears are definitely getting slowly worse with age, but I have never heard a Firecrest give a song so close to a Goldcrests before. I recorded it on my Remembird and have created a sonogram in Ravenlite, as well as recording a Goldcrest in the same area, and I have also created a sonogram of a 'normal' Firecrests song I recorded a couple of years ago. Take a look and listen and please drop me a comment if anyone's come across this before - it had me a bit foxed!
I do wonder if because it's paired with a female Goldcrest it has adapted its song to be more attractive? It is certainly something I've never come across before, however I have now seen at least four mixed pairings of Firecrest and Goldcrest, several of which have made nests and at least one of them feeding young, although I never saw the outcome of that nest. Are there any definite hybrids know about? I may have to do some Googling to find out...
I had a quick trip up to Grafham Water this morning to see this lovely Red-rumped Swallow. When I first arrived I couldn't see any birders or the bird. A quick walk on to the dam and something flicked up from my feet - the swallow! It flew around for a while and landed no more than around 8 feet from me. It gave stunning views for around four minutes until a blundering cyclist came along to within a few inches of it and it flew off towards Plummer car park. Luckily we relocated it flying over the road between the dam and the car park a while later, and still giving fantastic views.
This wasn't a species I ever thought I'd see around Broom - Prairie Dogs! After a tip-off the other day about these I was a little sceptical of their existence - I thought it was so unlikely, especially as I'd been down to try and see them a few times and only seen Rabbits. This morning I ambled down and saw what I thought was a huge ginger rat zoom over the grass. After a minute or so I spied two little heads peeping out of a burrow - blimey!
So, where are they from, how long are they going to last in the wild, and are they bad for the local environment? I guess time will tell, but for the moment they're an interesting addition to the local fauna.
Well, I reckon its just nice image of birds. Really nice images of birds. In fact, it doesn't really have to be birds if you look down my blog. I started at birds, but it's widened to mammals too. So, really nice images of birds AND mammals then. There, sorted.