Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Birds....

A post dedicated to those feathered friends, both big and small...
During these trying times just before the freeing abundance of spring, keyed up... It is foggy right now and chilly. There is little else to do but watch birds around our house and what delightful displays even the most common of birds can show. As a standard a pair of binos is standing on the windowsill.
Birds are whizzing through the air, having dogfights, playing tag between the empty branches of the trees or coupling up, hopping from branch to branch, getting closer to each other. Green finch, bull finch, great and blue tit.....  I am always in awe, watching their flight, amazed at their agility, their swiftness, their speed and their very short time of reaction. As if the know beforehand what manoeuvre the leading bird is going to make.
Tuesday we heard the first birds of spring coming back; a couple of swans! The passed right over the house. I missed seeing them, the mrs. did, but their calls were unmistakable... And today we were treated to a great display of sound and sight. I heard the call of a black woodpecker close to the house. I grabbed the book with the bird sounds, went out and waited..... Then there was another call, equally close to the house. The woodpecker's mating call.... and I replayed one from the book....
Not mine, unfortunately; source
Silence.... I played it again, followed by a territorial call and the reply was instant!! Then I saw it move, it came closer. I called my wife and then I repeated the cycle again; mating call and territorial. Again an immediate reply... but from another direction!! I hit the mating call again twice and then there was movement between the trees.... A large, black shadow swooped down and flew along our house.... A few quick beats and a long glide. Closely followed by a second one! A pair of black woodpeckers!!  My wife and I watched them go, a smile on our faces...

I so desperately need a system camera with proper lense!!!

The slowly, but surely receding winter is making it ever more easy (less difficult) to access areas that were very hard to reach before and sometimes one find treasures in those more remote areas. The life and drama within a winter forest. The place where a large bird , probably a capercaillie or black grouse hen, has fallen victim to a predator, the location that suddenly reveals the presence of a large grouping of birds and sounds of others calling for mates or staking their claim on a territory. I think I might be paying this site a few more very early morning visits coming april.
Most spots of dropping had them scattered over a circular area of about 75cm in diameter and there were dozens all around, but one was neatly piled.... For me clearly capercaillie..

oww....
So many interesting and new smells!!!

We were also granted the privilege of seeing a moose up close for 2 days in a row on the same place. Big moose, quite brightly coloured around the belly..... But unfortunately rex was unable to contain and control himself, so the encounters were rather brief. Yet we could get pretty close; the first day around 50 meters, before the exposed moose trotted off and the second day up to 25. We saw it standing in the treeline next to the road and Rex' total inability to hold back and stand still made it move away. Yet it wheeled back after the initial contact, reemerging from the forest edge a little further away, before finally stomping away, again. Our boy still has much to learn.

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