Tuesday, 2 February 2016

The Blackbirds are Sporting

Today was another non-running day, put off by a freezing wind blowing like something out of a J.G. Ballard novel, a gale fit to slice organs in half.

I went to Rumbles care in the early afternoon for tea, while the trees in the Sconce Park were bent double by the force of the breeze, and then took off for a walk through the cemetery and around the lakes in the afternoon.

Primroses are now out in abundance, while some of the snowdrops are starting to look rather tired already. If that is the case I'm heading out to Kelham Hall as soon as possible, to see the snowdrop church there while it still looks at its spectacular best. Crocuses are beginning to line the path through the graveyard in purple and white, but I have a feeling the nature of this long warm early spring punctuated by cold snaps means we won't have properly impressive displays of spring flowers this year.

One thing I've noticed is that the birds are getting racier earlier this year. My recent posts have mentioned fighting mallards, and scrapping robins. Today, it is blackbirds that are taking their turn for seconds out, round one, as the squabbling pair of males I found going at it on the path next to the Blue Lake.

As with the robins, there was a faintly comic air about the fight, all blurry wings and fanned out tails, with the possibility of any damage being done to either bird remote. This fight however, took to the air at some points, the force of their ground collisions and hummingbird wingbeats seemingly driving the birds into the air.

The victor soon dealt with the interloper, who flapped off into the undergrowth while the winner flew up into the tree to admire his, and still his, territory.

Alas I was only able to get one shot, it all happened so quickly, but another bird put on a display for me among the daffodils in the park. He really was a bird in top condition, eyes and beak bright orange, and lovely plumage.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 02.02.16


  1. Your flowers seem to be further on than mine in the north, just starting to come through the soil, the cold wind and rain stopped play here too.
    Amanda xx

  2. Love these shots of the blackbird, they're such charming birds! - Tasha

  3. Horrible cold wind here too. Lovely photos of the blackbirds :o)

  4. We have noticed birdsong in the mornings and evenings. Chaffinch, blackbird and great tit as well as the robin. It`s good to see and hear real signs of spring, despite the bitter cold.

    Your blackbird is in fine fettle. He is distinctive with that small white patch on his left wing.

  5. Lovely blackbird close-ups John.
    Add pheasants to your list. 'Our' pheasant males have each gathered a small harem of ladies and are now fighting to keep them. And they seem to have their breeding plumage.

  6. Love the blackbird photos Simon - blue tits have been investigating one of the nest boxes here :)

  7. I need to get my folks to put their nest box up, not where the naughty cat next door can get at it either.

    I hadn't noticed that little white patch. I'll keep an eye out for that bird when I'm in the park next! Thanks for all your kind comments.