Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Watching the Birds


The temperature has dropped quite a bit over the past few days, from over 30°C last week (and too hot) to around 16°C today (and a lot of sudden rain showers pouring down every now and then).

Yesterday afternoon offered a rare interlude of neither too hot nor too cold; and then I went for a walk into the city and back (for no special errand), and on my way home sat down for a while on a bench in the old cemetery, close to this little fountain.

After a while, I had the company of a white wagtail - female, I think. She seemed to be trying to figure out how to get to the water, but I think this pool is not designed for birds (rather the opposite). But she seemed to enjoy hanging around listening to the sound of the water anyway - just like I did. And as I know that there is water to be found elsewhere in the cemetery*, I just enjoyed watching her. *(In the past, I used to wonder why all the taps where you fill the watering cans around the cemetery are always left leaking a little... But then as some point in time, I figured it out!)


 
 


After a while, she got bored with just sitting, and went to explore a stone with an inscription nearby. The text is a verse from an old hymn. If she can read, she'd probably appreciate it.



"As the bird enjoys the light of the day, so shall I one day enjoy entering the kingdom of light, while listening to the sound of harps playing and angels singing, and watching the dawn of eternity."
(free translation by me)



 I also met an "old friend": The magpie without tail feathers.



I've posted about this bird before, and then thought it must be moulting. Checking now, I almost can't believe how long ago that was - back in mid April! I have seen this bird a few more times since then - always on the ground - and have had to retract my moulting theory. It still hasn't got any tail feathers. Maybe it lost them in a fight or something?? I don't know; but it seems the cemetery has served as a safe place for it, as it has managed to survive so far.

By the way, if anyone is wondering what happened to my Blue Tits (nesting in a vent in the wall of my building) - so am I! Not long after I had posted about their comings and goings to feed their hungry little ones, I noticed one day that it was very quiet... Obviously they had taken the opportunity to move out one day when I was not looking - perhaps on some early morning. Exactly how they went about it, to get the young ones out of there on their very first flight, I'll never know! 


Our World Tuesday Graphic

16 comments:

  1. This is a happy story because you got to get out of your flat and you got to go for a walk and you got to sit and quietly Listen to Beautiful water tinkling and birds and that tail whispered is absolutely adorable

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    1. Sandra, it was very relaxing to just sit there and watch the bird for quite a while.

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  2. The Wagtail is sweet. I love the picture of her sitting flat down on the stone. And the cute Magpie! We do not have any here, but I have always loved them, as I have their cousins the crows. I would say this is a baby Magpie, as tails are the last thing that babies get. That is one way we can spot a very young bird - no tail. But, since you know this bird, it must be something else! Either a birth defect or an accident.

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    1. Ginny, as I saw it looking like that already back in April, and it is still the same, I do think there must be something wrong with it.

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  3. What a nice story. The birds look very curious and what I like about going out for walks is that there is always something to photograph.

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    1. Amy, I do like taking my camera for walks, because it helps me focus on what I'm seeing!

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  4. I enjoyed reading so much about the Birds and so on...

    ...a lovely little story among all the strange of this hard days. It let me smile. Have each day similiar to write about. It's the poetry of heart, to feel.

    Stay healthy.

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    1. Thanks. Especially in the strange times we're experiencing right now, I think it's good to just focus on the little things sometimes :)

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  5. The wagtail has a young look about it, maybe it is from this spring. How nice to have her for company for a while! And even nicer to know that the tail-less magpie is still around.
    Hopefully, the family of blue tits moved out of their own free will and were not evicted by your block of houses' caretaker.

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    1. Meike, I thought the same about the wagtail - that it was probably a young one. It did not seem bothered about my presence - but then of course we both kept respectful distance, across the pool... (and I tried to use the camera zoom as discreetly as possible...)
      As for the blue tits, I do think they moved out on their own. (I've not seen any caretakers climbing up the walls...)

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  6. Interestingly (to me anyway) there is no recorded instance in the last published book of a Magpie being seen in the Western Isles. I might check on the current website later. Youngsters do have shorter tails than adults but that one looks to me as if it's met with some mishap. They can usually fly without their tail.

    I like the Wagtail. They are usually 'up and about' birds so seeing one quite still was a real treat.

    I do hope that the Blue Tits have all survived. I don't see them here but they are plentiful in The Castle Grounds.

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    1. Graham, I'm not sure I've ever seen a Wagtail sitting still on the ground before either!
      That magpie without tail has so far never tried to take off when I've happened to come near (as most birds would) so I'm not sure whether it can fly or not. (I've not wanted to scare it, though, so have not tried to go "too" close.)

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