Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Mistle or Song?

As I raised the bedroom blinds this morning two flashes of gold flew across the garden. On closer inspection, they turned out to be two goldfinches collecting moss for nest building. I knew they had gold bars on their heads, but I'm now assuming from the amount of gold which caught my eye that they must also have flashes under their wings. Haven't had time to look up the bird handbook yet. They flew into a garden three houses up - so it doesn't look as though we're going to have the pleasure of their nest.

I could have looked them up on Google, but I've been a bit horrified by the wildlife photos that I've found on-line recently. Nothing illegal or indecent but just very inappropriate, to my way of thinking. Wild animals do not belong in human clothes, and shouldn't be using human-like furniture etc. I expected the odd archive shot of tea-selling chimps (I must confess I liked those as a child), but I hadn't expected the number of recent photos in this vein. I was expecting Simon-King-like wildlife shots. I'm not sure the internet is very good for me. That's the second time I've been shocked by photos this week. I hasten to add that I am still not referring to anything illegal or really indecent. Goodness knows how I'd feel if anything of that sort appeared on my screen.

Anyway, that is only part of the reason why I prefer to refer to my bird hand-book. A lot of the on-line info refers to American species. They often have the same names as ours and that confuses me. A US robin is nothing much like ours!

The other pair of birds which have caught our attention recently, also collecting moss from the area where our lawn used to be, are two very large and very beautiful thrushes. I know one species is smaller and more common than the other, but I can't remember which is which. So if anyone reading this knows - which is the Mistle thrush and which is the song thrush please?


The reason for looking at on-line bird photos this morning was to find some inspiration for a robin nest site.They often choose unusual places but the ones I recall seeing didn't suit my purposes. In the end I gave up and posed this one by a nest box. Yes I know that this is the wrong sort of nest box for a robin, but I tried the correct version and decided that my felt representation was not easily recognizable. So I've gone for the generic blue tit box.


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