Saturday, 30 May 2009

Herring gull chick, blue tit fledgelings, egg laying damselflies and leaf cutter bees

As a follow on to my blog entry 25th April, the seagull up on the roof top behind our house now has 2 chicks. They are grey with darker spots. This will become the mottled brown plumage as they loose theri downy feathers.

As I mentioned previously they seem a lot more chilled out than the other herring gulls nesting on houses in our road.

In the early afternoon, while doing some gardening I heard the demanding calls of baby birds coming from the tree that overhangs our back garden. Two adult blue tits could be seen collecting insects on the outside branches and then disappearing into the tree.

I looked up through the branches of the tree and after a while I noticed fluttering movements of a baby blue tit.
The chicks demanding calls attracted one of the adults who fed it and then flew away in search of more food.

They were very difficult to photograph as they kept moving around and the many branches made it difficult to focus. I went back to the tree every now and then to check on the family. One chick flew out of the tree, looped round to the side and disappeared within the canopy.

While I was looking up from beneath the tree, a chick flew down through the branches and across the greenhouse below almost flying into me before looping back up onto a low branch.

It watched me for a while and then edged its way back up the branch and fluttered its wings and called for more food. Whilst the blue tits had not hatched from a nest in the tree, I did notice a large fledged blackbird chick from the nest in this tree.

It was only distinguishable by its beak which still had the traces of its chick gape.

In between watching the blue tits I noticed that the damselflies had started to lay eggs on the pond weed.

There were three pairs locked together as the female deposited her eggs.

Also today, the leaf cutter bees had started to visit the bush at the back of the pond. Unlike honey and bumble bees, leaf cutter bees are solitary bees. They dig a tunnel in the ground and make the egg cell chambers by cutting circular pieces from leaves.

Only certain leaves are used. The bee roles the piece of leaf as it is cut so it can be carried beneath its body. Followers of this blog will remember that I found an old leaf cutter been nest in one of the window boxes I cleaned out earlier this month. These bees were flying over our roof and disappeared.

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