Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Feisty and Vibrant Showstoppers

My boots are on, but the laces untied....

I haven’t had to walk very far to get my daily ‘fix’ of the wildlife that abounds on this wonderful island. As I write, I am absolutely transfixed by the manic mayhem that is taking place around the niger seed dispensers that are situated barely a few metres from my sitting room window, here in my Tobermory garden.

Today, there is a record number of Siskins fighting for their share of these power-packed little seeds. It is difficult to be sure, but I have counted 40 of these feisty and vibrant showstoppers, as they come and go. They seem to spend more time trying to prevent other birds from gaining access to an energy-rich snack than they do feeding themselves!

I feel sorry for the buzzy and even more exotic little Goldfinch that finds itself outnumbered, as it tries to sneak a beakful of goodies when the quarrelsome Siskins let their guard down.
It doesn’t stand a chance, and probably wastes more energy trying to fight its corner than it derives benefit from what food it manages to gulp down.

It is fantastic entertainment and what colour and noise. I find it difficult to know where to look, as my senses are bombarded with the vivid yellow aggressive display flashes of the cock Siskin’s wings and tail and the incessant chattering of birds that sit in the nearby cherry tree awaiting their turn.

It is amazing to think that the Siskin would have been very much rarer in these parts only a few decades ago when the prospect of sharing space with forty of these tiny and highly attractive finches would have been unheard of.

Time I got those laces tied!

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