Dunnock singing

It occurred to me this morning that it’s been a while since I’ve posted about all the birds we have visiting our garden, so I’m about to rectify that πŸ™‚

I love this time of year, especially where we are in the Laois countryside, when all you hear when you step outside is the chirping of baby birds being fed (constantly) by their ever obliging parents.

We’re lucky this year, 3 pairs of House Sparrows are nesting on the house – 2 pairs in the nest boxes we’ve provided, and 1 pair in the partial nest that the Housemartins left last year!

House Sparrow taking insect into nest box
Dinner time for the kids!
Pair of House Sparrows with their nest box
One in, one out…

The good news is that the Housemartins have returned and, after a few failed attempts at entering their old nest, they have started to rebuild a nest under the eaves at the front of our house, so it’s a win-win all round!

Housemartins nest
Housemartins nest

We also have a pair of Blue Tits nesting in the undergrowth at the bottom of our garden (over the wall, in what was the old pig-pen), and a pair of Great Tits nesting somewhere close by – I’m not sure where but I get verbal abuse each time I’m down the bottom of the garden!

Great Tit
Don’t you go near my nest now!

The Blackbirds are doing really well this year, we’ve already had 5 fledglings in the garden – being fed by the male, so I assume the female is already sitting on their 2nd brood. All being well, they may get 3 or even 4 broods this summer πŸ™‚

Male blackbird with mouthful of worms
Mmmmmm tasty!

The noisiest of the breeding pairs that we have has to be the Starlings, and they’re not even nesting in our garden!

They are using an old wall in the farmyard at the back. The good thing about being noisy is the alarm call of the adults makes me run out each time I hear them… just in case the farmyard cat is close by. You can see the baby poking its head out of the wall on the left hand side of the (heavily cropped) photos below…

Starling with its baby
Oi! Where you going?

The other day there sounded like there was an orchestra of alarm calls, not just by the Starlings, but the Blackbirds, Robins and Wrens were joining in too. When I went out to investigate, the tailless Magpie that frequents our garden was strutting along the wall where the Starlings were. I don’t like to interfere when it comes to birds taking other chicks, as that’s nature. However if it is the cat then I will try to distract it away from the nest.

Magpie with no tail
Tailless Magpie trying its luck!

This time the Starlings managed to mob the Magpie so much that it gave up, but I wonder how long it will be before it tries again, after all it has it’s own chicks to feed as well…