Friday, 3 June 2011
Birdwatching At Home in the Czech Republic
Our area of the Czech Republic is rightly famous as a destination for birdwatchers. There are several internationally recognised areas where ornithologists can see many unusual and common European birds. I am going to do a post or two about my birdwatching trips, but I actually don't need to go anywhere as the birds just come to me.
I am surrounded by birds and birdsong every time I work in the garden and orchard. The most common bird is the redstart (shown here in photo taken from Wikipedia) and it is as cheeky as any robin. In fact it is so friendly that the other day one arrived in my house, fluttering around the living room and bumping into the window. Then a few days later a swallow expertly flew through a crack at the top of my window, took a swing around the house, decided there was nothing worth investigation before equally expertly flying out again.
Other regular avian visitors to the garden are treecreepers who explore the rough granite stone walls of the barn for insects, woodpeckers (green, spotted and the non-British grey-headed), fieldfares, nuthatches, wagtails, tits, finches of various types,(including serins, siskins, and bramblings) and the ubiquitous magpies. A friend of mine has had the stunning scarlet rosefinch in her garden, but she lives closer to the forest edge.
Birds of prey are also to be seen from my garden. As I have said in a previous post we sometimes see black kites here and buzzards (common and rough-legged) are usually circling somewhere. The other day I saw three birds of prey being attacked by one brave magpie. The two larger birds (buzzards) ignored it, but the smaller of the three suddenly responded with a hurtling dive at the pesky magpie. You could almost hear the magpie cry, "Shit!!! It's a sparrowhawk." as it fled.