Mastering The Technique


Well, I’m still struggling to upload photographs. James Peacock came this morning to get fibre optic broadband under way, but BT Open Reach had not taken the last step in installation. This appears to have been done late this afternoon so James will return tomorrow.

While James was wrestling with this, I chatted to a blackbird enjoying a brunch of crab apples. This one has now mastered the technique of chipping away at the fruit without knocking it to the ground. The bird no longer attempts to swallow the meal whole, but neither does it lose it like a toddler learning to use a fork. In fact it was very like a little person, in that bits of food tended to be plastered over its beak.

Our friends Margery and Paul came to lunch and we enjoyed our usual fun conversation well into the afternoon. Jackie made a delicious spinach soup which was followed by a plentiful salad with haloumi, ham, and pork and chicken pie. After that, ham sandwiches sufficed this evening.


  1. Derrick, I love watching birds. A friend of mine who is bedridden has a clear feeder that attaches to the outside of a window that is in clear view from her bed. We sit for hours watching the birds’ antics as they feed. Some try and gobble as much as they can before the next one swoops in, others take one seed at a time and get out of the way, still others swoop down and try to edge out another before it even gets to eat. These pictures are amazing.

  2. Excellent photographs! Blackbird seem very good at learning things. In late spring we had a male who was feeding a recently fledged youngster by hovering and grabbing suet from the suet block which ended up smeared all over his beak. Then the little one could eat it. WIth crab apples, though, it must be even more difficult.

  3. I really love these photos of the blackbird with the crabapples. (Just showed them to my husband, and he agrees they are wonderful.) 🙂 I’m glad you were able to get these up amidst the continuing technical problems.

  4. Are the crab apples fit for human consumption, or just there for the blackbirds to enjoy? They certainly do seem to enjoy a feast of them. They don’t look very palatable to me; I used to enjoy a Cox’s Orange Pippin, I think was it was called when a lad growing up in the old dart. Bit like the cod, can’t get them here. 🙁

  5. Great photos, Derek. I keep meaning to post similar ones, myself, of one of our blackbirds decimating the cotoneaster berries. Maybe one day. 🙂 (And yes, they do end up eating delicately!

      1. Hi Derick great to make crabapple Jelly as they are rich in pectin. Would love to do edible jelly arts with this. Let me try to find these.

  6. This is the one I was really fascinated by when looking from my email inbox. The contrast between the blackbird and the crab apples is really extraordinary

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