Parasitic Birds

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This afternoon Jackie and I drove into the forest.

Deep in the shade of trees bordering the parched yellow ochre grounds of Burley Manor rippled the wavelets of what must surely be a mirage on one of the hottest days of the year. Upon closer inspection they metamorphosed into the constantly flickering ears of a family of deer. The animals themselves were not as active as their aural appendages attempting to deter the pestilential flies. I could not clearly identify the parasitic birds picking off morsels from the heads and backs of their cervine hosts, one of which appeared to swing from the branch it was bent on stripping of foliage.

Ponies

Ponies also sought shade where they could,

Cattle in landscape

although cattle seemed content in the direct sunshine at Frogham.

This evening the three of us dined on Jackie’s sublime sausage casserole, mashed and new potatoes, crisp carrots, cauliflower and broccoli. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden while Elizabeth and I drank Le Malbec de Balthazar 2017, given to me by Shelly and Ron for my birthday.

 

47 thoughts on “Parasitic Birds

    • My first impression was starlings, certainly from the “Deer and Bird Crop” image. Maybe a trick of the light, but the legs look warm-coloured; aren’t jackdaw legs the same colour as the bird, thus silhouette the same tone? And, I THiNK, they’re too far back on the body for jackdaw. But the [impossible-to-gauge] scale would tell us for certain.
      Incidentally, nominative determinism in action? The hosts are “cervine”, not “corvine”, unless Derrick is sure what the birds are, and agrees with John’s suggestion.:

  1. It’s so lovely to see deer for a change – not that I don’t appreciate the ponies and cows πŸ™‚ So, the heat continues! This must be some kind of a record breaker……… I hope you are both coping with it okay.

  2. Wonderful photos, Derrick. I’ve never seen a deer stand up on its back legs like that before. Sorry about the heat and no rain yet. I hope you’re doing alright. I feel sorry for the animals.

  3. I loved both the shot of the deer doing the circus trick on hind legs as well as the deer folding its legs to lay down. I have never seen either of those moves. My guess is that they tolerate the birds because they don’t want the bugs on them. Nature knows how to cooperate.

  4. Pingback: Portraits of Two Fine Gentlemen | Mama Cormier

  5. Beautiful day! Beautiful photos!
    There is a whole world of adventures going on every day and often we don’t get a front row seat like you did! πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing with us!
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚

  6. I feel the heat shimmering off your pictures. The silhouetted deer with and without their birdie co-dependents are absolutely magical captures.

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