Sparring Sparrows

This morning I spent some time studying the various avian eating activities.

Garish goldfinches;

red-breasted robins – Ron or Ronette;


daredevil dunnocks;

squabbling sparrows;

great tits all balanced precariously on the feeders swinging in today’s cooler east wind.

I was fascinated by the various grips. The great tits grasped the mesh grid;

a goldfinch gripped the perching bars;

sparrows clutched whatever was handy, sometimes causing them to do the splits;

dunnocks fluttered their wings for fear of fdropping off.

Sometimes the flapping was quite frenzied;

sparring sparrows are especially vicious.

Ron, or Ronette, is shown above on a rare visit to a feeder.

Normally he or she, like bigger birds such as pigeons, collects spillage from the ground below.

When the stations are particularly crowded, even the sparrows wait their turn in the blossom trees above.

Jackie continued her considerable work in the garden, and reports that Nugget made several fleeting visits.

She photographed a young spider

from which Edvard Munch surely gained inspiration.

This evening we dined on the Culinary Queen’s wholesome chicken and vegetable soup with bread and butter, followed by flavoursome mixed fruit crumble and custard.








  1. You went from Nuggett to a whole open-air aviary!! I’m surprised bees haven’t decided to build a hive by all these flowers!

  2. That was interesting. Your bird population will be booming this spring with all that free food and nothing much else to do 🙂 Nugget clearly has many other priorities other than his need to attend Jackie as she gardens – I wonder if he is a papa yet…..

  3. Oh! Word has spread through Bird World about the beauty, food, good company and safety in your garden…so they are gathering! 🙂
    Beautiful photos!
    So glad Nugget is doing well. I wonder about him, Mrs. Nugget, and if there are any little Nuggets.

    OOH! The Spider and The Scream! 😮 😀
    I studied Mr. Munch in an art class in college. He not only painted some interesting things, he said some interesting things, like…
    “Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye… it also includes the inner pictures of the soul.” and “No longer shall I paint interiors with men reading and women knitting. I will paint living people who breathe and feel and suffer and love.”

    HUGS!!! 🙂

  4. I love watching our birds, so I loved this post, Derrick! I’m chuckling at “Ron or Ronette.” Poor little thing…I say we just can him/her “Ronnie.” I’ve know men and women with that name. 🙂 Glad Nugget is well!

  5. So enjoyed seeing so many beautiful birds today, thank you Derrick. How I would love to have a bird feeder, but alas, they are highly discouraged by our homeowner’s association here in the Phoenix (Arizona) desert. The chaff is enough to attract roof rats, undesirable of course. Personally, I thought a couple years back, OK, no feeder, but perhaps a quail block of lovely seeds all ‘glued’ together with honey or whatever it is holds it all together. Oh big mistake! I woke up to see a javalina, a small one, chomping away on the big block as if enjoying an ice cream cone left out personally for him/her. That was not the worst. The small one’s entire pack, that could not wedge through the slats of the iron fence, was pacing back and forth with hackles up, quite concerned that the little one reunite with them. Lesson learned! So I will vicariously enjoy your birds and feeders! And to think I had been about to let my dog go outside.

  6. I don’t like to be picky but probably more of a great tit than a blue tit on this occasion but a very nice selection of bird and spider pictures for us to enjoy.

  7. I’m so glad I saw this today, Derrick. We are novice bird watchers, but we hung a feeder on our deck this winter and, oh my gosh, the recent activity has been crazy! We have mostly small birds and some are quite aggressive with each other. And they are going through food like there’s no tomorrow. Lots of fun to watch and it’s been our main form of entertainment during our confinement. Hope you are doing well.

      1. Right now I’m watching a bunch of goldfinches pushing each other off our bird feeder. Of all the birds that come around, they seem to be the most assertive.

  8. Yay Nugget. But in reality they are all fantastic to watch. Unfortunately there have been less birds around here lately. It may be my lack of garden, or the bushfires.

  9. Birds have agile little feet, don’t they? Our neighbor’s chickens have discovered our bird feeder, and clean up any seeds the birds kick out.

    Good to hear little Nugget came to visit Jackie while she was working in the garden. I think your white spider may be a type of crab spider. I have seen them in our roses here. They are fond of capturing hapless honeybees coming in to visit blooms.

  10. I enjoyed this fascinating up close look into the world of birds. I had no idea sparrows could be so intense. We’ve had some cardinals hanging around a lot. Maybe I’ll get to know them.

  11. Perhaps it’s time the Garden Administration introduced ticketing system. The winged visitors also must disclose the places visited by them in previous two weeks.

  12. This has been a delightfully documented exercise. I have done this too now and then: observing the different ways birds perch or prefer to extract seed from the feeders. It moves bird watching up a level and we can learn a lot from it.

  13. You are so very fortunate to have such a variety of garden birds.
    We have feeders, but all we attract are sparrows, the occasional wren, rooks, wood pigeons and the ever scavenging seagulls.

    1. I’m pretty much the same as you. As far as I can tell the dunnocks are duller and have a kind of blue ruff – but it is mostly guesswork. Thank you very much, Helen

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