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Black Flies, Bird Food and Lawns

This has been a year when there have been a lot of slow flying jet-black flies around, no doubt producing the “ugh” reaction from most people. But these are not flies that want to enter your house and land on your food, they are flying around with the sole aim of mating to produce the next generation. These are St Marks Flies (Bibio marci) so called because they tend to appear around St Mark’s Day each year. Their slow flight and resting in full view on tree leaves makes them tempting targets for some birds. If you see a Starling dashing around in the trees frantically going from one branch to another it is most probable that it is these flies they are seeking to catch. Other birds may

Some other small birds of woodlands and gardens

None of the birds in this note benefit from garden bird feeders, these are birds for whom gardens are just an extension of the woodland itself so they are only occasional visitors to gardens that have suitable food. Wren Another very strong singer, despite being one of the smallest of UK birds, is the Wren. Being small they need to eat more or less continuously just to maintain their body temperature and many die during very cold winters. They are often hard to see when searching for food as they are clad in camouflage browns and go underneath plant leaves near the ground in search of their prey before flying rapidly to another location before disappearing inside a plant again. They are ea

More Woodland and Garden Birds: Thrushes

While you have seen in the previous blog some of the birds that take food directly from garden feeders the following ones will cover those that that also live in our woodlands and may appear in our gardens as well. For some, there is the advantage of taking any feed scattered from the feeder and tray by the smaller birds. For others the garden is just an extension of their woodland habitat and they use it to find food of the same type that they eat in the woods. Thrushes There are two members of this family that commonly visit some gardens in Dalgety Bay. The sweet song of the Blackbird must be one of the most recognisable sounds to accompany any walk through the woodlands and is a great

Birds in woodland and gardens

While there are still a few trees without obscuring leaves, and ground cover has yet to reach its full height, it is still a good time of the year to see some of the small birds that live in, or pass through our woodlands and, if we are lucky, visit our gardens. Many are still in good voice as the males sing to show how strong and fit they are in the hope of attracting a mate or, having done so, declaring ownership of their territory as nesting gets underway. This makes for a wonderful soundscape while taking exercise walking along the woodland paths, or just being in your garden if you are lucky enough to have one. This will not be a complete guide to all the birds that are around at the

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