Wednesday, April 16, 2008


It has been a brilliant few weeks local birding recently. Almost too much to go into. It has been a truly spectacular start to spring as far as decent birds in the the PBC area are concerned.

However, I would also like to point out that in the last couple of weeks I have pervily watched four species of bird mating which I have never pervily watched before. These are (in order) Nuthatch, Crane, Mistle Thrush and Song Thrush.

In each case, the act itself has been accompanied by a juicy bit of prancing, squirming, dancing display. The Crane's dance is well documented, but I had no idea that Song Thrush males puff themsleves up like balloons and extend their necks upward while creeping about, before jumping on top repeatedly for a spot of cloacal action.

And I never knew that Nuthatches indulged in a little 'snake'dance, extending their necks simultaneously like a cheeky pair of grebes, and swaying side to side before mating – the whole preceded by bill to bill courtship feeding.

Lovely stuff!

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