Friday 30 May 2014

Breakfast blog... or not

So, here I am, on holiday with Our Lass, my brother and his wife. In deepest, darkest Perthshire, with trees and deer and stuff.

This morning, during breakfast, I noticed a small bird perched on a wire in the garden...

Yes, dear reader, I had sprinted from the breakfast table, grabbed my camera and returned to the window to blat off several shots of this cute, and increasingly rare, passerine.

But what's this?!

Not singing...

Eurgh! Not a subject for a meal time!

But discussions ensued. Was it a sunflower seed? Not likely, Flycatchers eat er...flies. Perhaps a beetle wing case? Hmm, it looked a bit big for that. So, was it a pellet? Only one way to find out...

It so very was! Sat on the top of the wall, below the wire the bird had perched upon, was a pellet. Being fresh, it was rather squidgy, but with the day heating up and a light breeze in evidence, I thought it best to grab the pellet before it dried and blew away.

My dear brother wasn't so impressed that, halfway through his breakfast, his nutty sibling was busy improvising with whatever he could find (a till receipt, two pebbles and a hair grip) to look at all the small, indigestible bits of insect that a Spotted Flycatcher doesn't want.

Natural history heaven :o)


Ruth Walker said...

And stuff!

Ewww Dad! Not cool at breakfast, what would your Mother say!

Still, I'm glad the little lad who loved nature growing up is still in there :)

Man, I've had a tough week. Dealt with two things I would usually have your help with! 1. The dentist. The receptionists missed you and I still went for a bacon buttie after. 2. Massive spider trauma. Definitely checked my slippers after that! I don't make good decisions when cornered by a spider.

Love and hugs xxx

Imperfect and Tense said...

Heh, heh, heh, Nature's not just the cute and fluffy, it's the whole spectrum.

Er... 'cornered'? :o(


biobabbler said...

Wow. I had NO idea flycatchers did such things.

I'm kind of impressed (by the flycatcher). Not sure why. =)

Super cool! =)

Imperfect and Tense said...

Yep, the number of species of birds that surprise me by producing pellets continues to grow.

There's a lovely chapter (Understatement on a fence post) in Michael McCarty's "Say Goodbye to the Cuckoo" concerning the Spotted Flycatcher. In which is also mentioned another book "The Spotted What!?" that details a community survey of the species in rural Worcestershire.

Martin said...

So what did the pellet actually have inside? Or were all the fragments just too fragmented to identify?
I have the usual question in mind.. is what is ejected indigestible, or ingested but rejected for some reason? Obviously all the really soft and tasty bits have long gone. This is also why jellyfish were thought not to be eaten by many things, because they never lasted in stomach contents samples long enough to be identified.

Imperfect and Tense said...

Pellet contents not analysed yet, as I've been waiting for a quiet moment. That may be today, depending upon the weather.