Grackles in the Garden

The grackles in our garden are very mischievous, making themselves the jesters of our tiny backyard jungle.

This grackle enjoys throwing maple seeds into the air while hunting for tasty treats

The less active grackles prefer to stroll through the grass looking for easy snacks.

This leisurely technique may not seem as exciting as the seed tossing method…

However, searching through the grass does yield nom noms such as stale cereal

To freshen up stale cereal, this grackle decides that it would be much better after being dipped in the bird bath

The grackles discover that the bird bath is great for other uses, not just softening up old cereal.

The bird bath is also a great place to take a bath, but be warned, others will want to join in…

One must be very fast about enjoying the bird bath

As soon as this grackle became distracted with his bath another bird decides to sneak into the picture

Still unaware of his rival, this water baby splashes about in pure joy

Splish splash, splish splash

Wait for it…

Then the intruding grackle makes his presence known!

What will the bathing beauty do, will he flee in fear or stand up for his right to enjoy his bath in peace?

While the rival grackle is intimidating is his puffed up stance, our water lover is not trembling in fear

He uses his large wingspan to out puff the interloper

In the end, our water-loving grackle was able to hold on to his prize position at the bird bath!

Kew Gardens: Golden Pheasant Don’t Give a Hoot

We discovered this strange fellow near the Minka House in Kew Gardens, England. He was not disturbed by anything. Most people didn’t even notice him because he was so quiet. One man almost stepped on him, that’s how nonchalant this Golden Pheasant was.

Golden Pheasant at Kew Gardens doesn’t give a hoot

He will leave when he wants to, don’t mind him.

Kew Gardens: The Adventure Continues

At Kew Gardens there is a lovely pair of Canada Geese who are very protective of their little ones.

Here they are starting off their morning stroll down the path.

The geese with a little one

The wee goslings would often stop on their walk to examine their surroundings.

Mama says, “Don’t stare at the strange man with the camera, dear.”

Mama would often give here brood tips on how to behave in public.

“Just walk along and ignore any strangers you might happen to meet.”

The morning stroll was enlivened when papa goose discovers a treasure.

“I found something!”

The little ones dashed over to see what papa had discovered.

“How is it? Is it good?”

After papa goose nodded his approval the little ones crowded in to get a taste of the delicious orange bread.

“What a great treat!”

But all was not well, for in Kew Gardens lurks naughty Raven, who is always stealing everyone’s snacks. Today was no exception, Raven was on the prowl for tasty pieces of bright orange bread!

Becoming more famished by the minute, Raven watched the goslings devour the scrumptious orange bread.

But mama and papa goose saw Raven watching them and were having none of his monkey business.

Mama and papa goose honked and hollered at Raven, but he did not leave.

Of course, Raven was too proud to be scared off by a bit of goose chatter, he dove in to claim his orange prize!

Papa goose saw Raven coming and stood his ground.

However, Raven was very hungry, a puny indignant goose would not detour him.

So, papa had to chase after Raven

And chase…

And flap…

And he even puffed himself up so that Raven would be frightened of him, puffing-up was papa’s secret weapon.

Finally, Raven gave up. Papa duck was very proud and strutted back to mama goose.

Papa goose proclaimed to mama and the frightened little ones, “Puffing-up always does the trick!”

With the naughty Raven out-of-the-way, the family was able to seek out and enjoy their yummy orange bread.

The wee goslings could not find the bread on their own, mama had to show them where to find it.

Once they had found the tidbit, mama goose sampled it to make sure it was still good for the little ones.

“Mmm… yes, that will do.”

Once mama gave her approval it was a free-for-all, the wee ones fought as vigorously for the bread crumbs as Raven had.

“What’s that there! No, don’t, I saw it first!”

“Aww! Come back here!”

Peace was restored, as it always is, when all the food had filled the tiny bellies.

“Come dears, its time to continue on our walk.”

All the little ones said yes mama, hoping that around the next bend would be more amazing bright orange bread.

Burrower’s Photography Tips

A few tips to help you perfect your travel photography.

First, set up your tripod.

Second, attach camera to tripod.

Third, assume the position.

Fourth, wait for the decisive moment!

Fulmar peering

Fulmar soaring

Fulmar above the rocks at Troup Head

Herring gull soaring in the blue sky

Herring gull carrying lunch home

Razorbills and Guillemots at rest and in flight

Gannet in flight, note the awesome light blue bill

Soaring gannets

Gannet with a snack

Gannets taking off from cliffs at Troup Head

Gannet seeking

Gannets, the spotted one at the top is not yet an adult

Gannets, they are watching you

Unidentified Soaring Bird (USB)

This little stoat was running about the cliffs

Cliffs of Troup Head

Gannets in a circular pattern at Troup Head

I was also able to see two puffins, but they were both very grumpy and did not wish to be photographed.

These photos were taken at RSPB Troup Head nature reserve in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. For more information about the reserve and the birds that they protect go to RSPB Troup Head.