Thursday, 7 July 2011

Smooth snake

The Spotted Flys were making a lot of noise this morning and a check of the nest revealed it to be empty with some nest material on the ground. Both adults were hanging around the nest calling a lot and i didn't see the young so i fear the nest was predated just before the young were ready to fledge. At one stage one of the adults got very agitated with something on the ground. It was joined by a juv Pied Flycatcher, juv Redstart, Yellowhammer, Great Tit and Willow Warbler. I suspected maybe a stoat or weasel but it turned out they were mobbing a Smooth Snake which was only about 40cm long. It is not possible that this was what had predated the nest but it was on the receiving end of a right seeing to with strikes to the head from the scolding birds.
We picked many blueberries, raspberrys and wild strawberries today and yesterday swam in the sea so feel like we are living the summer "hytte" life in Norway.
Later in the day the adults were still hanging around the nest and one flew down with a butterfly. This must mean the young were alive and after a quite thorough search a single youngster was found low down in a bush in a frozen posture. The bird was less than 2 metres from the nest and looked incapable of flight. There was no sign of the others but they could easily be nearby although another option is that the nest was indeed predated but this single youngster survived and was forced to abandon the nest before it was able to fly.

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