“FAVOURITE BIRD” POLL RESULTS FROM ABACO, BAHAMAS


ABACO FAVOURITE BIRD POLL RESULTS

RESULTS Here are the results of the recent Abaco Favourite Bird Poll, with apologies for an intermission in activity around here. We were away for a few days somewhere that turned out to be sunny, returning late last night to near-zero temperatures…

THE POLL started with five birds, but the Tropicbird was removed after a week having failed to chart. To begin with, it looked as though the parrots would stay way out in front, but the smallest rival gained ground, flew past and won the title.

THANKS to all who took part by voting and or commenting – a gratifying number, enough to make for a reasonably accurate result. It would be nice to know what bird the voters in the last category would have chosen instead of the candidates on offer…

THE OTHER POLL was designed to find out if people were finding that the ongoing woodpecker saga is becoming (has become?) tedious  or is providing a modicum of entertainment. Of relatively few responses (nb I did not vote), the result speaks for itself. I will take voting abstention / inertia to indicate either indifference or tolerance, and continue as and when a new drama occurs.

Best outcome? Chicks!  

WOODPECKERS v STARLINGS: THE BATTLE RAGES ON**


WOODPECKERS v STARLINGS: 3RD ROUND PLAY-OFF

Last week we left the wretched starlings triumphant at having driven off the poor woodpeckers, with Senior Starling taking up residence in the Woodpecker’s home. Two days ago, there was a counter-attack. First a pair of magpies were sent in as muscle and spent a fun day chasing all the starlings out of the garden. Early the following morning, the woodpeckers watchfully returned to the starling-free zone  and surveyed the scene from the top of a 3o feet tree

CHECK TO THE RIGHT… 

CHECK TO THE LEFT…

CHECK BELOW…    

(LATER) HAVE THE STARLINGS REALLY MOVED OUT…?

LOOKING GOOD …

…SO, SAFELY HOME AGAIN

Sensibly, the woodpeckers continued with their protection team of larger, noisier birds, calling in the Jay Squad and Wood Pigeon Security to patrol the area 

No starlings showed at all, and by afternoon the woodpeckers were confident enough to leave the hole for short periods. But they never went very far away from the poplar tree 

And that remains the position today. I am conscious (a) that I have slipped into children’s picturebook mode and (b) that for those who read this blog for its caribbean exoticism, maundering on about a damp english urban garden is quite dull. So having discovered how to do the polling thing, I am giving you the chance to choose whether you want more of this sort of stuff or not. We are nothing if not proactive and interactive around here now… (**Incidentally, the title of this post has no connection with the rather awful and lumbering 14th album by Deep Purple in 1993. An aural confection rightly paid little heed then or now. Purple by numbers)

STARLINGS 1, WOODPECKERS 0: A SMALL GARDEN ORNITHOCALAMITY


STAR(LING) WARS UPATE – WOODPECKERS FORCED TO FLY

The WOODPECKER news this week is sad. Great Spotted Woodpeckers nesting close to the centre of London = a rare treat. Starlings ditto = somewhat joyless. They are two a penny. And that’s the problem. After the woodpeckers moved into their nest – drilled and lovingly prepared by them, please note – a gang of raucous starlings began their siege

The woodpeckers chased them off aggressively, but it was two against six, and the starlings were annoyingly persistent. It was only a matter of time before the woodpeckers were overwhelmed This guy hanging around in the tree didn’t do anything to improve the neighbourhoodYesterday, a new beak appeared at the entrance to the hole. It was yellow, not black. The woodpeckers have gone and starlings have moved in, a sad (but not unforeseen) development. Not for long though: I’ll be putting a plate over the hole, to admit only small birds such as great tits and blue tits. In the spring, I might remove the plate if the woodpeckers return, but I think the combination of a sustained campaign of harassment by the starlings, the crow  menace, cold weather and snow, has been all too much for them. Next year, maybe? 

STARLING WARS – THE  SMUG VICTOR TODAY 
(I realise this thread of birdlife reporting has strayed very far from the blog’s main Abaconian purpose. The link with the West Indian woodpecker saga at the Delphi Club is tenuous at best. Sorry. I’m trying to take my mind off the fact that we were due to be flying over tomorrow and now can’t… In the words of Rory Gallagher “…When the morning comes, should be heading west… Sorrow is my middle name”. Which ironically would in fact be preferable to my actual one)