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Alyth Bird Blog #6

Birds you can spot in Alyth during lockdown – sixth in a regular series

Hello again! This time we have three birds that can be found in gardens or parks.

Blue Tit


A colourful mix of blue, yellow, white and green makes the blue tit (also known as ‘blue bonnet’ in Scotland and blue ox-eye in Forfar) one of our most recognisable garden visitors.


FACTOID: Blue tits famously learned to exploit human activities by pecking-open the foil tops of milk bottles on our doorsteps early in the morning before we were up for our cuppa! Milk-floats were sometimes followed by flocks of blue tits as they made their deliveries.


Listen to the blue tit by clicking the photo above

Great Tit


The largest UK tit - green and yellow with a glossy-black head, white cheeks and a distinctive black streak down the belly. It also has a rather loud but simple two-syllable song – a bit like a wheelbarrow with a squeaky wheel? It is a woodland bird which has readily adapted to become a familiar garden visitor.

FACTOID: In the Forfar area it is known, unsurprisingly, as the ‘big ox-eye’ .


Listen to the great tit by clicking the photo above

Dunnock


Easily dismissed as ‘just a sparrow’, the dunnock is a small brown and grey bird with orangey legs. You typically see it creeping along the edge of a flower bed or under a bush (it used to be known as the hedge sparrow). The song of a dunnock is certainly in tune, but at the same time lacks a tune. It reminds me of the old Eric Morecambe joke – ‘I play all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order’.


FACTOID: Dunnocks are the most favoured hosts for cuckoo eggs – so tolerant are they that they have been known as ‘foolish sparrow’ and ‘blind dunnock’.


Listen to the dunnock by clicking the photo above

We hope that you have enjoyed our sixth Alyth Bird Blog – please feel free to comment, ask any questions, or post your photos.

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