24th March 2015

Dunnocks and bouncing hail, today! Many birds are showing mating or nesting behaviour by now. The Dunnocks are wing- and tail-flicking to attract females. Dunnocks have recently been discovered to have very varied mating behaviours. Some pairs are monogamous, some breeding involves 2 males with one or 2 females and in some cases a male from another territory has been discovered pecking at the cloaca of a female to dislodge any previous sperm before mating with the female himself. While watching the displaying Dunnocks (they were called Hedge Sparrows when we were young) a very heavy hailstorm occurred with the hail bouncing several inches back off the ground, it landed with such a thud! Conditions: Cool with some sun and showers.

Often hardly noticed the Dunnocks markings are beautiful if looked at closely

Often hardly noticed the Dunnocks markings are beautiful if looked at closely

The Dunnocks wing and tail flicking is so rapid it's hard to get a photo that isn't blurred

The Dunnocks wing and tail flicking is so rapid it’s hard to get a photo that isn’t blurred

This male Dunnock is in good plumage, marked with typical dark striations on it's grey and chestnut back

This male Dunnock is in good plumage, marked with typical dark striations on it’s grey and chestnut back

The sudden hail showers were bouncing off the ground

The sudden hail showers were bouncing off the ground

Temperature: Max 7- Min 2c.

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