24th March 2019

Female Blackbird “sunning”- this is the earliest I have seen a bird sunning. When sunning, birds fluff up their feathers and stretch wings and tail to maximise the heat getting to their skin and deep into their plumage. It is thought this is to make mites and parasites active and bring them to the surface and this one immediately followed the sunning with preening and removing ‘bugs’ that presumably have built up over the last few months. Usually sunning happens in much hotter weather, and the birds stretch out on a hot

Female Blackbird, sunning

Female Blackbird, sunning

Female blackbird preening after sunning

surface, not a wobbly one like the top of our privet hedge in mid-March! Interesting to watch this behaviour though.  Conditions: The ,lovely sunny periods and dry days continue. Temperature: Max 9 Min 3C