Page 14 - Aberystwyth EGO April 2021
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       Nature Notes


       By David Williams






              his month last year, I   The table feeding happened   scribbled. This led to the old names
              had a colourful visitor   during the nesting period. I think it   of scribble lark and writing lark.
              on my feeders. It may   was either a convenient way to get   Eggs usually hatch within a fortnight
       Tbe first thought of as      a few extra calories while looking   of being laid. Both parents feed
       an escapee from an aviary but in   after the brood or maybe as a ready   the chicks which fledge within
       fact it's a resident bird known as a   supply to pop in to young beaks   a fortnight of hatching. For the
       yellowhammer. I'd heard it's call of   of very demanding chicks. I have a   first three days, the chicks are fed
       'a little bit of bread but no cheese'   feeling that there must have been   exclusively on invertebrates before
       many times but it was the first time   a nest nearby which I didn't know   being introduced to grain. Grain
       it had regularly visited the feeders.   about. The main breeding season   is their main food as an adult. My
       It must have felt that the pickings   is between April and May. Before   photograph was taken in early April
       here were a lot easier than trying to   the eggs are laid the female builds   so there was either an early brood
       find all of its food from wild sources.   her nest. The nest is usually near   or it was during incubation. It was a
       They usually feed on the ground   the ground and is well concealed.   male who visited.
       but this one was interested in the   This made me wonder if it was in   The yellowhammer is part of the
       pickings on the bird table. They like   the scrub near to the feeders. The   bunting family. Its name comes
       starchy seeds, so my wild bird seed   three to five eggs have a creamy   from the German word for bunting
       mix was just right for that extra   white colouring over which fine   – ammer. It has been paired with
       snack.                       black markings look to have been   the colour yellow to create our




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