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Juvenile robin opportunist, Painted Ladies, Red Admirals and flower patch

Date posted: Wednesday 21st August 2019

Juvenile robin opportunist, Painted Ladies, Red Admirals and flower patch

Much amused by the very forward behaviour of this young robin that zooms in as soon as I start to weed; yesterday it almost sat on my shoe, so close it came. A sudden heavy downpour resulted in us both getting bedraggled, but as soon as the rain stopped the juvenile was out again, food hunting.

“Juvenile birds can cause quite a lot of confusion in gardens, as many look different from their parents, but there are good reasons as to why this difference might occur.
One reason is that the juvenile plumage may provide camouflage for the young bird, both in the nest and once it has fledged. Another is that since some species use plumage colouration as a signal of social status, plumage that looks different to that of a breeding adult should reduce the levels of aggression directed towards youngsters.
Eventually juvenile birds moult and replace their feathers with adult ones which is done within their first year. Young Robins initially have speckled plumage and no red breast, but as their post-juvenile moult progresses, the orange-red feathering of the breast starts to appear, as well as their pale belly.
However, the timing and extent of feather replacement will depend on the moult strategy that the species adopts. This may be influenced by when the species breeds, when the youngster was born, and whether or not it is a migrant.” https://www.bto.org/our-science/projects/gbw/…/identifying-young-birds

Quite a few sightings of red admirals in the past few weeks – two spotted together to add to the Big Butterfly Count that ended at the weekend, adding to the two large whites, five Meadow Browns and two Gatekeepers I managed to log from around the flowering marjoram. But two days ago even more excitement at the first spotting of a Painted Lady on a plot full of lovely flowers. Then yesterday it appeared on my plot and settled long enough for a not very good photo – get too close and off it goes!

This lovely little patch of flowers caught my eye –more pollinator attractive borders and patches like this would make our plots look lovely as well as providing that much needed forage for our bees, butterflies and beneficial insects!