After all the sadness and whirlwind madness of going backwards and forwards to pick up death certificates, register a death and set in motion my Fathers funeral, Friday was a rather ‘ordinary’ day.
Around lunch-time I looked out of the window and saw a jumble of feathers in the ground cage feeder. David said it was like a ‘cage fight’! 😀 At first I thought it was just one Dunnock trying to dig up some soil or moss for the nest next door, but then I saw another Dunnock on his side, under the feet of the other! I was appalled and just stood screaming ‘what should I do?’ The Alpha Dunnock was kicking the Beta with his two pink feet, up and down his little feet went. Then it looked like the Alpha was dragging the Beta, and that was when I stepped in! I stood right next to the cage (they were so focused on each other that they didn’t see me) and I clapped my hands and shouted ‘stop it!’ Both Dunnocks flew out of the cage and one started singing loudly!
I know that Robins can fight to the death but I haven’t heard of any Dunnocks doing that, so it was probably the Alpha putting the Beta in his place. Since finding out about the Dunnock there seems to be many of them about! In the RSPB Big Garden Watch results it looks like the numbers for the Dunnock have stayed stable this mild winter, probably accounting for the increased sighting of these cute little birds in Springtime.