Archive for the 'wild birds' Category

11
Dec
18

Big Gob

‘Big Gob’ is not a very endearing nickname for these extraordinary birds. I saw Tawny Frogmouths in January but it was a delight to see them again on my first evening in Australia last month. There were four together including this adult with two young and its mate. Normally you just get to see the birds sitting motionless in trees but we were lucky enough to see the adult birds flying around and catching insects to feed the young. In addition we also found a nest which was surprisingly unimpressive.

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07
Dec
18

Iconic

If you look up Kookaburra in a bird book it’s filed away under Kingfishers and allies. It is indeed very kingfisher like. Outside there were about 6 or 7 birds that came to feed each evening on the insects that gathered on the newly mown lawns. Such an iconic Australian bird with an iconic Australian call. They don’t call it the laughing Kookaburra for nothing.

25
Nov
18

Raptor

As we walked down the dunes in East Norfolk the other week a large raptor was hovering in front of us. Although Common Buzzards will frequently hover in a headwind the only buzzard to habitually hover kestrel style is a Rough legged Buzzards. A quick check with the bins and sure enough it was a Rough leg showing a nice black belly and a white proximal area on the tail. This winter visitor is a big bird but still warranted some mobbing by a Marsh Harrier as well as one of the local Crows.

12
Nov
18

Light and easy

Pallid Swifts within Norfolk during November are regular but always a little contentious. They are never easy to distinguish from Common Swifts. Even photographs can be a little confusing and it’s not too difficult to inadvertently change a common to a pallid during processing. Time must be taken to watch the birds in a variety of light from various positions. It’s only then that distinguishing features can be clinched such as the dark eye, the darker saddle and underbody, darker primaries and leading edge of the wing that contrast with paler coverts and secondaries, the paler head and throat and the slightly shallower tail fork as well as paler feather edgings on the flanks. The feature of a blunter wing tip on Pallid is not as easy to distinguish as literature states and in my opinion varies from bird to bird. I guess it is one of those features that is dependant on it’s attitude in the air.

A message from Ben today stating he had a Pallid hawking along the cliff top at Overstrand saw me make a diversion from the shops in Cromer to the cliffs above the golf course. The light was immaculate as it frequently is in Norfolk and we were looking north to watch the bird hawking in front of the cliffs. Although relatively distant the bird’s milky coloured plumage was immediately apparent. However it took a while for the bird to come closer so the other features could be seen but in the end the identity of the bird was unquestionable.

Today’s Swift was in the company of a white rumped hirundine. Shame it was only a House Martin!

 

08
Nov
18

Stealing the Show

We were waiting for the Stejneger’s Stonechat to come a little closer last week when this little chap decided to make an appearance. Not normally prone to dancing across sunlit meadows this Water Rail had obviously not read the books!

26
Oct
18

Closer Still

Did I say in an earlier post this month that I’d got as close as I’d ever been to a Merlin? Well on the last day of our Scillies tour this year … this happened.

23
Oct
18

Bar tailed

Another regular on the first trip to Scillies this October was a Bar tailed Godwit that could be found with some regularity either on Porthcressa or Porthloo Beach. H(sh)e had a friendly character and performed admirably for photographers.




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