Total Pageviews



Wednesday 31 July 2013

Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus)

The UK's largest and commonest pigeon, it is largely grey with a white neck patch and white wing patches, clearly visible in flight. Although shy in the countryside it can be tame and approachable in towns and cities. Its cooing call is a familiar sound in woodlands as is the loud clatter of its wings when it flies away. (RSPB)

Tuesday 30 July 2013

Shoveler in summer plumage (Anas clypeata)

Shovelers are surface feeing ducks with huge spatulate bills. Males have dark green heads, with white breasts and chestnut flanks. Females are mottled brown. In flight birds show patches of light blue and green on their wings. In the UK they breed in southern and eastern England, especially around the Ouse Washes, the Humber and the North Kent Marshes, and in much smaller numbers in Scotland and western parts of England. In winter, breeding birds move south, and are replaced by an influx of continental birds from further north. The UK is home to more than 20% of the NW European population, making it an Amber List species. (RSPB)

Sunday 28 July 2013

Mandarin Duck [taken back in May] (Aix galericulata)

The male has the most elaborate and ornate plumage with distinctive long orange feathers on the side of the face, orange 'sails' on the back, and pale orange flanks. The female is dull by comparison with a grey head and white stripe behind the eye, brown back and mottled flanks. They were introduced to the UK from China and have become established following escapes from captivity. (RSPB)

Friday 26 July 2013

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

These delightful silvery-grey and white birds have long tails which have earned them the nickname 'sea-swallow'. They have a buoyant, graceful flight and frequently hover over water before plunging down for a fish. They are often noisy in company and breed in colonies. (RSPB)

Thursday 25 July 2013

Redshank (Tringa totanus)

As its name suggests, redshanks' most distinctive features are their bright orange-red legs. They have a medium-length bill with an orange base to match, brown speckled back and wings and paler belly. (RSPB)
This one was taken in poor conditions.

Monday 22 July 2013

Guillimots (Uria aalge)

The UK's coasts have many stretches of sheer cliffs where seabirds breed and the guillemot is one of the most numerous birds in the great 'seabird cities'. It comes to land only to nest, spending the rest of its life at sea, where it is vulnerable to oil spills. Dark brown and white, not as black as the similar razorbill, it has a 'bridled' form with a white ring round the eye and stripe behind it. (RSPB)
 Children, do not fall to sleep while I am teaching you
 Who said that,  there's a Razorbill creeping up on you?
Ah, there you are. Would you like to listen to my lesson?

Saturday 20 July 2013

Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)

Not really a black-headed bird, more chocolate-brown - in fact, for much of the year, it has a white head. It is most definitely not a 'seagull' and is found commonly almost anywhere inland. Black-headed gulls are sociable, quarrelsome, noisy birds, usually seen in small groups or flocks, often gathering into larger parties where there is plenty of food, or when they are roosting. (RSPB)