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Thursday 27 February 2014

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]

Shame about the leaf.

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Magpie [Pica pica]

With its noisy chattering, black-and-white plumage and long tail, there is nothing else quite like the magpie in the UK. When seen close-up its black plumage takes on an altogether more colourful hue with a purplish-blue iridescent sheen to the wing feathers, and a green gloss to the tail. Magpies seem to be jacks of all trades - scavengers, predators and pest-destroyers, their challenging, almost arrogant attitude has won them few friends. Non-breeding birds will gather together in flocks. [RSPB]

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Grey Heron [Ardea cinerea]

Where to see them

Around any kind of water – garden ponds, lakes, rivers and even on estuaries. Sometimes, grey herons circle high up into the sky and can be mistaken for large birds of prey.

Monday 24 February 2014

Part 8. Slimbridge WWT. Bewick's Swan [Cygnus columbianus]

Adults are white all over and young birds greyish with a pinkish bill. Compared to the similar whooper swan, these swans have proportionally more black and less yellow on their bill. They're also smaller than both mute and whooper swans and have faster wingbeats. [RSPB]

Saturday 22 February 2014

Friday 21 February 2014

Part 5 Slimbridge. Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)

This is a big, colourful duck, bigger than a mallard but smaller than a goose. Both sexes have a dark green head and neck, a chestnut belly stripe and a red bill.

We're asleep, go away!!
 I am here, wide awake
 Let us snore, please

Ha ha, NOPE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Tuesday 18 February 2014

Pintail [Anas acuta]

This week I'll be showing you the trip to Slimbridge WWT, by me and Callum. This trip was designed to make it the trip of hides, all were taken and natural, lovely.
Slightly bigger than a mallard, these long-necked and small-headed ducks fly with a curved back pointed wings and a tapering tail, making this the best way to distinguish them from other ducks in the UK. The pintail is a 'quarry' species, meaning that it can be legally shot in winter, but - unlike in parts of Europe - it does not appear that shooting is affecting their population status in the UK. The small breeding population and significant winter population make them an Amber List species.

 Woops, lost my head

Monday 17 February 2014

Oystercatcher [Haematopus ostralegus]

The oystercatcher is a large, stocky, black and white wading bird. It has a long, orange-red bill and reddish-pink legs. In flight, it shows a wide white wing-stripe, a black tail, and a white rump that extends as a 'V' between the wings. Because it eats cockles, the population is vulnerable if cockle beds are overexploited. Breeds on almost all UK coasts; over the last 50 years, more birds have started breeding inland. Most UK birds spend the winter on the coast; where they are joined on the east coast by birds from Norway.[RSPB]