Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday 209 - Shoveler

You can get yourself into all kinds of trouble if you start talking about what bird is your favourite - and if I had to wade into the pool of troubled water, the Shoveler would be very near the top of my list.

The Shoveler or Northern Shoveler depending on mood and geographic location is a splendid duck with a huge beak (or bill!) that never fails to bring a smile to my face.  They sit low in the water, and this sunken look and that huge beak make them easy to spot, even at a distance. Lucky this bird, which was seen from the Loons Hide on Orkney, was not too distant.

The Shoveler (Anas clypeata) is wide spread in the Northern Hemisphere - and we have a similar species in Australia, which, one day, I hope will feature in WBW.

I am struggling with comments at present.  I'll keep posting until the fog clears - with a priority for WBW.  Cheers SM.

Click the blue button and off you go.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Burwick Church, Orkney

Another really busy week - so here are a few images of Burwick Church on South Ronaldsay, Orkney.  I wonder what the average congregation is?

You can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Hot Air

Inspired by politicians of all persuasions - hot air drifting on the wind, with little real control and a good deal of expense.  And I am sure, from up there everything looks fine and dandy!

You can find more sky shots at Sky Watch Friday.  SM

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Wild Bird Wednesday 208 - Grey Shrike-Thrush

Back on home turf for this weeks WBW.

I think everyone has birds that they have trouble seeing - or in this case photographing.  I have struggled (with no good reason) to get anything resembling decent pictures of Grey Shrike-Thrush.  This is not because it is rare, or lives in the depths of a dark and dismal swamps with not light, its just that I did not seem to get decent pictures of this species.

So, when I was out for a morning wander at The Prom a couple of weeks ago I was pleased to encounter this bird.  I think it may have been looking for food from me, as it was hopping around a BBQ area.  I had to disappoint it!

The Grey Shrike-Thrush (Colluricincla harmonica) is about 22-26 cm long and its behaviour (at least on the ground) reminds me of a Song Thrush or a Blackbird.  The common name is a great example of one that makes no real sense, as the bird in neither Shrike nor Thrush.  However, in this case I can see the similarity to Thrushes, and the "shrike" bit comes from the birds powerful beak.  The 'harmonica' part of the formal name refers to the birds musical ability - which is very high.  I always think of the word 'silver' when I hear their ringing call.

One of the reasons I like this bird is that it manages to be magnificent without being colourful.

You may not be surprised to find out that you can join in with WBW by clicking on the blue button below!  SM