Tuesday 27 October 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday 431 - Welcome Swallow

I noticed these Welcome Swallows (Hirundo neoxena) nesting under the covered pavement near our local shops.  The adults were very busy feeding the chicks - which were only a few days of fledging - and the passers by were busy asking me what I was photographing!

The combination of the light from the florescent tube and the shadow under the roof were a bit of a nightmare really, and I should have taken more shots with flash, which is not be preferred lighting source.

Anyway, I got some shots when the adults were on the nest, but I have had to do more post-processing than normal of these shots (I think you can tell).

The other welcome news from this part of the world is that some of pour lockdown restriction will end tonight - and (with a bit of luck) even more will be relaxed in two weeks.  Which means I will be able to go walking and birding in areas that are not distinctly urban!

Stay well, and don't forget to link up to WBW!  SM

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Tuesday 20 October 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday 430 - Red Wattlebird

These are some shots of our semi-resident Red Wattlebirds (Anthochaera carunculata) feeding on the flowers of a large Echium bush.  These birds are common and conspicuous in SE Australia, as they are often noisy and very active.

The red wattles that give it its name can be seen on its face in most of these pictures - the yellow underbelly seems to have been overlooked!

These birds did not seem to mind me sitting in the garden with lens, camera and tripod.  I have to say it was one of the best half hours of time I have had since we went into lock down.

(Thankfully our Covid 19 numbers here are now very low, so a more normal life may be just around the corner.  I cannot wait, as I am just about at the end of my tether!)

All these pictures will look better if you click on them to see a larger version.

Stay safe and well, and dont forget to join in with WBW by clicking the link below.  SM

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Tuesday 13 October 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday 429 - Australasian Swamphen

I have featured Australasian Swamphens (Porphyrio melanotus) on WBW a number of times.  Given that these birds live in (on?) the closest patch of wetland to my house, there is a reasonable possibility that this very bird has been on WBW a number of times.

A few days ago I took advantage of the (slight) change in the lock down rules to visit the wetland with a camera.  Prior to these changes I had not been allowed to carry a camera when I went for my daily walks.  

This bird was pulling single 'reed' stalks from clumps and then eating, what seems to be, the fleshy base.

I was tempted to call this WBW "Beaks and Feets" - but common sense got the better of me!

Stay well and don't forget to link up to WBW.  SM

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Tuesday 6 October 2020

Wild Bird Wednesday 428 - Common Eider

The Common Eider (Somateria mollissima) is a sea-duck found on the seas around northern Europe, America and Siberia. It breeds in the Arctic,  but comes south in the winter.  When I lived in the North of England, the arrival of this duck was a sure sign that winter was coming.

The bird has a couple of other common names, including St. Cuthbert's Duck and Cuddy's Duck.  The famous Eider down is (or at least was) harvested from the nests of these birds.  The scientific name of this bird refers to the warmth and softness of its feathers.

These pictures may not be the best I have ever taken, but they were taken in very gloomy conditions in Bergen in Norway in the winter.  While not being north of the Arctic Circle it was close! I have used some new software to reduce the noise in the pictures caused by the need to use a high ISO rating - the result seem pretty good.

These images need to be seem in an enlarged form to see them at their best.  Click on the image to make it larger.

I have just been 'passed' significant amount of new work - so please excuse my limited visits to other blogs of late.

Stay well and don't forget to link up to WBW.  SM

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