Monday, 18 February 2008

Bathing for birds

It was the coldest night of the year last night, so this little fountain was the only water in the garden, for the birds, that wasn't frozen.

I watched a Blackbird having a nice shower under the water "curtain" but didn't open the the window to photograph it in case I interrupted its bathing. If you do feed the birds don't forget that water is just as important.

I've always been intrigued by the changes that the angle of the sun, during the times of the day and the days of the year, makes to the colours and the shadows in any view. The prime example is the grand Canyon, it constantly changes each time you look at it. In a much more subtle way the same can be said about the views here, particularly the cliffs and the bay, where the shadows from the cliffs and the colour of the sea and sky are perpetually changing.

At low tide the long fingers of chalky rocks going out into the bay make it so different to the shape at high tide. The low angle of the sun at the end of day changes the sea and sky from the sharp colours of the earlier clear, sharp morning air.

In the previous posts I seem only to have mentioned birds that have benefited from habitat changes that have occurred over time. Above are two species that are under pressure because of the loss of wet grasslands and marshes. They both do well in managed reserves but our agricultural land is now much more drained than pre-industrialisation and very few of the wet areas needed for breeding Snipe and Redshank remain in most farmland.

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