Friday, 2 May 2008

From Sea Watch to Puddle Watch

The one thing that is guaranteed, other than death and taxes is that a puddle will attract birds to come down to drink. This puddle near Bockhill Farm is ideally situated. Surrounded by farmland and hedgerows, a good area to park with the light in the right direction, and very little disturbance.

The car makes an ideal hide and fairly quickly a male Linnet came down to drink and bathe. It was quite cautious at first, with the car parked close by, but soon became totally oblivious to me as it spent about 5 minutes splashing about.

One thing I hadn't appreciated was that Linnets have the ability to twirl their heads round like a propeller. I assume that they are on the way to evolving in to a rocket powered finch.

Having bathed it stood and reflected on life for a while before moving off to dry.

In the hedge just behind the puddle a pair of Long-tailed Tits were extremely active, although it seems as if the one above had got an itch that needed scratching.

Meanwhile his partner was collecting feathers to complete the nest that they were building.

Next down was a female Linnet, much plainer than the extrovert male, she nevertheless enjoyed her ablutions just as much as he did.

She's doing an impression of a Mallard up-ending here and then she quickly got into the splashing routine that is so necessary for birds to keep their feathers in good condition.
Obviously a quick try at the backstroke was essential, before she left.

Fairly quickly she was followed but a Meadow Pipit, which was a surprise.This bird showed little caution and quickly got down to work.

It really seemed to relish the job in hand an mixed bouts of energetic bathing with sitting quietly.

When it was resting, or just shivering its wings it often had its beak wide open, looking in total ecstasy.

The last to arrive while I was watching was a Dunnock. Despite their familiarity and close association to people the this was the most wary of all, retreating as soon as the shutter went off the first time.

It came back and eventually got quite used to clicking camera and eventually settled down to an energetic session of bathing.

It took quite a few pictures and it is surprising how many strange positions all the birds got into. They must be quite vulnerably during this time.

Other Birds. Once during my watch all the gulls got up and were alarming, I could see anything, so when I got a message that Richard Jenkinson had watched a Black Kite flying over Loxley I wondered if it was at that time. Later I got a call from Colin Johnson to tell me a Black Kite had just flown over the Western Docks, at Dover, and go on out to sea.

1 comment:

me and my camera said...

Theseare beautiful photos of the Linnet and I especially love its pose and colours when it is the wettest. I often take bird pictures from my car for if I got out the bird would quickly disappear. My car window often doubles as a tripod as I rest my camera on it in a half raised position to focus in for a closeup.