Monday, 6 April 2009

The Gentle Moorhen?

After a short walk at St Margaret's and once again failing to get pictures of the Meadow Pipit in its parachuting song flight I intend to get I met Ben Ring in the car park. He told me that the Drake Scaup was still on the Restharrow scrape, so I decided to take a look.

The Scaup was there, but at the far end of the lake, meanwhile near by a couple of Moorhens were providing the entertainment. For some reason I normally think of Coots as pugnacious and Moorhens as essentially gentle and quiet birds, but these two proved me wrong.
After the "fisticuffs" the victor saw off the vanquished, although I must admit it didn't last for long and the loser was back for another round a few minutes later.

In the meantime the drake Scaup had worked its way much closer. It even managed to get into an area when the light wasn't too bad.

I was diving all the time and certainly gave the impression of being a healthy bird. Wintering birds, in castal locations, feed mainly on crustaceans, but according to BWP (Birds of the Western Palearctic) they are omniverous and in some habitats seeds form an important part of their diet.

Sometimes it lifted quite high out of the water when it dived,

The back end I'm sure will prove a useful picture in a quiz a sometime.

While I was watching the Scaup a noisy Little Ringed Plover flew round before landing on the Island for a few minutes. Here it was joined by a Redshank and they were quietly working their way round the edge until they were disturbed by a couple of quarrelsome Canada Geese.

The fighting theme continues when a Lapwing and Jackdaw duelled overhead for a few minutes. I wasn't all that clear which was chasing which as they seemed to take in in turns to be chaser and chased.

Back at Home a male Brambling was feeding very near to the house. I hope this will be the first of a decent number over the next few days, the males plumage is certainly stunning.


Birdingben said...

Glad you managed to catch up with the Scaup & it was a bit more photogenic than at 6:45am!
Better luck next time(?!) with the Mipits!

Tony Morris said...

Thanks Ben, yes it got quite close. Not the best angle for the llight, but OK.