Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Flying By

I had an hour to myself in the Restharrow Scrape hide. It is amazing how close the birds come if you open the shutters very quietly and there's not talking in the hide. There was nothing exceptional, no early migrants or lingering cold weather refugees, but there were lots of Lapwings and Shovelers.

Lapwings are of course maned after their large wings and there are exceptional fliers, especially when displaying over their territories and tumbling in the air. Even when flying round their feeding and resting areas they make great subjects, with their striking patterns and formation flying.

It is interesting how the pale tips to the primaries turn up.

From this angle to wing are looks very large for the size of the bird, I guess this is what enables it to do it's rolling and tumbling when it is displaying.

Pam says it looks like a Parrot from this angle.

The way the birds fly in coordinated flocks has always amazed me. Today something seemed to be spooking various species out on the marsh at regular intervals and they formed tight flocks, mainly of individual species before settling down again.

the Shovelers were getting quite frisky today, the males deep "took took" calls echoed loudly round the scrape.

All of this prenuptial activity inevitably leads to loots of short flights and splashing down by males.
The suddenly groups take off for a proper fly round. Today it seemed to be a few circuits of the lake before all landing together and continuing the courting rituals and then noisy "tooking"

These three were pat of a larger group, but this grouping made me think of Mrs Wilson and the 10 Downing Street Ducks, but I think they were Mallards.

It's a good job that I don't use films now, it is so easy to take a few hundred pictures if you don't have to pay for them!


Anonymous said...

Cracking set of photos Tony. Excellent stuff.

Adam said...

You've put me to shame with those Shoveler photos!