Friday, 2 March 2012

Ducks and Drakes

I was just about to publish this post, when Pam alerted me to this Badger, that was wandering about under the bird feeders.

It appears that it isn't just Chaffinches that like hoovering up the sunflower seeds that the Greenfinches and Goldfinches drop from the feeders.

I had to go into Deal this afternoon, and although it was extremely foggy from St Margaret's to Walmer it seemed a bit clearer in Deal. As I was there I couldn't resist a trip along the Ancient Highway to the Restharrow Scrape.

The light was far from perfect but the Great Black-backed Gulls on the furthest island were quite visible, a considerable improvement on the visibility at home.

With lots of water around there were a good number of birds on the scrape. Some had caught the spring mood and others, like this Wigeon were more concerned with feeding.

Or in the case of most of the Shovelers sleeping was the main occupation. One Shelduck was with then, but it was just taking a rest from the noisy courting that was going on.

The Shelducks were very vocal and a lot on head waving and bill dipping was going on.

When the excitement reached a peak a bit of chasing around in short flights seemed be be the order of the day.

The larger knob on the bill shows this one to be the male.

Once they had done a circuit, with the high pitched whistle as the musical accompaniment they soon settled to to a bit more less energetic pair bonding.

There seemed to be two pairs of Dabchicks sorting out their domestic arrangements.

Although they are not yet in their full breeding plumage they remain very attractive little birds.

In their normal post they seem like small fluffy balls, with no nect or tail apparent.

When the get a bit excited and stretch out they became an entirely different shape, almost reaching the shape of a Black-necked Grebe. They are always entertaining and the sound of their bray is one of may favourite calls.

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