Birds on a perch

Blogging challenges, Wildlife

Birds perch anywhere:

On a railing?  They don’t care.

On a chimney, on a stone,

just so they can be alone.

At other times they want to chat –

be Jesus’ buddy, Neptune’s hat.

Cormorants and herons, on the whole

are happiest atop a pole.

Heron and cormorant at L’Albufera de València

The robin, sparrow and the thrush 

are more at home on tree or bush.

And swallows, who don’t watch TV,

find aerials are first degree.

Swallow on the house next door

But strange to say, it’s just sometimes 

that cormorants will sit in lines.

Cormorants on the River Thames in London

Most birds will always go and search 

a mate, a nest, and perfect perch.

Parakeet in Málaga

A silly entry to Our Eyes Open Bird Weekly Photo Challenge: Birds Perched Up

Flying over the house

North Yorkshire, Wildlife

From a bird’s point of view, though not from a human’s, our local patch is a watery world. Our nearby town of Ripon has three rivers and one canal. The River Ure passes our house. Gravel extraction is a local industry, and once exhausted, these sites are made over to wetland nature reserves. Geese flock here. Autumn and spring are the times when large V-shaped formations pass noisily over the house, honking and calling. The feature photo shows just two – are they greylags? I don’t know. Herons are here – yesterday we watched as one heaved itself from the river, and, battling against the prevailing wind, launched itself towards a distant stand of trees, where it circled, circled, before finally finding its perch. Black-headed gulls follow the farmers as they plough and harvest. I was going to go on a trip to look at coastal birds too, but no – let’s stay local.

Bird Weekly Photo Challenge

A cheery post for a cold bright day

Blogging challenges, Wildlife

What a difference. Exactly a year ago, on 13th April 2020, I spotted my first mallard ducklings of the year, with their unusually attentive father shepherding them around the village pond. This year, night temperatures are below freezing, and there are gusty winds most days. Despite the sunshine, I think we’ll have to wait a little longer to see this year’s first brood. Let’s plunder the archives for some memories.

Bright Square

Bird Weekly Photo Challenge

The well-travelled heron

Blogging challenges, North Yorkshire, South Korea, Travelling in Europe, Wildlife

I am an occasional contributor to the Bird Weekly Photo Challenge: and this week’s appealed. Birds that eat fish as their primary diet. Well, I have images of gannets, gulls and guillemots. I have puffins, though not a single photo features one with a beak crammed with sand eels.

But the fish-eater I love the most is the bird I so often see snaffling goldfish from our landlord’s pond: or as I walk the banks of our neighbourhood River Ure : the one I spot as I hang over the sides of bridges and boats in Spain: the one fishing in among the townhouses of Dordrecht, the Netherlands: the one in my featured photo who was flying down the canal-side in Busan South Korea. It’s the heron, the grey heron.

Click on any image to see it full size

Birds on a wire, a bird on the pier

Blogging challenges, Wildlife

It’s not quite the right time of year for birds en masse to gather on a wire. That was last September, when birds of various kinds gathered on the telegraph wires near our house to plan their trip, perhaps to Africa, in complete defiance of current travel restrictions Here they are, in my featured photo.

And here are a few more. They’re not emigrating. I showed the stonechat quite recently, but I like him, so here he is again, looking splendid in his best spring-time feathers.

Click on any image to view it full size.

The cormorant reminds me of a poem I learnt as a child, and which I will still recite at the least provocation:

The Common Cormorant

The Common Cormorant or shag

Lays eggs inside a paper bag.

The reason you will see no doubt

It is to keep the lightning out.

But what these unobservant birds

Have never noticed is that herds

Of wandering bears may come with buns

And steal the bags to hold the crumbs.

Christopher Isherwood

Bird Weekly Photo Challenge

Up tails all!

Blogging challenges, Wildlife
All along the backwater,
Through the rushes tall,
Ducks are a-dabbling,
Up tails all!

Kenneth Grahame: The Wind in the Willows

These are not the best pictures of shelducks that you’ll ever see, but there’s a limit to what zooming can do. I’ll turn to Wikimedia Commons to help me out.

Common Shelduck: Wikimedia Commons, I CBurnett

Bird Weekly Photo Challenge

Square Up