Nature Photo Challenge: Patterns

Another day, another challenge. This one is from Denzil, of Denzil Nature. He invites us to find and photograph patterns in nature. Nature provides such a rich variety that it’s hard to know where to start. In the end, I thought I’d stick with – birds.

There are understated patterns. Look how the curlew blends in with the rough grasses of its moorland habitat:

The patterned curlew blends in so well with the less-than patterned grasses

There are ones that are slightly less understated. These sparrows in a Berlin café planned on stealing a few crumbs.

Then there’s this female mallard. Understated too, but with a soupçon of energising colour.

Here’s a puffin. That assertively-painted beak begs to be noticed too.

We’re getting gaudier now: this mandarin duck appeared – just once – on a local pond.

Even the pond water has rippling patterns.

Showiest of all, the peacock. From respondent tail feathers to elegant headdress, this bird is a symphony of pattern.

The header photo shows a murmuration of starlings. Here, at this time of year, just before nightfall, the birds regularly fill the skies with a constant swirl and swoop of pattern-making . You can read about it here, and – especially – here, when thousands of birds chose our garden for their evening display.