Thursday, 29 April 2010

The Moorhen.

The Moorhen (Gallinula Chloropus) is a member of the rail family and the most obvious ID features are the red frontal shield with its waxy yellow tip, just as if it has been dipped in poster paint; a broken white line separating the wings from the belly..... 
and not least (often the most common view FOR ME) the predominant white sides to the undertail.
It often looks as if it is making heavy weather when swimming with the exaggerated nodding of it head in time with the stroke of its feet just like a cyclist labouring uphill.
An amphibious bird that easily walks on waterborne vegetation as well as climbing expertly into the branches of trees. The Moohen, unlike the Coot, rarely dives but picks its food (pondweed, duckweed, leaves of waterside plants, insects, worms etc) from the water surface as it swims.    FAB.

16 comments:

  1. Beautiful images. Thank you.

    Lois

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  2. Frank,
    Great post, informative as always! In fact, as you pointed out the white markings under the tail I realized that we had been watching moorhens by the dock a couple of months ago when my mind was just saying "coot." I had a fuzzy photo or two and sure enough--Common Moorhens. I remembered my neighbor describing the view as they paddled away! Coots (a more numerous species for us) have a much smaller patch of white.
    Thanks for your nice blog and photos! I enjoy it all.
    Kay

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  3. ...I love that bill and face shield. It looks like it was formed out of wax and pressed on for effect (or battle!). Beautiful photos...

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  4. What a photogenic fellow he is--with that bright bill--and especially that cute little butt shot!! :~} Nice!!!

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  5. Lois. Thanks.

    Kay. Glad to be of some help with the rear-end ID! Lol. Coots are also far more numerous over here as well.

    Kelly. A wax face mask..love the idea!

    grammie g. Rarely obliges with a head on portrait!

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  6. I'm not surprised they can 'walk on water', well on the vegetation anyway, with their enormous green feet. Such a strange mixture of colours they have. Great set of photos.

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  7. Hi Frank, its so nice to be back :)

    Lovely photos and yes I agree, and was only thinking the other day, while watching one, they do seem to make heavy weather of swimming. Their huge feet always make me smile too.

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  8. Wow, what a cool-looking bird!

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  9. Very very cool! I LOVE that you gave us an "all around" view! Wonderful post!

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  10. Your post was especially interesting as just yesterday I was in at the Gympie park and lake and photographing the Moorhens there. They are very similar looking but do not have the white markings on the side. Ours are called Dusky Moorhens - Gallinula tenebrosa. I must post the photos soon.

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  11. Those are great shots of the moorhen! Love the smudge of red..looks like fimo or playdough just kind of put there!

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  12. Midmarsh John. Surprisingly quite dainty despite their big feet!

    Shysongbird. Great to hear from you Jan. They would probably swim better if they had webbed feet!

    Jen. Sure is.

    Kerri Just as well it turned around otherwise it would be REAR View only! Lol.

    mick. I'll look forward to checking our the Dusky version.

    Susan. Cheers. I think they called it 'plastacine' when I was a youngster!

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  13. A Beautiful bird, captured well and then add in the perfect water reflection of same, fantastic Frank!

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  14. Have always liked the Moorhen Frank, nice colouring. It reminds me of my boyhood days when it was one of the birds that I an certainly remember from those days

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  15. Your photographs always capture the very essence of the subject.
    Moorhens are frequent visitors to my garden. They often come to pick insects from the overgrown vegetation......

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  16. Mary. Thanks, the conditions were very good on this ocassion.

    Roy. Cheers. You obviously have a good long memory!

    Cheryl. Thanks, I try my best. Lucky you to have these visiting you as unpaid 'gardeners'!

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