Friday, 4 February 2011

Thinking Ahead.

The weather changed back to damp and grey today so I thought I would catch up on some paperwork plus some planning for some bird walks in the Spring. I recently heard from my contacts at Hatchlands (National Trust) and have agreed to lead another 'Dawn Chorus Walk' there on 1st May at 5am. [Click the link above and then 'Events at this property for booking info]. As it has been advertised in their regional newsletter I'm hopeful that a decent number will turn up if only for the bacon sarnies afterwards! Later this month I will start a series of visits there (early am) to see if I can photograph some of the resident species. I have also offered to lead some walks for my ex-RHS colleagues so that should be fun to catch up with them all again. 

I still have some work to do sorting through images I have saved for a couple of future posts but in the meantime I'll leave you with a couple of shots of a brown duck whose partner is much more colourful but I just liked the muted brown shadows cast on the water from the surrounding vegetation which I think compliment this delightful female.

 Tufted Duck (female) - Aythya fuligula

Whatever the weather and wherever you are ... have a fun wildlife watching weekend.  FAB.


  1. She's a beauty! We had a lone male show up along the Kennebec River in Maine a couple of winters ago causing quite a stir among the local birders. We practically turned ourselves inside out to observe him and it was fa-reezing out there. But the long trip was well worth the effort! ~karen

  2. Frank can I just tell you how much I love it when you post these tufted duck images. They are the most adorable of all ducks. I love the chocolate brown and the tuft. Carol

  3. I like both these! The reflections on the water always add interest and dimension. Nice work, Frank.

  4. ...her soft browns are beautiful, and I love the water droplets decorating her back. (I guess May will be here before we know it, but it seems a long way off now. You really are an Early Birder starting out at 5:00 a.m.!) Have a good weekend...

  5. hi Frank...Seems you have got some things layed out ahead of you to keep busy!!
    The photos are just so nice and your right the colors all complment each well!!
    I love the beads of water rolling of her back!!
    Hope your weekend is of to a good start!!

  6. Good luck with the walks Frank; I'm sure they'll be a great success.

    Lovely shots of the tufty.

  7. Hi Frank, beautiful images.....brown is often viewed as dull but the patterns and different shades are lovely.

    I have been watching a pair of reed buntings in the garden....I am smitten. Such lovely birds, especially the male.....could watch him all day.....browns are often as striking as coloured birds....

    Have a good weekend.

  8. Sounds like a busy & yet organized time! Lovely photos!

  9. That a lovely image of the Tufted duck great colours and composition.

  10. Cool bird! Show us her companion soon!

  11. Hi Karen. Interesting comparison with hunting for a rarity is that over here I would be Looking out for a Scaup (fairly common for you I suspect).

    Hi Carol. The females of many species are often overlooked but I enjoyed my limited time with this smart lady.

    Thank you Mona.

    Hi Kelly. Yes, lovely colours particularly when the light is not harsh. I guess the time to May will fly by as usual. Sunrise is 5.30 at that time hence the early kick off to initially listen to the orchestra. Just praying for fine weather.

  12. Hi Grammie. Well you know about the best laid plans ... I just hope they all come to fruition. Sorry to say today is grey and very windy so chilling out indoors.

    Thanks Keith ... we must get together again when the better weather turns up.

    Hi Cheryl. I agree we shouldn't dismiss the brown birds out of hand. Reed Buntings in the garden I jealous .. you bet. Enjoy them while they are around and hope you get a chance of some pics.

    Cheers Sarah. Spring always bring renewed enthusiasm for all sorts of projects.

    Thank you very much Anthony.

    Hi Amila. I did post both male and female a little while back. Check this out:

  13. I would love to see that cute tufted head of the male. The subtle colors of the female are nice also.

  14. Beautiful shots Frank... She is beautiful and you caught them very well!

  15. Beautiful photos, Frank! I think the water drops really add to the photos.

  16. Ah, lovely images once again. I hope your cold and rain soon turns into a warm Spring. :)


  17. Hi Frank, reed buntings still with me. I am trying to get a decent photo, all I have are blurred images at the moment. It is also hard to spot them amongst the dozens of sparrows that are frequenting the gardens at the moment. This is the second winter they have visited. They are so charming.

    We have a river at the end of the road, they have obviously decided to join the sparrows for breakfast and tea.

  18. Hi Kathie. Well I have posted a few males but I'm sure to catch up with some more before winter is out.

    Thanks Chris.

    Cheers Willard.

    Hi Cheryl. Strangely enough I regularly have the same problem catching the small birds wherever they are in the garden. Often the best opportunity presents itself when you least expect it so keep trying.

  19. Hi Lois. I think the plants and the wildlife are all wishing for the sunshine but it may not be for a while yet!

  20. Frank these are really fine images and I always enjoy seeing the ducks with the feather tuffs on their heads, how delightful they are. Have a swell week~

  21. Hi Mary. Yes, they are a very delightful species. The winds are very strong at the moment with more rain forecast so not sure how my week will turn out.

  22. Hi Jann E and Kerri. Delighted you enjoyed them as much as me.


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