Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Great Crested Grebe

Podiceps cristatus

The largest European grebes with a slender white neck in all plumages. In winter the face is mostly pale with just a narrow black, slightly crested, cap. In summer this pattern develops into elaborate black and chestnut plumes called tippets.

They dive to feed and also to escape, preferring this to flying.

Their courtship displays are remarkable. Most commonly they involve both members of a pair facing each other on the water and repeatedly shaking their heads or quickly turning the head away and touching their back. Such birds may then swim away, dive for nesting material then swim towards each other with their necks out flat on the water in front of them.

When they meet, they rise up together as if they're standing on the water facing each other, beaks full of vegetation, waving their heads from side to side and paddling like fury with their feet.

The standing posture gives this the name of ‘Penguin display’

Like other grebes, they will carry their young on their backs.

Their diet includes, fish, insects, amphibians and occasionally vegetable matter.

Territory disputes can be vicious affairs, sometimes involving two or more birds,

The young are independent at about 6 weeks, having the ability to dive from a very early age, and are tended by both adults.

For more birds, from around the world, click on the picture below

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Weekend Waxwings

As I came out of the doctors on Friday, I saw a sight better than any medicine I’ve been prescribed.


And they were practically at the bottom of my road.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The day before, at a local retail park, there were another group, about 100 strong. A short video from that morning.

Enjoy your weekend

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

A double

A bit of a double for me today.

It's 2 years to the day, that I started this blog, and it also happens to be World Bird Wednesday; so here's a look back into some of the archives.

Little Egret coming in to land


Great Reed Warbler. (my first rarity)

Blue Tit



Willow Warbler

Great Crested Grebe on her nest

Loving couple------Black Swan and Mute Swan


Great Tit

and I'll finish with a singing Robin

Hope you enjoyed the wander through the archives.


For many more birds, from around the world, click the image below.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Into the weekend

A few birds to take us into the weekend

 Male Mallard

 Female Mallard

 Male Pochard

 Black Swan


 Male Chaffinch

 Female Reed Bunting

Enjoy your weekend

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Wonderful Waxwings

Sunday, the 9th of January, will be a day I’ll remember.

This winter has seen an unusually large number of Waxwings in the country. The term used is an ‘irruption’, I believe.
I call it, ‘bloody amazing’. Reports up and down the country of large and small numbers of these beautiful birds; there’s sure to be, or have been, some near you.

Our local Tesco car park, at Bletchley, played host to a large flock, for a few days prior to my visit on Sunday. A lot of local birders had been to see them, and take pictures, so I thought I should make the effort too.

A frosty start to the day, with the promise of sun later; perfect.

I set off to my local lake first, topped up the seed on the little bridge, then went to the shops.

I parked the car in a deserted car park, and waited. I wasn’t sure how many would be here, if at all, or when they would arrive, or where they would settle.

It was just beginning to get light, and the first wave of 40 or more birds noisily arrived, and settled in a tree, just along from where I was parked. Almost immediately, another large group arrived, and joined them.

They sat chattering in the tree, and then suddenly all took to the air, as more birds swirled in to join the growing numbers.
It reminded me of a Starling roost. Groups of birds would break off, fly around, and then regroup, and finally settle in one or two trees.

I was in danger of filling up my memory card in the camera; I was taking so many pictures.

There must have been a couple of hundred altogether. A fantastic sight to see. I stayed for a couple of hours, and as the sun rose, it was even more spectacular.

An angry Mistle Thrush was frantically guarding ‘his’ tree, from these ‘invaders’, and calling for reinforcements.

Four more reinforcements soon arrived, and the car park became the setting for lots of flying around, and positioning.

Plenty of pictures taken, but none really special. No amazing close ups, no berry juggling, no hanging upside down……..just lots of shots from an amazing morning, spent in the company of amazing birds.

Waxwing invasion from holdingmoments on Vimeo.

As an interesting footnote to this, one of the birds I got a picture of, had at least two coloured rings visible on the right leg; red over white. It seems this bird may have been ringed, with quite a few others, in Aberdeen, Scotland, between late October and late November. 
A distance of about 350 miles, (564.76km), in their search for food across the UK.

I’ll never moan about having to walk to the local shops again, for a loaf of bread.

For more great birds, click the picture below