Friday, July 11, 2014

Two Kings And An Emperor

Just lately Glasson Dock has been more bird productive than the “hotspot” of Conder Green where the dry weather and resulting low water levels have conspired to reduce bird numbers. 

So this morning I “did” Glasson first only later venturing to CG. I was pleased I did after spotting two Kingfishers having a territorial ding-dong, one chasing the other across the water in all directions until peace was restored. Winning such a productive fishing spot as Glasson Dock is a good prize for a Kingfisher. 

Kingfisher

The Kingfishers weren't the only birds looking for breakfast. Great Crested Grebes come and go from the saline estuary for a change of diet in the fresh water dock and yacht basin, their visits usually confined to single birds. Single pairs do sometimes breed in the yacht basin but not this year. 

This wasn’t the same bird as a week ago, this one much shyer and less approachable. In the second picture below the grebe’s huge, ungainly foot with lobed toes is visible. Each toe is separate on the foot (the opposite of this is webbed feet, as in ducks and geese). Some grebes find it difficult to walk on land because their feet are so big, and are much better at swimming and diving in water. 

Great Crested Grebe 

Great Crested Grebe

There have been a few strangers with cameras lately, twitchers hoping to see Otters, or “supposed otters” as one person advised me today. After taking umbrage at that comment I failed to advise him that wearing a bright blue shirt, white shorts and a large white hat is probably not the best way to see shy creatures like Otters. 

I didn’t see Otters either. There were 2 Common Terns which flew in from the estuary and began to use the distant pontoons as a base from which to launch periodic flights over the water, hoping to mop-up any leftovers from the gulls. There was a single Grey Wagtail again, 6 Pied Wagtails and 4 Tufted Duck. 

 Lesser Black-backed Gull

Along the canal towpath were 8/10 Swallows, 5 Sedge Warbler, 4 Reed Warbler, 1 Blackcap plus several Goldfinch and Linnet. 

Swallow

I came across an Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator, a female laying eggs in the surface weed. It’s not the best photograph probably because I had to use a 400mm. 

Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator

Eventually I found myself at Conder Green where a “birder” was leaving the public view point which overlooks the pool and creeks. He got into a grey coloured Citroen Picasso and drove off. Only then did I realise the true purpose of the visit as not bird watching but to deposit his nasty business. There truly are some despicable and disgusting people on Earth. 

As you were with waders and herons: 10 Common Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 1 Black-tailed Godwit, 15 Oystercatcher, 3 Grey Heron and 2 Little Egret. 

The Oystercatchers are still making lots of noise as they go through their ritual flying displays, in close formation up to six in the air at a time,  despite their breeding season being over.. 

 Oystercatcher

Two Reed Bunting and a single Chiffchaff in song plus two parties of Whitethroats which totalled 11 individuals in all. 

Log in soon for more majestic birding from Another Bird Blog.

Linking today to Anni's birding Blog and  Eileen's Saturday Blog.

17 comments:

Stuart Price said...

You're getting some pretty decent Kingfisher pics these days Phil.............

eileeninmd said...

Awesome shot of the Kingfisher.. And I love the Oystercatchers in flight! Great variety of birds and photos.. Happy weekend!

Andrew Fulton said...

Wonderful images Phil and a great post to read...

Susan said...

Lovely photos, Phil! I wanted to say Thank You for visiting my blog and following. Have a great weekend!- Susan

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Phil That Kingfisher seems to be cooperating with you for you to get even more shots of him. Love the G C Grebe shots and their reflections. Have a wonderful weekend.

Bob Bushell said...

The Kingfisher is outstanding, well done Phil.

Errol Newman said...

Good variety there, Phil. Busy season on its way soon! Just don't run out of SD power!

eileeninmd said...

Phil, stopping back to say thanks for linking up with my critter party. Enjoy your weekend!

TexWisGirl said...

just gorgeous, again. :)

carol l mckenna said...

Wow! Great photography of nature's bird gems ~ thanks, ^_^

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

Christian Weiß said...

Stunning photo of the kingfisher and wonderful birds.

Adam Jones said...

Great pictures Phil, and a very smart looking GC Grebe.

Janice Adcock said...

Beautiful King, love the reflections of the grebe.

Betsy Brock said...

Gorgeous! I love those oyster catchers...never heard of those before!

Anni said...

I know I sound like a broken record but it's true...your posts are always such a delightful read...and the photos are always extraordinary.

Thanks for linking up this weekend at the Bird D'Pot!!

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

Great detail on the kingfisher shot, and the flight image of the oystercatchers is stunning!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

The picture of the oystercatchers in flight is absolutely heart-stopping. Incredible. I do love all your birds so much and every picture is perfect, but that one ... words fail me.

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