Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Having A Grouse

As if the weather wasn’t bad enough. Since the weekend I’ve had my annual bout of the common cold to contend with, not that I’m one to exaggerate symptoms or to grumble as Sue will readily testify. 

Wiki - “The common cold (also known as nasopharyngitis, rhinopharyngitis, acute coryza, head cold, or simply a cold) is a viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory tract which primarily affects the nose. Symptoms include coughing, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, and fever which usually resolve in seven to ten days, with some symptoms lasting up to three weeks. Well over 200 virus strains are implicated in the cause of the common cold; the rhinoviruses are the most common. 

No cure for the common cold exists, but the symptoms can be treated. It is the most frequent infectious disease in humans with the average adult contracting two to three colds a year and the average child contracting between six and twelve. These infections have been with humanity since antiquity.” 

So I wasn’t going far this morning, just sticking to the car with both the hot air blower and the heated seat turned to “max”. 

With half-decent light for a change I headed up to Glasson Dock hoping to get better shots of the 10/15 Common Goldeneyes regular on the marina there. 

From Wiki again - "Goldeneye and Whistler are common names for a species of small tree-hole nesting northern hemisphere sea ducks belonging to the genus Bucephala. The plumage is black and white. Goldeneyes eat fish, crustaceans and other marine life. The "Whistler" name comes from the noise their beating wings make in flight. 

The Bufflehead was formerly separated in its own genus Charitonetta, while the goldeneyes proper were mistakenly placed in Clangula (as Clangula americana), the genus of the Long-tailed Duck which at that time was placed in Harelda.  

The three living species are: 
  • Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula: they have black bills. Males have a dark green head with a white spot near the bill, under their eye. Females have brown heads.
  • Barrow's Goldeneye Bucephala islandica  
  • Bufflehead Bucephala albeola 
Known fossil taxa are: 
Bucephala cereti (Sajóvölgyi Middle Miocene of Mátraszõlõs, Hungary - Late Pliocene of Chilhac, France) 
Bucephala ossivalis (Late Miocene/Early Pliocene of Bone Valley, USA), which was very similar to the Common Goldeneye and may even have been a paleosubspecies or direct ancestor.
Bucephala fossilis (Late Pliocene of California, USA) 
Bucephala angustipes (Early Pleistocene of central Europe) Bucephala sp. (Early Pleistocene of Dursunlu, Turkey: Louchart et al. 1998)".

Barrow's Goldeneye -Photo Andrew Reding / / CC BY-NC-ND 

Bufflehead female: Photo / CC BY-SA 

Bufflehead male - Photo: flythebirdpath~}~}~} / / CC BY-NC 

Common Goldeneye is the default goldeneye of the UK, the other two species being but rare visitors when poor weather blows them across the Atlantic Ocean - in that case we could be in for one of either pretty soon. 

Below are my efforts at the Common Goldeneyes of today. Far from perfect pictures, the birds wary in being too close but I was able to use IS400 in today’s better light. Inevitably I took more pictures of the males than of females. Sorry girls, but you have to admit that in some animals the average male of the species is better looking than the run of the mill female.

Common Goldeneye

Common Goldeneye

Common Goldeneye

Common Goldeneye

Common Goldeneye

So Wiki, here a “cure” to the common cold. A bedtime glass or two of the common Grouse, readily obtained from your local supermarket or corner shop. The amber liquid may not actually cure the dreaded sniffles but it’s guaranteed to warm the cockles of your heart and give a good night’s sleep.

 The Famous Grouse

If the cure works the blog should be up and running as normal very soon.

Stay tuned, but stay sober. Linking today to Eileen's Saturday Blog and Camera Critters.


Lew Newman said...

Heated Seat! Whatever next? You call us soft! On another tack - have you ringed G'eye? Dream birds!!!

Gordon said...

Nice one Phil, interesting naration, totally agree as regards the Grouse, also Jack Danials, (a Christmas gift)
And great shots of the Goldeneye.
All the best , hope the cold soon goes, Gordon.

Carole M. said...

is it just an Aussie-ism, that when something is grouse --- it's darn good?! Sounds like you're nurturing that virus in a grand way Phil. Good that you could get out at least and picked up some nice photos too.

eileeninmd said...

A great series of ducks shots, Phil! I hope you are feeling better today.

Stuart Price said...

Hope your cold disappears soon, I got my annual one at Christmas................

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

My husband's cure has a wild turkey on the label... just something about those game birds is very healing ;>)! You were brave to go out at all when you're under the weather -- especially IN this weather! Get well soon.

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Phil. Great shots of the ducks. Hope you are feeling better soon.

KK said...

I thought only in peacocks the males looked better. But I get it now, the males in most bird species need to be good looking in order to attract females.

Get well soon, Phil.

The happy wanderer. said...

I hope you're over your cold by now. It's a lovely image of the Goldeneye male, and I'm hoping to see them in the U.S. soon.

Sandy Kessler said...

excellen t !!

TexWisGirl said...

lovely shots of the goldeneye beauties! and i like bourbon for my 'warming the cockles of my heart' remedy. :)

Gunilla Bäck said...

I hope you feel better soon. The goldeneyes are beautiful.

HansHB said...

Awesome photos!
The grouse is perfect!

Adam Jones said...

Lovely Goldeneye shots. Get well soon.

Adam Jones said...

Lovely Goldeneye shots. Hope you get well soon.

Karen said...

You got some great shots Phil. I like the male Bufflehead. Hope the cure worked and you are feeling much better.

Stewart M said...

And if the cure does not work the first time, I think you should keep trying until it does!

That normally works for me!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Menachery said...

im not a bird person , however i lovedd the clicks of Goldeneye :) . Hope u doin betta

Anni said...

The goldeneye is gorgeous!! And I'm jealous...this kind of photo of the bufflehead [male] is just what I've been trying to capture. But I'll take a swig of the Goose with you!!

Feel better soon.

Anni said...

...guess I've had one too many's NOT goose, it's grouse. I knew that, honestly,....I was just testing you. [insert wink]

Rebecca said...

Great series of photos! Wild Turkey Bourbon might be another cure...

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Great series of Goldeneye shots, and the gouse isn't bad either!

Wally Jones said...

Hope you are feeling much better by now!

Interesting information on the Goldeneye and Bufflehead.
Very nice photographs you took!

Here's to individually successful cures for the common cold!

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