My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
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Sunday, 16 November 2008

A Grey Phalarope Day

A brilliantly grey day when my first garden visitors were (amongst others) 6 Long-tailed Tits, 8 Goldfinches, 6 Greenfinches, 10 Ring-necked Parakeets (in my garden) and 13 more in the nearby Oak Tree (not sure that's something to be celebrated or not though). Not a bad for a day like today thought I!

Having received another message (from my personal bird-alert service :D) that the Grey Phalarope was still in the same place as yesterday (Rick Pond in Home Park, Hampton Court), I headed off this morning. It was grey and drizzly and parking the car wasn't straight forward but never mind.

I found the Phalarope on Rick Pond - and whey hey it was only about 3 metres from the edge. Most of the time it was faced away into the prevailing wind (and rain!) and not much opportunity to get a head-on shot. So I wacked up the ISO to 1600/3200, opened the shutter as much as I dared (wanted depth of field), set shots to continuous shooting and A1 Servo.

What an obliging and beautiful little bird it was too. It was constantly on the move and obviously feeding. Luckily for me, it then decided to have a quick preen. I stayed there for some time (despite the now annoying rain) and hoped for a break in the weather. Patience paid off and for about 3 minutes I had some very weak sunshine.

I'll let the pictures tell the rest. I make no apology for posting so many......

While pausing for some better light, I took the opportunity to catch these.
Canada Geese in flight



Mute swans

- this one (at the rear) was being extremely aggressive to the other and at one time had its beak round the back of the other one's neck chasing it down the pond!



And the Star of today's show...

















17 comments:

spd said...

wow what a beautiful bird...and the pissies arent bad either! was well worth it and we have a frog coming for you! Love S

Pete said...

jammy so and so!!

but what happened afterwards :D

Tricia said...

spd - thank you - both for your comments and the forth coming frog!! Where would I be without you Lol!

Pete - :D And the frog (mentioned above) also got lost attached to the other items - about which WE are making no further comment!!

swatson said...

gosh what a beauty.Never even heard of one before,once again photos are fabulous.
Sheila

Dean said...

Beautiful pictures of a beautiful bird. Well done Tricia.
These are always an obliging species. Probably due to them breeding in the Arctic and not having much experience of humans.

Tricia said...

Sheila - thanks, again.

Dean - thank you. I must admit it didn't seem very bothered about me moving about and trying to get as close as possible to get some decent pics!

mick said...

Great photos - in fact brilliant! Thanks for sharing so many - plumage detail is always interesting. The migratory shorebirds we get here prefer to roost into the wind - will sometimes even roost on the opposite side of the bay to do so.

Tricia said...

Mick - a lovely bird it is and thanks for your comment. For a wader, it spent all of the time I was watching it, swimming about - so I didn't actually see it wading!

Steve Gale said...

Cracking shots of the phalarope Tricia, and a good local bird too.

Tricia said...

Many thanks Steve - 'tis good to have one soooo local :)

st said...

I have only seen one of these, mine wasn't bothered about people either.
I only wish my pics were as good.

Tricia said...

ST - thanks. Not often a wader is so close, so I was just lucky.

oldcrow61 said...

Wonderful pictures.

Anonymous said...

Need no apologies for the delightful series of photo's - decribes this little gem very well!
Admit to having a soft spot for phalaropes!

C

Border Reiver said...

Nice bird and nice pictures. Like my Grey Phalarope in October at Cheddar, they seem completely unfazed by human activity, so very photogenic

Tricia said...

OC - thanks as usual.

C - they are such pretty birds

Border - thanks. Oliging aren't they? Wish all birds would pose longer Lol.

Anna Simpson said...

Fantastic photographs you've got here Tricia. Congrats on the Grey Phalarope, it's a bird I've yet to see. I went to Norfolk a few weeks back and there was supposed to be one at Cley near where I was staying yet sadly I didn't see it.
I love your photographs of the Canada Geese in flight, very well done.

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