Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 269 - Great Crested Grebe

I'm almost at the end of the birds I photographed when I was in Europe, and it seems appropriate to feature a bird that I can see both on my travels to the UK and back home in Australia.

The Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) found across much of Europe and Asia. There are African and Australasian subspecies as well, and of course its the Australasian I see the most.  'Podiceps cristatus' means crested bum-foot (!) which refers to the crest on the birds head, but also how far back along the body the feet are found.  Its little scraps like this that keep me going you know!

I found the the birds in the pictures here at Ham Walls RSPB Reserve in Somerset.  Seeing Great Crested Grebes on an RSPB reserve is very appropriate, as it was the decline of this bird due to the hat trade that brought about the formation of the RSPB in 1889.

There seemed to be a great deal of both synchronised and unsynchronised preening going on with these birds - which are an adult and two well grown chicks.  The light was poor and the birds a little more distant that I would like - but a little bit of cropping works wonders!

As ever you can join in with WBW by clicking on the blue button below the thumbnails.   SM

Monday, 18 September 2017

River Brathay

I seem to be swimming against the current at present!  Just too many things happening - fortunately I only have a few more days to go before I can take a short break and get back on an even keel!

So, in interim here are some shots go the River Brathay in The Lake District in the UK.

I was asked yesterday if I missed anything from the UK - it's not an unusual question I find - and I said without hesitation "the landscape".  I suppose these picture may explain why.

You can find more pictures from around the world here at Our World Tuesday.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Wild Bird Wednesday 268 - Robin

The Robin (Erithacus rubecula) is a popular and very familiar bird in the UK.  I found this rather obliging individual at the Ham Walls RSPB reserve when we were in the UK.

It's another very busy week here, so this post is not going to be very long!

One of the things I like about Robins is the way in which their name has spread around the world - in many parts of the world, any bird with a red breast is a "Robin" - regardless of taxonomy or genetics. Its the same for black and white birds, many of which have Magpie in their name.

These are the best image I have managed to take of what might by the 'original' Robin.  I rather like them.

As ever you can join in with WBW by clicking on the blue button below. SM

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Jack's Rake - Pavey Ark

One of the (many) things I wanted to do when I was in the UK was climb up Jack's Rake with H.  H is a bit of a thrill seeker and I was sure he would enjoy it.

Jack's Rake is a scramble / very low grade rock climb up the face of a 'cliff' to the summit of Pavey Ark.  The cliff is about 400 ft heigh, and rises up from Stickle Tarn.

It's a great place. If you want to have a look at the cliff face, there is a picture here.  I did not take huge numbers of pictures as I was concentrating on having a good time, rather than on other things (not that the 'other things' are not good I hasten to add!).

These pictures are just grabs from Go-Pro video, but they do give you a good idea of what it was like.

You can find more pictures from around the world - and possibly less vertigo - here at Our World Tuesday.

I hope any of you that have been knocked about by Irma are OK - and that you and yours are safe.  SM