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grebeman

Old Codgers Group
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Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)
This is an autumn bird on migration so is in non breeding plumage.

Barrie
 
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grebeman

Old Codgers Group
This guy has led me a merry dance all day, it only appears for a few minutes every hour, so has a feeding circuit. It's rather shy so won't let me get close and I only just managed this shot with the closing light of the day, and then it's heavily cropped. I had tried earlier with the Panasonic FZ200 but I was on a loser with that, so I had to bring out the bigger gun.

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Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)

This is probably an adult female, or it could be a juvenile. The species is much commoner in continental Europe, it only started breeding annually in the UK in 1939 and the breeding numbers are probably only in the 100's. They are commoner in the winter and tend to inhabit villages, often on the coast where they're more likely to find insect prey during the winter on the local beach.
You can see an orange flash along the tail and the word "start" is old English for tail, hence the common name Redstart. It's the adult male that has black in its plumage, rather pleased to capture this one.

Barrie
 

grebeman

Old Codgers Group
This is from 9 springs ago (frightening) using a borrowed lens.

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Common Whitethroat (Sylvia communis)

Obviously carrying food for young in the nest. The population of this species crashed in Europe in 1970 by 90%, it was eventually realised that this was due to drought conditions in the Sahel, the region that borders the southern edge of the Sahara desert where the species winters following the rainy season as it spreads east to west across the African continent. They rely on the proliferation of insects that follows the plant growth encouraged by the rain and that winter the rains had failed on a massive scale. The population has recovered to some extent but stills shows wide annual fluctuations that mirror conditions in the Sahel to this day.

Barrie
 

grebeman

Old Codgers Group
For some years I made a close study of Great Crested Grebes (Podiceps cristatus) at Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve where I used to volunteer. These images are from a long sequence taken at the nest as one bird relieves the other in the duty of incubating the eggs.

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Here the returning bird on the right is climbing onto the nest. These birds are built for a life afloat and not on dry land, so even climbing onto the nest doesn't come easily. Once on the nest it began to poke at the sitting bird until the sitting bird got the message and prepared to give way to the returning bird.

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The sitting bird is now preparing to leave the nest. At least one egg is visible under the rear end of its body.

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The returning bird at the rear is looking down at the egg or eggs in the nest, at least one can be seen behind the departing bird.

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With the departing bird out of the way the returning bird prepares to sit down on the clutch of eggs.

Barrie
 

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Real Name
bart
Not nearly the usual quality, as it's just a crop of a phone snapshot. This peregrine falcon - I was obsessed with them as a child and had seen their nests and their victims before but never the bird itself - was sitting by the side of the road in my city, looking helpless. Someone was calling animal rescue already, but I fear it was suffering from avian flue - it's hitting very hard this year, and raptors are particularly vulnerable to this year's strain. Not how I imagined my first peregrine sighting...
 

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grebeman

Old Codgers Group
Not nearly the usual quality, as it's just a crop of a phone snapshot. This peregrine falcon - I was obsessed with them as a child and had seen their nests and their victims before but never the bird itself - was sitting by the side of the road in my city, looking helpless. Someone was calling animal rescue already, but I fear it was suffering from avian flue - it's hitting very hard this year, and raptors are particularly vulnerable to this year's strain. Not how I imagined my first peregrine sighting...
Hi Bart, yes, it certainly looks in trouble, the dishevelled plumage suggests that it's not been looking after itself. It looks to me as though it has a ring on its leg. I saw my first ever at this time of the year way back in 1962 when this shape suddenly plunged down vertically out of the sky onto a group or waders I was watching on a beach. It did it twice without success before flying off, a never to be forgotten sight, I was 15 years old at the time. They were uncommon at that time due to pesticide problems, thankfully more around now and an occasional flyover at my present cottage.

Barrie
 

tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
Here's a Peregrine I saw at an avian rescue & rehab center. This guy decided as a fledgling he would land in front of a car on a major highway bridge over our deepest canyon. He somehow survived the impact, but his left wing was beyond repair, and he's now a permanent resident, traveling to workshops around the state as part of the center's educational outreach program.

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