BIRDS 137 – EURASIAN COOT (3): THREAT DISPLAYS


 

Spring at Chew Valley Lake, just south of Bristol, and the breeding season well underway for many birds.  On open water near the lake’s edge, aggressive male Coots were fiercely defending their territories against each other.

The upper photo shows the start of such a display, with the bird flat on the water, about to rush forward in a charge towards another male.

The lower photo shows the charge, with the bird pushed down into the water by the force and speed of his advance, and his bill open as he accompanies his rush forwards with loud calls.

Click onto the images to open larger version in separate windows – recommended.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format at 450mm; 500 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait v2 profile; Chew Valley Lake, south of Bristol; 5 May 2021.

 



BIRDS 136 – FEMALE TUFTED DUCK


Common and well known, mostly on freshwaters, and with the small tuft of feathers on the back of the head.

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Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format at 450mm; 500 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait v2 profile; Chew Valley Lake, south of Bristol; 5 May 2021.



BIRDS 135 – EURASIAN COOT (2)


Walking on the lake shore, showing the characteristic long, lobed toes.

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Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format at 450mm; 500 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait v2 profile; Chew Valley Lake, south of Bristol; 5 May 2021.

BIRDS 134 – MALLARD, PREENING


A duck, a male Mallard, rearranging his feathers – and keeping an eye on me at the same time.

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Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format at 450mm; 800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait v2 profile; Chew Valley Lake, south of Bristol; 5 May 2021.



BIRDS 133 – EURASIAN COOT


Coot swimming, on a day of blue skies and fluffy white clouds.  This is one of the Rallidae, the Rails and Crakes, and a common bird on lakes and other freshwaters.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format at 450mm;  800 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait v2 profile; 5 May 2021; Chew Valley Lake, south of Bristol.

BIRDS 132 – DUNLIN


 

Dunlin, a wader / shorebird, Chew Valley Lake, south of Bristol; 5 May 2021.  Dunlin are common on our coasts in the winter.  This one, in summer plumage, was on its way to its northern breeding grounds.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format at 450mm;  500 ISO; spot metering; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait v2 profile.

 

BIRDS 131 – GREAT WHITE EGRET

 

 


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Great White Egret, a member of the heron family, on the edge of a reed bed in Herons Green Bay, at Chew Valley Lake, a reservoir just south of Bristol.  Two things make this photo rather special to me.  First, this was one of the places where two school friends whom I am still in touch with – one in The States, the other in Australia – got me into birding in 1967.  Herons Green Bay looks much the same as it did all those years ago, and its good to go back there now (less than half and hour’s drive away) and see this part of my birding roots more or less as they were.

The other thing is that the presence of this bird shows just how things can change because, back in the 1960s, this was a very rare bird in the UK, whereas now small numbers breed in the UK and there are usually a few individuals  at Chew Lake.  I imagine this is somehow related to climate change.

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 450mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait v2 profile; Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 7 Dec 2020.
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BIRDS 130 – BLACK-HEADED GULL 3

 

 


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Adult Black-headed Gull in winter plumage.  The dark brown hood of the breeding plumage (see here ) has been replaced by diffuse dark markings on the head and, notably, a dark spot behind the eye.

An agile, small gull, quite common around here at the moment as they scavenge, uttering their shrill screams, over the city and out around the suburbs.

There is another photo of this species here .

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window.

Technique: Z 6 with 70-300 Nikkor lens used in DX (= APS-C) format to give 450mm; 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Portrait v2 profile; Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 7 Dec 2020.

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BIRDS 129 – BLACK-HEADED GULL 2

 

 


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Breeding plumage Black-headed Gull over Chew Valley Lake, not far south of Bristol.  This is a relatively small gull, easily identified in this plumage by the white blaze on the forewing, the chocolate brown (not black!) hood, the white eye ring and the red bill.

There is another picture of a Black-headed Gull here .

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Technique: X-T1 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 1600 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Provia/Standard profile; Chew Valley Lake, Somerset; 4 July 2016.
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BIRDS 128 – MOORHEN

 

 


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Moorhen, a member of the Rallidae, the Rails and Crakes.  This family is often secretive, in densely vegetated watersides etc, and the Moorhen itself usually frequents fresh waters with dense fringing vegetation – but here in the artificial environments of the city center, one walks out boldly along the masonry at the river’s edge, more or less used to passersby, and perhaps looking for leftover scraps of their food.

All recently posted bird pictures are here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18  .

Click onto the image to open a larger version in a separate window – recommended.

Technique: X-T2 with 55-200 Fujinon lens at 300mm (equiv); 3200 ISO; Lightroom, starting at the Camera Astia/Soft profile; central Bristol; 2 Feb 2018.
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