Friday, August 10, 2012

Birds in England

(If you are unable to see the slideshow, click on this post's title to bring up the post directly, or, alternatively, click here to view the photographs. Thanks to Shy Songbird for identifying that issue, and thanks to both Shy Songbird and John at Hedgeland Tales for correcting my identification of some of the birds!)

The birds in the slideshow were photographed in parks in London (notably Valentines Park in Ilford), in our friend's backyard in London (through a window), and in Norfolk, including the spectacular Cley Marshes, which are part of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. I have done my best to identify each bird, but please, you experts out there, do let me know of any errors, and I will correct them.

I'd also like to give a nod to three great blogs that feature birds in England: John, over at Hedgeland Tales, ShySongbird's Nature News, and, Andrew at rambles with a camera.

A Spotify playlist of works by Thomas Adès and Benjamin Britten can be found at Music of England, Adès and Britten (with thanks to David Nice for identifying Britten's heavenly Les Illuminations and rollicking Young Apollo).

To accompany the post, I give you Benjamin Britten's Diversions:


Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Susan:
The wide variety of bird life which you captured on camera on your visit to England is truly wonderful. Living in the city, birds are somewhat thin on the ground except for pigeons [in Budapest] starlings and seagulls [in |Brighton] and we miss the rich variety of wildlife which we were surrounded by in Herefordshire.

A couple of months ago we went to the Britten opera 'Turn of the Screw' which was a truly memorable occasion. He was a remarkably talented man in our view and the pieces you gave us here are delightful!

Dixie said...

The slide show of birds was wonderful. The music was new to me. However I must say the first video reminded me of the theme from 'Star Wars,' and the second video from an old western shoot-'em-up. Delightful!

Scott said...

Sue- Great photos. I was taken with the striking Avocet.Grace and power in black and white. Then to learn that they fought back from the brink of extinction and aggressively defend their families. Beauty and fortitude.

I enjoyed the piano. A sense of adventure. Non- denominational. I can see where Dixie is coming from.

Suze said...

You are a talented nature photographer, Sue. These are all magnificent creatures I would never study in such detail were it not for PD.

Thank you.

Mark Kerstetter said...

That baby coot is something else!

Brigitta Huegel said...

Dear Sue,
such lovely photographs - thank you! Although robins are not shy, it is not easy to get such a good photograph - but to take the picture of a nightingale: wonderful! You must be very patient and have not only a good eye but also exact timing - great!

ShySongbird said...

Hi Susan, sorry to have taken so long to visit this post. Thank you so much for mentioning me, so very kind :-) I would have commented before but most of the time I am on my iPad which sadly doesn't support flash, consequently your slideshow doesn't show up...I just see a blank space. However I was able to view it from my laptop yesterday but was in a tremendous rush and unable to comment. I really enjoyed seeing all the birds from your trip to the UK! As some of the ducks were photographed on park lakes and were from a collection they were not native species so I cannot be sure if all of the IDs were correct but I'm sure someone will know. I did notice that the bird you identified as a Coal Tit was in fact a Great Tit and the Reed Bunting looked like a male to me. I have a feeling there was something else too but as I am on my iPad again today I can't check so will leave it to John or Andrew. I hope that helps a little :-)

I have never been able to decide if I really like Britten's music or not. I think I have to be in the right mood! My husband is a definite fan :-)

Friko said...

You went to Valentine's Park In Ilford? Well, I never, another coincidence. I used to live off Ilford Lane for many years and my daughter went to school next to the park.

And Cley-next-the-Sea is a wonderland for the bird watcher; we had a lovely holiday there.

John said...

Hi Susan,
Thank you for the mention, very kind of you! :)
Great photos of some birds with which I am pretty familiar. The bird that you have identified as a Gadwall is a female Mallard. The female Gadwall is superficially similar to the female Mallard, but is slimmer, has greyer plumage and has orange sides to the bill. The birds you thought were Scaup are Tufted Ducks. A Scaup has a much smaller 'nail' on the bill (the black mark on the tip) and the mail has a grey/silver back (even in eclipse this can be seen).
Hope you don't mind me saying this?!

John said...

Me again, sorry I have had a re-look at the 'Nightingale', on second thoughts I think it could be a Common Whitethroat, pretty tatty and worn, but I think the legs and eye are the wrong colour for a Nightingale, their eys tend to be all black and the legs are paler. The head looks a bit grey on your bird too, the Nightingale tend to be brown. The 'Tree Pipit' is a tough one, the only identifying feature that I am sure of is that a Tree Pipit has a very short hind claw, whereas the Meadow Pipit (which is almost identical the Tree Pipit) has a very long hind claw. The bird in your photo looks to have very long hind claws protruding at the bottom of the bramble twig, unless they are funny shaped thorns! ;) So, to sum up, I think this bird is a Meadow Pipit, but could be wrong!

Susan Scheid said...

John and Shy Songbird: I can't thank you enough for taking the time to correct my many errors and giving me such an education on Birds in Britain. I must come back, book, and binoculars, and your explanations and identifications in hand, and see what I can see, thanks to you!

shoreacres said...

Truly, a wonderful slide show. Many were familiar to me, because I have an English friend who is a moderator of a Flickr bird group. She's become very good at identification and somewhat obsessive in her photography. I'll have her stop by and see if she sees anything amiss - it looks to me as though you have them well-identified.

Some we have in common, like the coots. I believe there are moorhens in Louisiana, but there aren't any here - at least that I know. The English robin isn't at all like ours, of course. A robin's song always was one of the delights of summer for me. Now that I'm in Texas - no more robins singing!

Did you know that the Aztecs were involved with the domestication of the Muscovy? I only learned that in the last year or two. My usual Saturday morning cafe has a flock - there were a lot of babies this year. They're all teenagers now, and have learned that people sometimes have leftover biscuit for them!

wanderer said...

Catching up. Love the birds, you clever thing getting them so beautifully. And always love Britten.

klahanie said...

Hi Susan,
Apologies for such a delay in commenting. I have stayed away from a computer until I returned home from Wales.
A stunning array of birds in England and it is truly amazing the variety of birds that can be discovered here.
Thanks for this and for those fine folks who helped with the correct identification :)
In kindness, Gary

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