Saturday, 31 May 2014

Wasn't expecting that!!

Most days I use the scope to check the lake at the bottom of the field, especially now that the farmer has obligingly removed some of the willows on the near bank. Today I was checking through the usual suspects, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Coot when suddenly a bird lifted off the water and flew with much purpose away from the lake. I was able to follow it with the scope and was amazed, and of course chuffed, to find that it was a male Shoveler!

Male Shoveler.

Species number 55, edging ever closer to my neighbours tally (not that I'm a competitive birder or anything!). It is not really a fair fight, he not having a view of the lake or field, but who wants to fight fairly? Recently our old friend in Brazil, Jeremy Minns, wrote to tell me he had seen a Blue-naped Chlorophonia, a new bird for his beach house list, and was pleased to note that he had passed the list total that we had amassed from our apartment (101 species). The same applied there as we had the advantage of a view of the sea etc which Jeremy does not, but that advantage doesn't count for much when you are no longer there and now we are obviously unable to add new species. Jeremy was delighted that he was now ahead (104 species) and with regard to the inequality of our chances for future additions he put it this way; "I like fighting someone with both hands tied behind his back!"

Blue-naped Chlorophonia.

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