With half term and some not insignificant decorating in the suburbanbirder household there has not been much birding. The subtle changes in the season are still present every clear sunny morning, as the dawn chorus musicians start to warm up for the big event. The most obvious round the village is the song thrush with his repetitive calls, which according to Enid Blyton tell the tale of stolen and returned eggs. Certainly my six year old assistant is always pleased and amused to hear the ‘took two, took two’ ‘put them back, put them back’ good, good, good’ . As well as the song thrush the Dunnock and Robins are vocally stretching themselves and this mornings sunshine brought out even the greenfinches harsh attempts at song. I guess to a female greenfinch it must sound good.
With some very pleasant bright sunshine this morning I took the six year old assistant and my entry level Nikon for a walk with the addition of a 55-300mm lens to see what we could manage in terms of wildlife photography. The first offering was the still to find his voice blackbird more concerned with worms than singing.
Male Blackbird to which the most appropriate adjective must be Handsome.
Next on the morning hit list was the hoped for Mallard who are now at their breeding plumage finest and we were surprised to see them going through their early morning wash routine. It had never occurred to me that ducks need to wash..
Male Mallard (slightly cropped but ready for his bath)
Mallard taking the early morning plunge
Mallard the final shake down
The next sighting was somewhat of a surprise as the birds all around went into mass panic as a bald eagle soared over head mobbed by the local black headed gulls. Now I wasn’t hugely surprised as I had chosen Banham Zoo for my morning walk but to see this fellow was still very special.
Black headed gull chasing bald eagle
My next couple of shots were what I had expected to get of Sam who is now 17 years old and feels part of the family as we have watched him grow from a youngster to the impressive bird he is now.
Adult Bald Eagle at his American finest
Now I thought Sam might be the tail end of this post but just before we left I caught up with this little fellow who proves finally that not all baby pigeons are ugly.
Victoria crowned Pigeon and chick
Whilst the local and Norfolk birding has been a little slow in the last week I find myself an accidental entrant, albeit a keen one, in the Norfolk Bird race 2106 so there will be some significant birding and posts as the race for the winning place hots up. The bird race is a 24 hour sponsored event and this year is in aid of wader quest so click on the link here to check out the charity and donate if you are inclined, or just see the good work that they do.