Is it a frog or is it a toad? Whatever it is, it escaped the Smew’s bill after a struggle. I was concentrating so much on getting the photograph, that I wasn’t sure what happened next. I must learn not to let the camera distract me from what is really important, and that is watching the wildlife. Sam tells me a clean break was made. Recently watched a redhead Smew at QE11. I thought it looked more attractive than this one. I’m not sure why there was no drake Smew at Washington WWT. Maybe there is an obvious answer to that. The drake is a favourite of mine.
I’ve seen the Greater Flamingo in Coto Donana, Spain and both Greater and Lesser Flamingo in southern Africa, but I’ve never seen the Chilean Flamingo in the wild. One of my birding/natural history highlights was flying in a Cesena aircraft, just above a flock of flying flamingos on the Skeleton Coast, Namibia.
I’ve spotted one on Killy Lake a few years ago, and at Prestwick Carr. It was the same bird. I’ve also seen a pair on the Humber. A beautiful bird. If I can’t convince anyone at least the Humber birds were wild, I have seen the real thing in Romania.
The dad of the friend and ex work colleague of mine that I walked with at Holywell recently has I understand started to follow my blog. I’ve put this one up for him. Hoping he keeps following.:-)
Have you got my best side there? At least I’ve seen a few Common Cranes in Norfolk. Belonging to a very interesting family of birds. If I was to concentrate on seeing all the individuals of a family, the cranes would be at or near the top of my list for such an attempt. It would certainly take me too some interesting places. I’d recommend a reading of Peter Mathieson’s book, Birds of Paradise, in which he tours the world in search of cranes. As well as the Common Crane, I have the Grey (Southern) Crowned Crane, Blue Crane and Wattled Crane on my life list. I can’t really count the Sandhill Crane as I’m far from convinced that it was a wild bird, even though the tour leader was suggesting it might be!
As I’ve said before, far too flashy a bird for my liking. Never the less it does help make a nice photograph as this drake admires its own reflection in the water. I hear we have more Mandarin Ducks in the UK than in China. I got the impression most of them are at Washington WWT!
Sick as a Red-Breasted Goose
‘Oh no, not more flippin seed. Go away I just want to have a kip.’ Sam had more success in force feeding the Hawaiian Goose.
This one gives the Mandarin a run for its money in the flashy bird stakes. I’ve seen one in British Columbia, Canada.
I’ve not been lucky enough to sight any of the occasional Red-breasted Geese wild in the UK. No doubt most are escapes anyway. A very attractive bird that I really would like to see in the wild, and if necessary I may have to book myself a European trip.
The WWT did much good work in ensuring the survival of the Hawaiian Goose. I hope that they meet with as much success with the Spoon-Billed Sandpiper. Now that is one I would love to see in the wild! The presentation at the Hancock on Tuesday evening was a very interesting one and included some video footage of the expedition to Eastern Russia. It won’t be an easy task breeding these birds in captivity, but I shall follow progress with interest. Good to see several familiar faces at the talk, although I was surprised that there wasn’t a few more there from the bird clubs.