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Saturday, April 30, 2011

On the Crouch Estuary

So where to today? We went to Maldon a nice small town in East Essex.

Before heading to Burnham-on-Crouch

The man with the fly away hair.

Now look at the camera....

thank you!

the house with this window is for sale and has nice views over the Crouch.

We then headed home.

I'll just sit here a mo.

I won't sleep.... ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Was there something on today?

As I intended to stay at Dad's Friday night I had to decide was was going on the camera for two days(I never faff about changing lens when out with dad). The EASY choice was the travel zoom on the Nikon and the 20 f1.7 on the Panny, another SAFE choice was 70-300 on the Nikon and either the 14f2.5 and 20f1.7 on the Panny. As it was I stuck the 14f2.5 on the Panny (28mm 35mm equiv) and the 35 f1.8 on the Nikon (53mm 35mm equiv).

So where to.... well we went to Ickworth.

It was grey as we left and rained en route but cheered up when we arived.

YE GODS it was quiet!! I don't think I've ever seen so few people there (a few more were about later).

There were 6 young coots on the small pond. These two Canada's were watching anyone going past carefully to see they kept their distance from the youngsters.

The coots on the lake were very territorial and a Mallard mum had some young. There were two Greylag and two Canada's on the lake and though the 4 were togther it seemed they had paired up a Canada to a Greylag.

Pete - you'll be 82 soon Dad
Dad - I feel 102!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Urban birds have bigger brains.

Researchers from the Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala, Sweden and the Donana Biological Station, Seville have found that City dwelling birds have larger brains relative to their body size.

The scientists suggest that having a relatively larger brain mean that these species are more adaptable to the changing conditions of city dwelling.

The "adapters" include tits, crows, nuthatches and wrens. Apparently all of the families these species come from have relatively larger brains.

Some species that do survive in cities despite having smaller brains, e.g. Swallow and Pied Wagtails, do so because they are able to find a niche that is similar to their natural habitat.

Species such as yellowhammer, reed bunting, whitethroat and pied flycatcher have comparatively smaller brains and so are less able to adapt.

According to Dr Alexei Maklakov:

The study suggests that some species and even whole families of birds are less likely to adapt to novel conditions and if we want to see them in the cities we will have to create patches of their original habitat

Monday, April 25, 2011


I took Trish to the forest first thing. When you get there early there is loads of birdsong!!

There was still just one Tern on the lake when we got there. We thought it had flown off but later it was back (or another had flown in!! unlikely). I'll be over early next weekend to see if it has a partner!!

There were 6 grebes!! One was back on a nest the other has three chicks!! This one was fishing!

And the Greylags have bred!!

There were LOADS of warblers!! Whitethroats are back in force. The small reedbed had Reed Buntings, Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler - not sure I've seen them there before!!

So Trish headed home and I headed to Rye Meads.

some new life there as well!

There is now a pair of Kingfisher's at the Sand Martin bank. One was sitting beside it!

Loads of warblers here as well. Amazing how quickly the hedgerows and reedbeds fill up.

The Kingfishers were showing at the Kingfisher hide as well.

I finally got to see a Garden Warbler. One of the young coots I saw a few weeks ago seems to be an adolescent and there were LOADS of Butterflies - none wanted to pose.

Been a great long weekend, roll on next weekend!!

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