Love Birds

This is a difficult challenge from Lisa this week.  The reason is that, like butterflies and dragonflies, there are many species that cause my heart to go all a flutter.  There are a few that stand out, unfortunately I don’t have any images.  For instance the European Bee-eater.  Fond memories of this multi-coloured beauty from holidays to Greece and Spain.  Or the Robin sized Red-flanked Bluetail from deep in the Siberian Taiga, this once near mythical bird is now an almost annual vagrant to these shores in autumn but still gets the pulse going if one is found nearby.

There are two families of bird that I really like, the waders and warblers.

Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)

Nearly all the warblers are spring migrants from sub-Sahara.  Unlike the colourful New-World counterparts they are mostly brown jobs that like to skulk about but their songs lift the spirits after the long winter months.  The Sedge Warbler inhabits the reedbeds of wet lands. It’s song a fast scratchy affair sounding like cha-cha-cha-chi chi-chi-chicka-chicka ending in a flourish as the bird rises from its oft hidden position to ‘parachute’ back down.  It can also mimic phrases of other bird songs.

Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)

Waders are a diverse bunch and that, to me, is their attraction.  Not all are found wading either.  The Snipe above was photographed on the lawn of our previous home.  This was March 2018 and the weather this week has been a carbon copy of then.  I wonder if the new owners had any surprise visitors!

Barn Owl (Tyto alba)

Some birds are always exciting to see, like the Barn Owl.  Not uncommon but it’s usually out at night.  We were fortunate where we used to live that there was a resident owl that at dusk hunted the fields opposite our old home.

Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus)

The Waxwing is a thrill to see.  This is a Scandinavian bird that in some years comes to the UK in big numbers, other years none.  One of my earliest memories was being taken by my father to see a flock on our small holding back in the early 60’s.  Who can’t be impressed by this beauty.

But it’s not just the birds, often it’s the place as well.  To be somewhere special and see special birds is the icing on the cake.  For me to wander about the wetlands in spring listening to those newly arrived warblers and watching the years first dragonflies when a graceful Marsh Harrier drifts by sends me home a happy bunny!

A Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) over Hickling Broad, nothing better on a spring morning

Check out Lisa’s latest challenge.

46 thoughts on “Love Birds

  1. Very telling description of the joys birding can bring. Had to look up your Waxwing to confirm it, but you have the Bohemian which is on my list of top 10 to get … along with the Barn Owl so double dagger there ha! That Snipe shot is a wall hanger and a perfect image to go along with the weather over here – Linda and I were missing Texas today until we noticed Galveston had snow and Mission TX on our southern border had windchills of 10F (better than the -23F we currently have I guess). I’d say you nailed the challenge this time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Evening B. The Owl & Snipe, a couple of shots to remind me of the old place in the country. The Snipe photographed through the bathroom window at a range of about 20ft, try getting that close in the wild! When we left the Barn Owl’s barn was being converted to a house! A survey showed no sign the owl lived there even when we provided photographic proof, money talks.
      After a weeks snow and freeze the temperatures are now in double digits Centigrade, by the weekend possibly as high as 17c! With a bit of luck that might awaken the first flutterbys, we shall see.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What an awesome gallery of lovely birds this week! I know this one was hard because we love birds….PERIOD! The Snipe in the snow was my eye-catcher. Our snipes get photographed in the swampy muck or in the sand. Never that close enough to them even with a 200mm lens to get a shot like that. Love it! Great shot sof the Barn Owl and Waxwing. Still looking for the waxwings. The American Robins came in a few days ago. We have over 100 of them in our yard today. Usually, the waxwings will flock with them, but no luck so far. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes they are. We have had the uncommon Purple Finches in our yard for about a month. I got photos and the Audubon Society confirmed. I was sure and so excited to get confirmation. A Cooper’s Hawk swooped in today and that was a first in our yard too. I can’t hike anywhere so birding from the dining room is really paying off. LOL! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Gorgeous shots and awesome variety, Brian! I love each one, but that Snipe in the snow capture I believe is my favorite in this set. I read you captured it in your yard, cool!

    I did get a kick above with Indira! Cheers to you both!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love all of these photographs!

    Your statement about the place being as important as the bird hits home for me. The total experience is what keeps us coming back for more.

    (Sorry for the late responses. Family matters requiring road trips interrupted “normal” life for a bit.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wondered where you had been for a couple of weeks, all good I hope.
      After I posted I realised I should have made more of the importance of place. If you see a favourite bird in a zoo it doesn’t hold the same thrill as seeing in it’s natural habitat.


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