Sunday, 2 April 2017

A Teal at Last

Today I finally got a good shot of a teal. I am a little surprised that a pair of drake Teal are still present on the river but today the lighting was good and I was able to gain their trust.

I spotted the Teal some distance away, luckily it was on the other bankside allowing me to get closer to it. It is remarkable how such a striking bird can be so hard to see. Just look at the picture below, how long does it take you to spot the Teal.

As I approached I could see that he was aware of me and was preparing to fly. I paused and sat on the bank. I avoided looking directly at him, such direct eye contact can spook birds and animals. I sat for a good five minutes keeping him in my peripheral vision. Eventually, he settled down and then began to feed, finally, it moved out of cover and allowed me to get the shots I wanted. It's a reminder that wildlife is just as much about patience as it is about luck and skill.

As I left I noticed a pair of Buzzards, one had been about all morning but a second had now appeared and the two began to circle. I saw them swoop together and wondered if it was a mating ritual, however, on a second pass it seemed more aggressive. I got a quick shot off and noted that one of the individuals moved off quickly following the final pass, a piece of behaviour called 'taloning' where an approaching Buzzard will reach out with its legs and talons and the other will turn and flip to bear its own talons.

In raptor's this is often used in food passing where one adult will pass food to another often a male to a female either as a courtship gift or a to feed a nesting female.

In other news, expect updates on two areas. Its the time of year for nesting and I have preliminary survey information on breeding swans in the area. At the moment I have located 3 nests but more news in a separate post soon.

The second news is in relation to my camera trapping. The main camera has been operating for three years and I have just purchased an upgrade for it. When it arrives I will do a review. Secondly, I have abandoned river cam. It's had some success but is limited. I have found a burrow with interesting promise and I have relocated that camera there. More information soon about who is living there.