Monday, 4 April 2016

a trundle in the car to...

...a nearby estuary and river late afternoon. The river Ogmore runs inland from the beach and rivermouth at Ogmore-by-Sea.
There was an incoming tide, weather conditions were calm, cloudy, and some rain was on the way. We stopped to look at a field, next to a restuarant, which usually floods every winter and a patch of water tends to remain for some time. This attracts some wildfowl and the occasional migrant bird.
 Today there were a small number of Teal. A small, very colourful and striking duck.Of course that is of the male. The female guessed it - brown! This is the case in most birds, that the male is more colourful than the females.
I managed to get a photo of a female Teal next to a female Mallard, another duck species and probably the most common one people see and know, so you can see the difference in size. 

female Teal in foreground, female Mallard behind.

There were a couple of pairs of Mallard around the field and water's edge too. Here is a male and female, below.

Luckily, I then noticed a pair of Teal right in front of me (above). The male is on the right. They were constantly moving and did not oblige by sitting or standing in a better position so this photo does not do the colourings and markings any justice. I tried. When taking photos I always aim to take a record shot first then try to get better with each subsequent photo.
So the male Teal has a lovely rich red-brown head with a green almost crescent shaped mark over the eye and face down towards it's back. Grey-ish on the back, buffy-cream speckly breast,  a black and white stripe on it's upper side and an obvious creamy-yellow patch on it's rear end.

One or two Meadow Pipits were flying around the field. Very tricky to get sight of but I did find this one that briefly landed by a puddle (above).

A colourful make Chaffinch was up high in a tree near the car. Will try to get a better photo next time I see one. These are quite common, often seen in gardens, woodlands and parks. 

There were a clump of Primroses near the river bank.

We followed a footpath alongside and overlooking the river, heading upriver. Again this usually attracts a lot of birds in the winter. With spring migration and the breeding season nearly here a lot of birds have moved on. However many Mute Swans (below) remain and a pair Canda Geese (above).


If you live near a river go have a stroll around and see what you can find. Different habitats have different wildlife. Enjoy.

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