Monday, 13 April 2015

I don't do birds on twigs!

Excited by my recent Great Egret photo expedition, I returned to the Somerset levels yesterday to see what I could find. It is a great time to be out with the camera as the birds are starting to nest. Consequently there are many territorial disputes and other behaviours unique to this time of year. I just have to grab the opportunity to capture some of it before things settle down to the quiet of Summer.

Let's start with a duck fight! Here is a dispute between two Mallards


 The loser makes good his escape whilst the victor looks on.

  
He lands safely just a short distance away. I love the splashing water frozen by the camera. It is a shame that you cannot see the clarity of the original photo.


In the following shot a Gadwall is chased into the sky by a Coot. Coots are very aggressive right now. You may not be able to see it, but it is behind the duck - honest!




The Great Egrets are still in action. Display flights at this time of year involve some dramatic in-flight posturing. Some of which are captured in these next few shots.

This one reared up almost vertically in the air. It really is a most arresting sight.



Then there is this cross shape that occurs quite frequently, again performed in very slow flight.


Don't know what to call the following pose, show-boating comes to mind but I do not know why. Perhaps "surfing" would be a better term.


 More crossing


 and more surfing. Showing off big time!


And then of course there always has to be a bit of this. It would pay to keep a careful eye on the sky if this sort of thing can come raining down.


Whilst all this aerial exhibitionism is going on, this Coot is quietly getting on with the serious task of building a nest. Its mate is going to be well impressed when he comes in with this lot - perhaps.


Elsewhere this Cormorant has caught a flatfish which is almost too big to swallow and the gull fancies it. The Cormorant makes a threatening lunge, seeming to forget that it has a big fish in its mouth.


Meanwhile this Great Crested Grebe is left to deal with its more reasonably sized lunch in peace.

To finish this time, a couple of more serene shots of Gadwall in flight.




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