Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sneak preview ...

Over the past couple of days my friend, Cliff Young, in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, has sent me some recent photos he has taken of birds in his backyard. Cliff apparently has a water feature and keeps up some nice feeders for birds in wintertime.

Above: Pied Wagtail (Moticilla alba yarrellii), a bird that it seems I should have a pretty good chance of seeing. In a return to What's in a name? this is our uncommon White Wagtail of western Alaska. Since I've never visited Alaska, I've also not seen our breeding Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava), or the infrequent Asian visitor, the Black-backed Wagtail (Motacilla lugens). Good luck with that last wagtail.

Above: Another wagtail, the Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea), is one that I may have somewhat less of a chance of seeing than the Pied. I'll need to find some fast running streams to see this bird. I have no way of really knowing, but I have a feeling that the Grey Wagtail may be a pretty terrific yard bird.

Above: Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) is Britian's most common finch and I should not miss it. This photo was taken on Thursday, 02-18-10 after a good dusting of fresh snow. I could not help but notice the green sprouting blub stems in the foreground. Aren't we still several weeks from this happening here? Crocus anyone?

Above: Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) clinging to the peanut feeder. Blackcap is another bird I have a very good chance to see.

Above: The little European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) appears unperturbed as the female Blackbird (Turdus merula) attempts to slide into home plate for the suet run.

Above: a somewhat calmer pose for the female Blackbird (Turdus merula). This is such an American Robin-like (Turdus migratorius) bird.

Above: Posing Magpie (Pica Pica) in the snow free green grass.

Finally, have a look at three charming birds that visited Cliff's yard in the summertime!

Above: Juvenile Green Woodpecker (Picus viridins). I should have a decent chance to see one. Exciting! Poised here at the edge of the pavement, this bird reminds me most of our Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus).

Above: Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopus major), also in Cliff's backyard, and one I should have a pretty good chance to see. I admit a fondness for woodpeckers and the above woodpeckers are both spectacular birds. In North America we do not have a woodpecker in the genus Dendrocopus or Picus.

Above: Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus). In addition to the ubiquitious Rock Pigeon (Columba livia), England also has Stock Dove (Columba oenas), Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) and Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur).

Check out BirdGuides: better birding through technology for more of Cliff's photos.

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