Saturday, January 4

Preening not Pruning

If you visit Martyn's blog you will know that on Thursday we took advantage of the sunny day and visited Old Moor RSPB reserve near Barnsley. Martyn was getting to grips with a new camera - his Christmas treat. I like to try to get photos where the birds are actually doing something. There were mostly ducks, coots and geese on the lakes - many of which were too far in the distance even with a 60x zoom and many were just bobbing about.

I did manage to get some action shots though. The first is a female tufted duck doing a duck version of preening.
Waterbirds have well developed oil glands at the base of their tail. They spread oil over their feathers to waterproof them which is especially important for birds such as the tufted duck that dives under the water searching for food. 
 These Canada geese were also spending a lot of time on grooming which gave me plenty of chance to get some shots.
 This one looks to be in a state of ecstasy.
The photo is not as sharp as it should be as it has been heavily cropped but it shows how birds unlike us have two eyelids - an upper and lower one.


There don't appear to be many wading birds at Old Moor at the moment and we can get better photos of garden birds at home so for now it's just ducks and geese.


27 comments:

  1. I'm envious of the x60 zoom... Well, with all this rain it is certainly good weather for ducks, as the saying goes!

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    1. It's all water off a ducks back too! The zoom is great - it will go up to 120 but that is using digital zoom which isn't very good. 60x is the optical range. The good thing is that it is light to use.

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  2. I am itching to get outside again to the reserves but I'd need to be a duck myself. Great pictures Sue.

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    1. I was disappointed at the lack of waders, Chel

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  3. Great photos. At least they're happy with the wet weather! xx

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    1. Someone has to be don't they, Debbie?

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  4. Sorry to read the waders weren't around on the day you chose Sue. Glad to read you had some sunny weather to make the day more enjoyable. Lovely images from the new camera.

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    1. The waders haven't been around since before Christmas, Angie. By the way these photos were with my camera - it's Martyn who has the new camera so that's the photos over on his blog.

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  5. They're like contortionists. We've taken Daniel back to uni today and there's always loads of water birds there, usually blocking the road in to the car park, as the uni is set around a lake. Daniel tells me that they sleep on the grass outside his room, and apparently, there's black swans there too. I'd love to hear more about Martyn's new camera, and the cameras you use too. I'm always curious about what people are using since I got my DSLR last year.

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  6. I'm using a Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ72 and Martyn's new camera is a Sony Cybershot DXCHX300. He was going to get the same as me but thought we needed different cameras rather than putting all our eggs in one basket. Both are bridge cameras. Martyn also has a NIkon DSLR but the zoom lens is just too heavy. I can't use it with that lens on - I can't hold it up at photo shooting height and my Lumix has the same power zoom. I think Martyn is planning to post about it.

    There are often black swans at Fairburn Ings too. I hope the geese don't waken David too early in summer.

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  7. I could spend hours watching ducks and geese preen, I find it totally relaxing. Great pics Sue.

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    1. Now if your ducks have an oil gland, Jessica they wouldn't get rusty.

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  8. Ciao, scopro ora il tuo blog! Davvero molto bello, sarà un piacere seguirti :)

    Un saluto.

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    1. Ciao pontos siete i benvenuti - Sarò presto visitare il tuo blog troppo

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  9. Some great photos Sue. As soon as the rain stops I am going to be out and about boring you all silly with shots from my new camera!!!

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  10. Very interesting pictures Sue, especially the one showing the Canada goose eyelid.

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    1. Alain, On Martyn's post here he has a picture of a collared dove which shows the eyelids fully closed.

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  11. Great pictures. So interesting to them closer.

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    1. Glad you found it interesting Endah - do you have similar birds in your part of the world?

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  12. What a pretty birds, Sue! I love that one standing on one foot! Great photos.

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    1. Do you have the same type of birds in your area Nadezda? The male tufted duck is black and white

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  13. What wonderful pics, I especially liked the first one.xxx

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    1. It is often a case of being there at the right time and watching for some action, Snowbird,

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  14. That's really very close up photos of the duck! This type of duck is new to me! Happy New Year!

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    1. The male is black and white, Malar and is in the post for today ( Wednesday 8 January)

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