Sunday, 16 January 2011

Clockwork birds

My Mums favourite bird is the Sanderling, a lovely little wader that spends the winter on our shores here in Britain. They leave their breeding grounds in the high Arctic in mid-August with their bodyweight having increased by 60% to provide them with the energy to fly non-stop for 5,000km! They then make the return trip in May or June. The oldest ringed bird survived for 17 years.

The bird is extremely active and restless and runs like a clockwork toy of old, hence why my Mum calls them `windy-up birds`!

Like other waders, the Sanderling needs to feed undisturbed to obtain enough food to sustain their long flight and survive the winter. Unfortunately some local authorities use mechanical beach cleaning equipment which clear beaches of seaweed and other vegetation affecting food supplies.








All digiscoped using Lumix FS15 and Kowa TSN-883 x30

11 comments:

  1. I've always loved watching sanderlings trit-trotting back and forth at the ocean's edge. They are indeed "windy-up" birds!

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  2. Hi John,
    A most interesting read and superb photos to inform about the "windy-up birds" :-)
    Thank you for your peaceful and informative blog. Always a pleasure to visit.
    In kindness, Gary.

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  3. Lovely images as always John! So this may sound like a stupid question but what is a digiscope?

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  4. Hello John. I think klahanie has the right words for your blog - 'peaceful and informative'.
    It's always a pleasure to visit, even if one does not have much to say (rare in my own case!)
    If I may go back to your reply to my comment in your previous post: The birds do not have the lighter beaks of rooks - could they be ravens? Some have grey streaking under their wings, only visible in flight.
    Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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  5. Thanks Raining Acorns. The Sanderling can I suppose be called `cute`, if such a word applies to a bird!
    J

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  6. Gary, you are a true gentleman! Thankyou for your extremely kind and positive words. I am glad you enjoy my humble little blog!
    J

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  7. Hi Cat, thanks for those kind comments.
    Digiscoping is where a pocket camera is used to `shoot` through a spotting scope. In my case I use a Lumix FS15 and use my Kowa TSN-883 as a `zoom` lens, the scope has a magnification of x30, so gets you quite close to the action! The only limitation in this set up is taking `in-flight` shots, which is practically impossible! Hope this helps!
    J

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  8. Hi bazza, you are too kind!
    The birds you spoke of before are most probably Crows if they do not show any grey on the bill. Ravens are quite rare in your part of the world, in fact they are mostly confined to the west of the country, but are slowly moving east, we had one or two over Peterborough in the Spring, but this is not usual. Also, Ravens are huge birds, as big as a Buzzard, in some cases bigger!
    J

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  9. Hi John,

    You may have just shown me a new favorite bird from the standpoint of name, and it's tenacious migration. You also bring up a brutal reminder that pretty clean beaches can be great on human toes, but not so great for the bird and fish kingdom. I always enjoy my visits here.

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  10. Hi Rebecca,thanks for the kind comment. Yes, it is quite amazing that this little bird is able to fly over 150,000km in its` lifetime, we moan if we have to walk to the shops!
    J

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Thank you for taking the time to comment on my humble blog.