Saturday, 9 June 2012

European Roller









This Roller (pronounced like polar) has been present in east Yorkshire for about a week now and shows no signs of moving on. It is feeding well, clearing the fields of leather-jackets and putting on a good show for the assembled masses.

A Jackdaw sized, heavily-built bird, with electric blue plumage and a brown back, quite unmistakeable. A bird that breeds in continental Europe, from Iberia to Turkey, with some populations in coastal north-west Africa. Another sub-species breeds from Iraq, Kazakhstan to Pakistan and western China. They winter in sub-Saharan Africa. Since 1664 there have been around 300 records in Great Britain, but they remain a fairly rare bird with a few turning up annually, another `tick` in my book.

A couple of videos are below, just showing the bird flying and feeding. The site is next to a main road, so there is a bit of traffic noise, I hope this doesn`t detract from the bird.



Below are some attempts at flight shots! The bird was just `asking` to be photographed in this way, but, whereas the boys with the 20 grand lenses just rattled off shots 10 to the dozen, all pin sharp, my humble efforts leave a lot to be desired! The camera I use for digiscoping just can`t seem to cope with moving wings, I can`t seem to get the shutter speed fast enough!

Hopefully, although the wings are nice and blurred, they give you an idea of the wing pattern.





32 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. A stunner of a bird Keith! Worth going all that way for!
      J

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  2. A gorgeous bird, I love its color. Wonderful photos.

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    1. Thank you, although these photos really don`t do the bird justice Eileen, the colours just `zing` at you in `real` life!
      J

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  3. Thats pretty special John.

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    1. Yes Roy, definitely worth the trip!
      J

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  4. Hi John. Did you travel up to Yorkshire just to see this exotic bird? Somehow he looks quite different to what one might expect when in flight.
    Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. Hi Bazza,
      Yes, I am afraid that I did, got `talked` into it, that and the fact it was an almost guaranteed lifer! How sad am I?!
      The bird `comes alive` in flight, the different blues in the wings just shine out at you!
      J

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  5. Hi John excellent series of photos , very tempted myself to go for it although i saw one back in the late eighties in Somersett, they are special birds to see .

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    1. Hi Rob,
      Thank you. It is a particularly stunning bird, well worth making the effort to go and see it. Good luck if you do go for it!
      J

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  6. Someone's been twitching ;-) Well done John, a cracking bird and a stunning colour! I hope it doesn't get mobbed by the natives (birds, I mean) You got some great views!

    Thanks so much for all your help with the gull, it was very kind of you and not at all 'boring'. It was much appreciated!

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    1. I am afraid so Jan! ;) It didn`t look to be getting pestered by the local birds, no more than any bird does by nesting Lapwings and Meadow Pipits. As for it being taken by a predator, it would have to be a big bird to take a Roller!
      I am glad that my waffle about your Common Gull was in some way helpful.
      J

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  7. Unusual & very beautiful bird! I like the way you caught the bird`s wings,with all that color showing.Wonderful!

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    1. Hi Phylliso,
      Thank you, I am glad you like the (less than great) flight shots and you are right, a very beautiful bird.
      J

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  8. Some great shots John. I have seen plenty on various sites but thanks for the videos, a great touch. Deterred a bit by the crowds!

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    1. Thanks Mike, glad you like the videos! I, to, have seen far better shots on various sites, but I had to try and get something for my efforts ;)
      When I was there, another 40 or so birders were also present, but the crowd wasn`t unruly in any way. It`s a great bird, you have got to go! ;)
      J

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  9. Wow, what a bird! Had I seen an image without explanation, I would have assumed a tropical bird!

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    1. Hi Susan,
      What a bird indeed! They are more at home in warmer climes than the Yorkshire coast, but this one seemed to be doing okay. Hopefully he will get back to where he is supposed to be, when he has had enough of life in Britain!
      J

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  10. What a spectacular bird to see in the UK. The flight and video shots show the colour patterns well.

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    1. Hi John,
      Yes, a superb bird! Glad you could make something out of the nice blurry images of the bird in flight! ;)
      J

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    2. Amazing photos. The Roller at play in Yorkshire, well, I don't believe it, lol.

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    3. Thanks Bob,
      Yes, an odd place to choose to come and visit if you are more used to sunshine! ;)
      J

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  11. A stunning bird and fabulous UK tick there John. The only one Ive ever seen was in Spain!

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    1. Hi Jerry,
      Yes, a very good bird for the U.K. and it has the decency to hang around for a while now! ;)
      I have never seen one before, full-stop, so it was a true `lifer`!
      J

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  12. A beautiful bird to see John.. thanks for sharing your images.

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    1. Hi Andrew,
      Thank you.
      Most definitely a beautiful bird, a real stunner!

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  13. What a gorgeous bird!! Such beautiful colours.
    I'm told it takes practice to capture flight shots and not necessarily an awesome lens (I don't own a lens like that), so I just keep trying. It's all about settings, they say. I've managed a few that I would consider my better ones. I'll just keep practising :)

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    1. Hi Liz,
      A real stunner of a bird that looks as if it would be more at home in your neck of the woods!
      Thank you for your advice on flight shots. I think it is something to do with the set up that I use, a very basic camera attached to my spotting scope. One day I might get a DSLR!
      J

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  14. Thats a beautiful little bird thank you for sharing your images

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    1. Hi Julie,
      Thank you for your visit and kind comment.
      J

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