Thursday, 9 April 2009

Arundel WWT - British birds

Alongside the many foreign residents at the Arundel Wetland and Wildfowl Trust reserve are plenty of British specimens (including some that are usually only seen as dots in a telescope).

Common Scoter


Male Goldeneye

Long-tailed Ducks

There were quite a number of young families paddling around the ponds - mostly Mallard (cute) and Coot (not cute). Coot parents get very aggressive with the chicks if they stray too far, pecking them on the head until they get back in line.
One of the stars of the WWT - a Bewick's Swan. Peter Scott encouraged the odd Bewick's to his reserve at Slimbridge, and gradually flocks in their hundreds built up year by year. Scott used the close proximity to record the individual beak markings ('just like a fingerprint') and then identified the birds on their return next winter.
Flocks of thousands can be seen at the WWT's Welney reserve, and there's an interesting blog on Slimbridge individual swans here.

Finally, a quiz - what is the angel-like duck at the top of this blog?


Greenie said...

Steve ,
I'll make a fool of myself first in your quiz .
I'm going for male Gadwall .
Please give any losings to a charity of your choice .

Kingsdowner said...

Well done Fred, that was obviously far too easy!

Mary said...

I didn't know the answer...only easy for those who are smart about ducks :-) However, I know it is a wonderful shot! Love seeing the others, many of which I have never seen. Laughed about the coot pecking the kids into that where the expression "You, old coot, you" comes from....its irasible nature?

Warren Baker said...

That greenie! He gets everywhere. Is it a coot?

Kingsdowner said...

And second prize goes to Warren (I was always sceptical about some of your sightings :-)

Mary, I think you're right about that phrase, and I assume that 'Bald as a coot' refers to the chicks.

Kingsdowner said...

Greenie, first prize is yours, of course.
A nice dish of Coot a l'orange will be delivered (as soon as I can find an orange coot).