Saturday, 29 March 2008

Chasing the shelduck!

The view from the conservatory is always fascinating, waders and ducks usually dominating the scene. Amongst the usual suspects of wigeon and shelduck, a few teal, mallard and occasionally eider will venture into the bay. Shelduck, however, are a constant joy to watch and to draw. At this time of year they are paired off and preparing to breed. One drake caught my eye for more reasons than his stunning colouration or his ardour - he was colour-ringed. This, it transpires, is quite unusual and has had a few of us at pains to locate the code on the ring. This afternoon I secreted myself under a small stand of willow trees at the bottom of the garden, alongside the beach. From this vantage point I could watch the drake, sheltered from the stiff breeze and supposedly hidden from his view. He is very wary, more so than most of his type - perhaps he remembers the occasion of his capture - whatever, he certainly spends much more time staring directly at me than do the other birds. Gradually, however, as the tide lowers, he moves closer into range of the telescope. At about 150 meters, with max. zoom on the eyepiece, I can (eventually) make out the ring and its message. it is green and in white type are the characters B (or possibly 8) and Z. All we need to do now is find out who and where he was ringed. More to come as and when. Here are a few drawings I made of him and others over the past couple of days.

1 comment:

Andy Ellis said...

Fantastic Tim thats all I can
say! Good to see you have a Blog
now will put alink so others can see.

Andy Ellis