Freitag, 20. Februar 2015

Winter Birding

Male goosander

The winter 2014/2015 was strange. First it was too warm and there was no snow at all. I think that's the reason why there weren't that much foreign water fowl in our area. But after Christmas we got plenty of snow and the "quakers" got pretty hungry. They even ate my special and healthy duck food which they normally don't take, because *snobby voice on* it doesn't taste like bread *snobby voice off*. But I met a very special duck, which wasn't a foreign duck at all. See the picture of that handsome guy under the cut!

When you bring some food you can be sure there's always a bunch of hungry beaks around. There are mainly mallard ducks, some bald coots and very tame but cheeky mute swans. Other duckies, especially the winter guests, are too shy and don't come close to humans. But there was this one male goosander, which was nosy about the food. He didn't eat it, because it was "duck only". So after inspection he swam away, looking for fish instead.

Look at that beak! A typical sign for goosanders. Other fish eating birds like the great crested grebes doesn't have such a serrated beaks. In German this bird is called Gänsesäger (Gans = goose, sägen = to saw - what a stupid name).

Close up!
So, now about the handsome duck I was talking about: It's a male bastard duck. I think the mother was a mallard and the father a red-crested pochard, because he hangs around with a bunch of mallards and avoids the pochard gang.
Mallards usually don't dive for food like the red-crested pochards tend to do. Instead the mallards use to dabble. But this bastard dives like a boss!

He really looks handsome with that metallic violet-green head and that orange bill <3 I'm wondering if he could make babies or maybe he is sterile? Hmm...
But he isn't the only crazy duck around here. There is also a total white male house duck. I don't have a picture of it, but that rascal has a following female mallard with him! I think there will be strange ducklings in spring time...

But the real highlight was a single male goldeneye. It was very very shy and moved away quickly. So I'm sorry for the bad photo, my camera isn't made for long distances.

We also saw a lesser spotted woodpecker which was very exciting! But that little bird was so nervous, there was no chance to take a picture of it. So, have a robin instead.

And I almost forgot about the herons! There were a lot of them, doing some siesta.

While we walked along the reed we noticed a movement. There was a shy moorhen (no photo, it was too fast) and a not so shy juvenile great crested grebe. It was looking for food and gave a shit about us. Thank you, I like my birds like that ;)

I really enjoyed the snow. Too bad I didn't have enough time for it. But now I'm looking forward to a warm spring time *sigh*

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