Birds of a Feather

This feels like old but familiar and, to an extent, neglected territory. It's a simple post of some birds photographed this morning on the South Downs. No ponds, no ducks, no cormorants, just a selection of local bird life. I'll start, appropriately (as this was quite early) with a pair of skylarks.

There were a few of them in the vicinity, but they were not nearly so prominent or active as the most colourful of our corvids, the jay. A pair, or maybe more than one pair, were criss-crossing the valley laden with acorns. As well as the one carried in the beak, they will have packed a number into their throat pouch for transporting back to a cache that will see them through winter. You can easily see the bulging pouch in these shots.

A local kestrel flew past, but she didn't stop to hover or hunt.

Most of the rest of the time I had was spent watching the goldfinches. Several small flocks were busy feeding on teasel and other seed-bearing plants. I counted 14 in this one shot, but they take some hunting out. They are very flightly, skipping in small groups from one food source to another. And when the light catches them right there are few prettier birds to watch.

This one is a little easier to see.

Once they take to the air, it's easy to see how they came by their name.

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Camera note: all shots taken with the Canon 7D EF and 400mm f/5.6L USM lens.

This entry was posted in Birds and tagged , , , .


  1. gdare October 17, 2011 at 6:10 am #

    Goldfinches look excellent, I like their colours :up:

  2. cakkleberrylane October 18, 2011 at 2:10 am #

    Very nice indeed!

  3. Words October 18, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    Lois, thanks!

  4. Words October 18, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    Darko, thanks. I always like the goldfinches and this is a great time of year for them.

  5. Words October 18, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    Erwin, thanks!

  6. SittingFox October 19, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    I got to carry a goldfinch back from the net to the ringing station the other week (in a little bag, of course!) Beautiful to see them in the sunshine like that. Jays are certainly busy right now as well.

  7. Words October 20, 2011 at 12:10 am #

    Adele, that's very cool!

  8. Wulpen October 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    Beautiful shots