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Tuesday, April 19, 2011
'I went to see this American vagrant at the Ouse Washes yesterday and was fascinated by its aggressive display behaviour towards a female Shoveler. Aggressive in the sense that it was competing for her with four other male Shovelers and appearing to be winning! When on the ground or in the water, I could get no clue as to why it was even close in the competition, but took a few, slightly distant, photos.
Then a Sparrowhawk diving at something else nearby (a Lapwing? - I had no time to notice) spooked them all into flight for a few seconds, giving me a chance to see the Blue-winged Teal in all its glory. I was too surprised to do anything other than enjoy the moment in my binoculars, but realised I had missed an opportunity! I kept my camera close and fortunately, rewarded by patience, was given a second chance to capture the bird in flight.
It was only when I studied the images on the camera display that it dawned on me how similar the plumages are of these two interacting species. It goes a long way to explaining the behaviour I witnessed.
I enjoyed regarding the ‘six bird’ image afterwards as a fly-by by the Blue Arrows!!'AW
Posted by CBC at 11:05 AM
'..beautiful afternoon today- the light really picked out the subtle tones in the head. lucky enough to have the teal come as close as it could in the channel in front of the hide. it obviously has a liking for the larger lady.' BG
Posted by CBC at 11:01 AM