Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The Beautiful Birds of Berwick


You have no idea how excited I was to finally catch the bird above on camera. Seriously. Not that you can really tell as it had the sun behind him, but he is a Fulmar! :O He's been visiting a certain part of my town, usually early in the mornings when I'm walking to work, every now and again for the past 6 months to a year I'd say. Most people would think he's just a Common Gull (Seagull to most people) in passing but he was the most beautiful and striking bird to me as soon as I first saw him. 
Fulmars are actually not gulls but seabirds related to the Albatros. What surprised me to see him was that they are never usually this close to town... They feed out at sea and breed on distant cliffs of the Scottish coastline. In Berwick, we are on the North East coast of Northumberland and right on the border to Scotland so it's not too strange to see him, though I always get concerned to see any birds in places that they shouldn't be - for example, this close to town. Just look what has happened to 'Seagulls' with people feeding them and their intelligence leading to foraging in bins etc rather than being out at sea. 

Anyways, that's probably enough waffling about a bird most of you will not give a hoot about. If you did read that I commend you and I hope you enjoy some more photos along my walk-to-work route of other birds & beautiful sights. 

Another little guy who is in a place he shouldn't be is the black and white duck with the red face. He's a Muscovy Duck, a breed that is native to Mexico, South and Central America but which isn't really present in the wild over here nor do they migrate. After a little research that leads me to believe that he is either, unfortunately, a dumped pet/prize bird or an escapee from a farm. Muscovys are sadly used for meat and even more disgustingly, foie gras :( This guy is true to his breed with his friendliness and I've become pretty attached to him since his random appearance so I make a point to talk to him every day. 

Other birds featured above in appearance order are - 
 Male House Sparrow
 Jackdaw
 Male Mallard flying
Close-up of the male Muscovy
Close-up of a male Mallard

The birds above in featured order are -
Mute Swan
Jackdaw
Pied Wagtail
Male Mallard
Female Blackbird
Collared Dove
Close up of a Common Gull

The birds I've included in this post aren't the only species we are lucky enough to get, of course, though these are the ones I managed to get semi-good photos of over two days and they were just quick little under 30minute sessions. Other fab birds we get include - Grey Heron, Golden Eye duck, Sandpiper, Curlew, Dunlin, Little Egret, Cormorant, Eider, Gannet, Oyster Catcher and sooo many other beautiful creatures.
I am still working on catching the otter family on camera closer up and the second to last photo shows near where they are living. This was taken at 300mm zoom so I stayed my distance in case they were nearby, just FYI ;)

If you enjoyed this post, you are my type of person haha. Let me know which bird above you like the most and what is your favorite bird that is not pictured!


As a quick edit, I wanted to include a few more photos I'd taken recently. Including the above shot of, yes, the Fulmar!! I hope you can see it a bit better than in the first image and can therefore see it's many differences with gulls. They are so beautiful and on this particular morning there were two! I couldn't believe it and was so excited. Very lucky to witness such stunning creatures.

Also above are:
A juvenile male Mallard

Two Grey Heron

The Muscovy Duck sleeping in the sun with all the male Mallards
A visiting, beautiful, Black Swan
My famous Fulmar 



This really is the end of the post this time haha. 




16 comments:

  1. That shot of the laughing/yelling duck is so good!

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    1. Thank you! haha He was hungry I gather, shouting at me for food!

      xo

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  2. Oh Danielle, these are incredible. Really blooming brilliant. I think I liked the Muscovy best but I felt sad for him being on his lonesome (species wise at least!)

    I keep seeing robins lately, which seems weird in June, and no matter how hard I try they never stick around long enough to get a picture of. We also have some adorably tiny little flittery things in the park near my house, they always look and sound so happy - I'm sorry i started this because I have no idea whatsoever they are!

    M x

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    1. Ah Michelle! Thank you!! Sadly, the Muscovy has now been gone for about a week. I'm really hoping he's just moved on and no one has taken her to eat or something...She was an absolute little babe and knew my voice as I made a point of talking to her every morning.

      Yes! I saw a robin this evening too. I wonder if the little tiny things you are seeing are wrens?? I love wrens but they aren't too common up here, but are apparently green status so it's possible that's what you're seeing.

      xo

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  3. Danielle I've got to say that this is probably one of the most stunning posts you've ever shared. The level of detail on that gull photo is just gorgeous - the eyes and the beak! Love the shots you got of the fulmar too - what a stunning bird! This is a gorgeous set of photos - I hope I can achieve this level someday! - Tasha

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    1. That means so much to me, as I really love this post (despite not all of the photos being amazing). I thought you might like it too ;) Tasha, the photos you get just now are amazing so I have no doubt that your photos will surpass mine when you get the equipment.

      xo

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  4. Lovely post Danielle.It is really exciting when you get to photograph something you have never managed to photograph before..like your fulmer.I am still hoping to photograph a kingfisher.I am lucky enough to see one most days when walking the dog but they are to quick for me!

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    1. Thank you! Oh my gosh a Kingfisher?! Where do you live!! I've never gotten the pleasure of seeing one in person, how wonderful.

      xo

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  5. Aww, they all look amazing. The pictures are beautiful and you can name all the birds, that is impressive. I love birds, but I can't identify them. x

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    1. Thanks so much. Ah if I come across a new bird I'm not sure about I use the bird identifier on the RSPB website, I'm not that good lol.

      xo

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  6. Too many awesome birds! I love the Fulmar, he looks like a big old bird, but a beauty too. I need to get more familiar with the Belgian birds to see if we have any uncommon visitors about. Must admit, I've not taken many bird photos lately, I keep leaving my camera at home since I'm on the bike. I really need to buy myself something to carry the camera on it.

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    1. He's actually a bit smaller than a seagull when you see them near each other which is weird! There's bound to be a site similar to the RSPB one here for you over there, surely.
      Yeah the rain isn't a big helper in being able to take the camera out either.

      xo

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  7. When you really look it's wonderful to think of quite how many birds we see. Your photos are just amazing. I love how sharp they are. I feel like I'm right up there soaring or conversing with those birds.

    Right now we have a little gold finch that visits the fir trees behind my house. I spy hm out of the window, but is much too fast to capture on camera. We also have barn owls that come out at dusk at the local common and these have to be my favourite birds. So graceful and striking they fly so effortlessly.

    Kate xx

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    1. Oh it is!! Birds are one of my main passions in life and each one I see makes me so happy. Being able to get a photo I am happy with is so exciting hahah.
      That's so nice of you to say, especially as I'm dealing with bad lenses right now after breaking my good one eeek.

      Oh I love the Gold Finches, I'll have to tweet you a photo or two of the ones I've caught.
      Barn Owls?! That's amazing. We live too near to town just now to catch anything like that but I have held owls and hawks etc which was fantastic - hopefully we will be seeing them again on Monday!

      xo

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  8. Aww I'm really sad now after reading this. I never Muscovy Ducks are used for meat and foie gras. That's disgusting. Breaks my heart to think of such beautiful birds being used like that!! I also had no idea what a Fulmar was, so was really interested to read about that! My favourite bird pictured? The Muscovy Duck, of course. And my favourite bird not pictured? I like Blue Tits! x www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

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    1. Yeah, Muscovy is the primary breed used for it unfortunately. Them and a cross between Muscovy and Pekin too. It's extra sad when you see how friendly and happy they are.
      Blue Tits are lovely too! I could never choose, there are too many I love haha.

      xo

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