Monday, October 19, 2009


There are certain so-called "British Birds" that always shock me because they seem too exotic for this country. Only a few days ago I was reminded of this when I saw the brilliant, iridescent blue and orange of a Kingfisher, streaking down the River Avon.

Then yesterday when I was walking the Jack Russell, Rosie, on the Meadow adjacent to the river, there was a bright green/yellow/red shape- a Green Woodpecker poking about in the grass. Yet another of my favourite birds, I have always liked its country name "yaffle", given to it because of the laughing call it gives in flight- an evocative sound that always makes me think of Spring woods. It's flight too is remarkable- a lyrical, dipping, undulating flight, caused by it taking 3-4 wingbeats followed by a short glide, when the wings are held up by the body.

I took the photo shown below from some distance away and then stalked the bird to get a better close-up. Just when I was in a good position, I heard Rosie barking: in true Jack-Russell-style, she was running after a poor innocent girl taking a stroll, barking and wagging her tale ... so that was yet another shot that got away...

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