Is that food?

Throwback Thursday travels back to Cheshire in the 1990s with a photo of a juvenile Grey Heron. At this time of year the juveniles are wandering around exploring the area, checking out feeding locations and finding places to roost.

A local Natural History Society had a wooden hide (blind) on a reservoir in south Cheshire which is where this shot was taken from. When the water level in the reservoir was low the tree stump would appear. I’ve got quite a few species on the stump.

This juvenile Grey Heron amused me. It appeared to be trying to decide if the isolated part of the stump above the water is edible although it’s probably watching something in the water.

Is that food?

Raising steam.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Cheshire, England in the 1980s. I visited the Crewe Steam Rally early on Sunday morning before there was many people about. The exhibitors with machinery were busy firing up the boilers or giving the brass work a final polish.

This traction engine has just had the firebox lit judging by the smoke coming out of the smokestack.

Raising steam.

 

Flying in formation.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Saskatchewan, Canada in the 1990s. At this time of year the Sandhill Cranes are gathering together ready to head south for the winter. It wasn’t unusual to see flocks of hundreds of birds in places and a few miles away there could be a family party of four or five by themselves.

One of the staging areas was around the Quill Lakes wetland complex. It is also an important staging area for Snow Geese on autumn migration. I had a few locations around the northern end of Little Quill Lake that I visited at sunset to photograph the various flocks flying over to their roost sites.

Sometimes I would isolate small groups, other times I would shoot wider for larger groups. I picked this shot of five Sandhill Cranes because they appear to be flying in a loose formation. I find it interesting that the wing position of each bird is different.

Formation flying at sunset.

Feeding on Poppy seeds.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Cheshire in the 1980s. The juvenile Eurasian Blue Tit is feeding on a Poppy seed head.

The photo is interesting for a couple of reasons. The juvenile Blue Tit is ringed. I did some research and the closest ringing location I could find was three miles away in a straight line. Which means that this juvenile has already travelled some distance from where it was ringed. Being a juvenile it could have been ringed when it was still in the nestbox.

Also interesting is that the bird is feeding on Poppy seeds after pecking a hole in the seed head. I have seen adult Blue Tits feeding this way. So did the juvenile bird learn this behavior by watching an adult or is it instinctive behavior to peck open seed heads?

Eating Poppy seeds.

Foxtail Barley detail.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Saskatchewan in the late 1990s with a close up of the heads of some Foxtail Barley. Taken on a section of the Little Quill Lake shoreline near Wadena, Saskatchewan.

Alternative common English names are Bobtail Barley and Squirreltail Barley. Although it is native to North American it is regarded as a weed and an invasive species by some people.

Foxtail Barley seed heads.

Male Common Kingfisher.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Cheshire, England in the early 1990s. Having posted a photo of a North American Belted Kingfisher for Wordless Wednesday I thought I would follow up with another Kingfisher species on a different continent.

This is a male Common Kingfisher that is found across parts of Eurasia and North Africa. Other common English names are Eurasian Kingfisher and River Kingfisher. The background is an out of focus hay meadow. I had a portable hide (blind) set up next to a pond in the meadow.

Male Eurasian Kingfisher.

 

Hiding in the Pondweed.

A Common Frog amongst Pondweed in a garden pond.

Throwback Thursday travels back to Cheshire, England in the late 1980s. The pond was constructed for wildlife and within a year Common Frogs were spawning in it and there was a variety of insects living on or in the water. Some of the Common Frogs got so used to people they would stay on the surface of the pond rather than diving under the water.

Hiding in the Pondweed.