Lightning fast and technicoloured, seeing a kingfisher always feels special. Spot them near rivers, diving low to catch tiny fish with impressive dexterity. The kingfisher is a small bird with unmistakable plumage. Its back is bright metallic blue and its breast is a coppery-brown. The beak is long and black, though females have a red patch at the base. With a wingspan of 25cm and body length of 16cm, a kingfisher is only slightly larger than a robin, although it is nearly twice as heavy.

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Acknowledgements: Extract taken from The Wildlife Trust

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The blue tit is a delicate little bird, weighing in at around 11g – half the size of a robin. Often considered our most attractive garden bird, the blue tit is extremely colourful, with a bright blue cap, white face, black stripes across the eyes, bright yellow breast and blue, green and white wings.

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Acknowledgements: Extract taken from The Woodland Trust

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Any one who has ever taught a bird watching class or led groups of beginners will be familiar with the rare birds seen by their group. And sooner or later one of them is bound to report ‘ a brilliant yellow bird with a bright red head’. And they are usually convinced it is some sort of tropical bird – it must be really rare. But it is a sighting of this bird, which oftentakes some time to be accepted as ‘only’ a green woodpecker, which can fire the enthusiasm of many beginners. The yellow is in fact a yellowish green, confined to the rump, which becomes very visible as the woodpecker flies away with its bouncing ‘undulating’ flight.

There is no question, the green woodpecker is one of the most colourful of all the birds native to Britain. And they make themselves very obvious by often feeding right out in the open in the middle of lawns, where they can be relatively inconspicuous while feeding, but when disturbed become very obvious as they fly away. Unlike the other two species (the Greater and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers), they are frequently to be seen on the ground, and this is because they have a great love of ants, and will return day after day to a favourite anthill to feed.

The largest of the three species of wood pecker found in Britain, Green Woodpeckers are also easily recognized by their laughing ‘yaffle’ call. Like many such obvious birds they have a wide range of old country names and while standardization of the names is obviously an advantage for birdwatchers, I can’t help feeling that we have lost something when these old names are lost :

Like the other woodpeckers, Greens do drum, but their drumming is neither so resonant nor harsh as the other two species, nor as frequent – they rely on their laugh to demarcate their territory. In Europe the closely related, though duller, gray-headed woodpecker is also found – but this is a more difficult bird to find, and one that even keen birders often have trouble in seeing.

Article By John A Burton

Photographs by CRUSH Photography©

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Acknowledgements: Extract taken from https://birdsofbri more...

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The Western Osprey is 0.9–2.1 kg (2.0–4.6 lb) in weight and 50–66 cm (20–26 in) in length with a 127–180 cm (50–71 in) wingspan. The upperparts are a deep, glossy brown, while the breast is white and sometimes streaked with brown, and the underparts are pure white.

'Osprey' By CRUSH Photography©

Description

The sexes appear fairly similar, but the adult male can be distinguished from the female by its slimmer body and narrower wings. The breast band of the male is also weaker than that of the female, or is non-existent, and the underwing coverts of the male are more uniformly pale. It is straightforward to determine the sex in a breeding pair, but harder with individual birds.
Osprey

The Western Osprey

The head of the Western Osprey is white with a dark mask across the eyes, reaching to the sides of the neck. The irises of the eyes are golden to brown, and the transparent nictitating membrane is pale blue. The bill is black, with a blue cere, and the feet are white with black talons. A short tail and long, narrow wings with four long, finger-like feathers, and a shorter fifth, give it a very distinctive appearance.

'Osprey' By CRUSH Photography©
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