A novice birder's observation of birds and other natural wildlife with wings ... or maybe not with wings...
Friday, October 22, 2010
Common Moorhen, Regents Park, London; 4/10/10
The most widely distributed member of the rail family, is the Common Moorhen (Above and Below), which inhabits marshes and ponds from Canada to Chile, from northern Europe to southern Africa, and across Asia to the Pacific. We saw the Moorhen in several places while visiting London last April. It is similar to the Coot (Blog post 10/17) as it is a ducklike bird with chickenlike bill and feet. Its bill is a striking red with a yellow tip and possesses a white stripe along its flanks which contrast to its dark body. Most of the Moorhens I observed stayed near the shore of ponds but weren't in the water, but this gave me the chance to see their yellow legs with a spot of red just above their inverse knee joints which made them look like they were wearing knee stockings. Their funny long toes are used for digging in the mud and to walk atop floating vegetation in marshes.
Hello, I have always been interested in birds, undoubtedly influenced by my mother and grandmother. As a young boy I remember paging through my parents' bird books. Both my Mom and Grandma would identify birds by both their songs and their looks. I enjoy nature and being out in it as often as I am able. Being a teacher helps - as I have much of the summer to do just that. I have done some nature and wildlife photography, but until a few years ago I never thought about photographing birds thinking that it would be too difficult - too small and too flighty. After a few thousand photos, my girlfriend suggested that I open a blog sharing some of the pictures that I have taken and hopefully will be taking in the future.
During the 3 years that have been writing this blog, I have graduated from my first camera, a Sony Digital, to my 2nd, a Canon Rebel T1i, to finally my 3rd and current camera - Canon EOS7D. I started with the standard 18-55mm lens, which I soon found was totally impractical. I then purchased a Canon 55-250mm which I used for quite some time, until I bought a Sigma 150-500mm.and finally sold that one and replaced it with a Sigma 150-600mm, my current birding lens.