A novice birder's observation of birds and other natural wildlife with wings ... or maybe not with wings...
Friday, December 10, 2010
Common Pochard, St. James Park, London, 4/8/10.
While exploring St. James Park in London last April, we saw many ducks that I initially thought were Canvasbacks (Below), but later learned that they are Common Pochards (Above), fairly common in Europe, and related to Northern America's Canvasbacks and Redheads. As you can see in the photos how similar they are to eachother.
A Canvasback; Phoenix, Arizona; 12/29/09.
The Common Pochrd's breeding habitat is marshes and lakes that are a yard or more deep. Pochards breed in much of temperate and northern Europe into Asia. They are migratory, and winter in the southern and west of Europe.These are very social birds and form large flocks in winter, often mixed with other diving ducks, such as Tufted Ducks (future post 12/19), which they are known to hybridise with.
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.