Goldfinches, painted ladies, and thistles

This video from England says about itself:

I put this video together because I used to find it difficult to identify a gadwall amongst a flock of female mallards.

Both the male and female gadwall have a white patch at the base of the hind wing. The female mallard has a blue patch in the same place. This is the easiest way to tell them apart particularly at a distance.

Video was taken at Slimbridge WWT in March 2008.

Today, again to where the Baillon’s crakes’ nest used to be.

If, as I hope, the young have survived, by now they are the same size as their parents, able to fly, and preparing their September migration to Africa. So, it is not surprising that I did not see Baillon’s crakes today.

Three great cormorants sitting on the windmill’s sails. One of them spreading its wings in order to dry them.

A little grebe flying just above the water, with its feet hanging behind it. It lands in the water.

Gadwall ducks.

No waders here at the moment. Maybe because there has been a lot of rain, making the water surface rise and making the mudflats surface smaller.

Today it is mostly sunny, with rain for a few seconds while the sun keeps shining.

Many barn swallows flying.

At the bridge where one can often see spoonbils, no spoonbills today. There are great cormorants. And, not far from the bridge, in the grass, a dead mole (see also here).

Two shoveler ducks.

A bit further, along the footpath, domestic geese plus two Canada geese.

On a mudflat, lesser black-backed gulls and black-headed gulls. And a snipe looking for food.

A female tufted duck. Three lapwings.

A painted lady butterfly on a thistle flower. The Dutch name of this species is “distelvlinder”, thistle butterfly. A bit further, thistles where the flowers have already changed to thistledown. This attracts scores of “distelvinken”, literally: thistle finches; goldfinches in English.

An adult great crested grebe with a juvenile. Two adult mute swans with six greyish youngsters.

I arrive back at the bridge. The mole, which was lying in the grass an hour ago, lies on the footpath now. Probably a magpie flying away, which may haven been eating from it, is the cause of this.

How Moles Survive Subterranean Life: A special blood adaptation lets them inhale the same air they exhale: here.

Silver thistle photos: here.

2 thoughts on “Goldfinches, painted ladies, and thistles

  1. Pingback: Reporting wildlife crime in the Netherlands, new site | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Millions of painted ladies expected in Britain | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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