This is a companion to my other Bird of the Day blog, which focuses on birds I have seen in Victoria, Canada.

With the amount of time we have been spending in London lately, I decided it was time to get out my camera and broaden my knowledge of birds of England.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Common Coot

Fulica atra

Appearance:
Medium-sized water bird
Black plumage
Prominent white frontal shield and beak
Red eyes
Lobed flaps of skin on toes
Juvenile:
   Paler than adult
   Whitish breast
   No facial shield

Like their cousin the Moorhen, Coots are a common sight on the park lakes and canals around London.  They are an odd looking bird, especially their feet which I've always found just a little bit frightening.  And, going by the picture below, it appears my concerns were not unfounded!


Learn more about the Coot.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Goldeneye

Bucephala clangula 


Appearance:
Medium-sized diving duck 
White flanks, breast and belly 
White patches on secondaries 
Yellow eyes 
Male: 
     Dark iridescent-green head
     Black back, wings and tail 
     Round white patch on face below eye 
     White scapulars with black striping 
     Black bill 
Female: 
     Chocolate brown head 
     Gray back, wings and tail 
     Yellow tip on black bill 

 


I don't know about you but I find these feet rather funny looking. The contrast between the orange feet and black webbing make the toes stand out in a way that I've never noticed before. Very odd!
 


Learn more about the Goldeneye

Monday, August 15, 2016

Woodpigeon

Columba palumbus

Appearance:
Large pigeon
Mostly gray with pinkish breast
White collar/patches on sides of neck
Iridescent green/purple patch above collar
Black tip on tail
White wing patch
Yellow eye
Pink legs and bill
Juvenile:
     Browner than adults
     No white on neck

I read somewhere that the Woodpigeon, which is common throughout the UK, is equivalent in size to approximately forty Blue Tits.  That is one big pigeon!

Learn more about the Woodpigeon.     

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Barnacle Goose

Branta leucopsis



Appearance:
Medium-sized goose
Creamy-white face
Black head, neck and upper breast
White belly
Silver-gray wings and back with black and white bars 
Black tail
White rump patch 

 Just me and the geese enjoying another sunny day at the park.

Learn more about the Barnacle Goose

 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Gadwall

Anas strepera
female (on left) / male (on right)
Appearance:
Medium-sized dabbling duck
White speculum (wing patch)
White belly
Dark bill
Male: 
     Finely barred grey plumage
     Black rear end
Female:
     Light brown and buff plumage
     Orange-edge to bill

Listen to its call.

This pair were enjoying a sunny April afternoon at the London Wetlands when I snapped this picture.  Again, if you haven't been there yet, I would highly recommend it.  It's a treat to find a nature reserve in the middle of the city.

Learn more about the Gadwall.  

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Black-headed Gull

Chroicocephalus ridibundus


Appearance:

Small gull
Red bill and legs
Pale gray back
White underparts
White edge along forewing
Black wing tips
 Breeding: (above)
      Dark brown head
Non-breeding: (to right)
     White head
     Dark spot behind eyes

Listen to its call.  


Non-breeding plumage - in flight
These gulls are a common sight in England.  I often see them flying overhead and hanging out in the parks in London.  

Learn more about the Black-headed Gull.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Rook

Corvus frugilegus


Appearance
Large black bird
Large grey-black bill, with bare grey-white skin around base
  
Listen to its call. 

I saw a large number of these birds in the fields along the river trail between Ware and Hertford. I determined they were Rooks for the following reasons: 1) "untidy" leg feathers, 2) bare grey-white skin at base of bill, and 3) Rooks are sociable birds while Carrion crows are usually found alone or in pairs.

Learn more about the Rook.