Sunday, January 15, 2017

Distant birds

Birds are warm-bodied. Warmer than we are; the average temperature of a bird is around 40 degrees Celsius (105 Fahrenheit). Ours is around 37.

So, while I'm shivering on the beach, bundled up in layers and fleeces, double socks and gloves, I marvel at them, resting placidly in icy water, sleeping or chattering among themselves, as if the water around them weren't 40 degrees colder than their bare feet.

That's a trick even better than flying!

Looks warm. It isn't.

A small flock of wigeons

Wigeons, goldeneyes, and buffleheads, mostly in pairs.

Black-bellied plover, non-breeding plumage. I think. I like their fan tails. (Click for full size.)

I tracked this small flock down the beach. Each time I got within range, they lifted off and moved a few hundred metres further along the shore. And when I got to this point, I didn't even see the second flock, which waited until I reached the logs to startle me by taking off in a great hurry.

An earlier photo. One peep, not one of the flock, slightly fatter, sat on the rock until all the rest of the birds were well away. Mitlenatch Island gleams in the background; the sun seems to hit it more than it does us.

1 comment:

  1. Today seemed so warm (relative to the last week or so). Just seeing sunshine makes you think warm. - Margy


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