Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Break in the Weather

Praise Jesus! Sunshine! Yesterday the clouds and rain were blown away by a gusty, breezy springlike wind, one that propelled Londoners out of their houses and into the streets and parks. I opened the windows, aired out the flat and took the opportunity to head over to Kensington Gardens to check out the native bird life.

Backstory: While walking Olga in the park on Monday, I saw a stunning little brownish bird with an orange breast. I wasn't able to photograph it as I only had my point-and-shoot camera, and I was being jerked along by the dog. So I went back yesterday, sans dog, to see if I could find it again.

Sure enough, in the same area of the park, I saw one sitting on a fence, chirping away happily.

Isn't it cute? Funniest thing, though -- I thought perhaps I'd found some mildly exotic European bird. No. It is a robin. I kid you not. In England, robins are a completely different species from their American counterparts.

In a nearby thicket of bushes, I saw several other intriguing winged creatures. The bird above is a Great Tit -- a bit ruffled because I interrupted it in the middle of grooming.

And this little thing is a Blue Tit. Both of these tits were tiny and flitty and very hard to photograph.

Finally, on the way back home, I noticed some of the park's resident feral parakeets swooping among the treetops. They're very easy to spot at this time of year, brilliant green against the brown bark of the trees. They clearly were not made to camouflage themselves in a deciduous environment!

It felt so great to get out on a nice day. I didn't try to take Olga because I think I exhausted her on Monday. She's been having some digestive issues (perhaps related to her tendency to eat random bits of stuff off the street) so we're letting her take it easy.


Lynne said...

These are wonderful! I have never seen any variety of tits before and they are really beautiful. The Great Tit looks a little chickadee-ish.

Hah, I had to laugh because as I was reading along as you were talking about a little bird with an orange breast I thought "he saw a robin" before I scrolled to see the photo. We had them in Holland and I remember how amazed I was that it looked nothing like its American cousin. Different song too.

And that parakeet! What a gorgeous bird and how out of place it looks! It looks more like a parrot?

Great captures with your new lens!

Ms. Moon said...

I am in awe of your bird photos. Steve- they are wonderful!

Nancy said...

Lovely birds, and those two tits are to die for (clears throat). We must've been of like mind. I snapped pictures, which I'll be posting, of a parade of cardinals in my back yard. Notice I refrained from using the word "photographed." My picture taking is nothing like your'n.

ellen abbott said...

Love the birds. I don't think we have tits here. And a blogger in Scotland had posted a picture of a bird she called a robin, just like this one. I was very surprised as it is a completely different bird, like you say. I guess we don't have these little birds in the US.

The Bug said...

Ooh fabulous bird photos! I'm glad you had such a nice day. We had temps in the 60s yesterday, but it was rainy. Today we're back in the deep freeze - and the sky's still gray :)

Lorianne said...

I believe there are various birds called "robins" all over the world, wherever the Brits colonized. Apparently they loved "their" robins so much, they gave that name to any bird that is even remotely similar.

And in response to Lynne, tits belong in the same family as both chickadees and titmice, which explains the similarity.

Linda Sue said...

You have such a steady hand- Must not drink enough coffee...Your shots are glorious - the colours ! WOW! My British friends called our robins "thrush". Still socked in here- dark and soggy , cold, dismal, The sort of weather for morbid poetry and writings of ones own obituary...Did you see that in Seattle Gomer Pyle married finally got married, He is in his eighties...never too late, I guess, and now it's cool- everyone is celebrating big time!

Wayne said...

Haha I almost fell off my chair when you did not realise that bird was a robin right away. I had no idea that they are completely different in the US - I had a quick Google! I always associate little Robin Red Breasts with Christmas and it makes me feel uncomfortable when I see them throughout the year.

Interesting stuff. Every day is a school day! ;)

Lynne said...

Wow, Lorianne. I totally see the connection now. We have tons of titmice here as well as chickadees. I had never thought of this to put it together. Thank you!

Photokismet said...

Amazing shots! Love every one of them...especially that unusual robin...LOL!