April Showers- Birds and Fish and Cetaceans & Feathers?

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Farmers were delighted with rain that fell most days during this first week of April. I can’t say that it’s been easy to show people the birds during this very wet time, although afternoons were generally better and we managed to see quite a lot of avian migrants that had come in from Africa.

Pallid Swifts are still arriving with Common Swifts ….as are these lovely Alpine Swifts

Black Kite

Tandem Griffon Vutures showing off. The top one having quite a full crop

A typical adult male Montagu’s Harrier showing the dark secondary band and four primary projections on the ‘hand’

This young male Montagu’s Harrier shows all adult plumage. He has quite a dark grey hood and bolder streaking on the underwing coverts as well as on the belly and flanks which are tyical of a younger male.

The slimmer winged Montagu’s Harrier sweeps past us. This is a transitional male showing a mix of adult and juvenile plumage. In time he’ll moult all the brown shown here on the upper coverts and the rest of the flight feathers which will be replaced gradually by new grey feathers

White-headed Duck – the underlying feature with the blue bill seems to show where the colour is a consequence the reflection of blue wavelengths by a colourless superficial layer with absorption of all other wave-lengths of incident light by a deeper black layer containing large amounts of melanin. Some studies have been done on Ruddy Ducks, a very similar ‘stifftail’ species and show that the blue bill colour is a physical, structural phenomenon and not due to the accumulation of a specific blue pigment.’

Visit my website to learn more about my activities as a guide in the Andalucia region of Spain.

Stephen Daly

Stephen Daly

Stephen Daly, has been birding since he was eight years old in his native Scotland. After living in Germany and France he established Andalucian Guides the successful birding and wildlife tour company on The Strait of Gibraltar in Spain and has been living here since 2001. Photographing birds in flight is one passion and his photos can be found in many books, magazines and journals. Studying bird behaviour and bird migration are two other positive aspects of being based on one of the busiest migration routes on Earth.

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