This might be the best ,,new species’’ article and probably one of the best ever. Why? Because of the species identified and the photos that I have managed to take with them. The photos are not perfect, as none or very very few will be, but still the majority of them are good ones. As for the species I am happy to present two of my favourite to photograph.
Let’s not keep you waiting too much and let me tell you about the day the Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) showed up for a photo shoot. A very happy day indeed as it is one of my favourite birds. It is impossible not to love this bird with its bright blue and orange colours and its abilities to fly and fish. I have seen the kingfisher for the first time in my life a few days before I took these shots, in the same spot but it did not stay enough for me to properly photograph. I have returned almost daily to see if I could spot him but I was unlucky until this fortunate day. Kingfishers are important members of the ecosystem, their presence indicating the quality of water that they inhabit. They prefer habitats with clear water, trees or shrubs on the banks that must have high vertical portions where they can excavate their nesting burrow. They can excavate a 60-90 cm (24-35 in) long tunnel before making an enlarged chamber where the female will lay two to ten glossy white eggs. A. atthis consumes in a proportion of 97% only fish that is able to catch by plunging from a perch. They have the ability to calculate the change in refraction between the air and the water. There are many other interesting facts about the Common kingfisher so I encourage you to make a search if you haven’t made it already.
In the same day that I photographed the Kingfisher, while resting on a bench and drinking a coup of tee, my girlfriend spotted something moving on the opposite riverbank. It turned out to be a Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) that unfortunately I did not managed to capture until he was with the back at me. The brown rat also known as the common rat is the most best known and common rat, found on all continents except Antarctica being the second most prolific mammal in the world after us, humans. Selective breeding of R. norvegicus had resulted in the pet rat and the laboratory rat. Brown rats are capable of producing ultrasonic vocalizations that they use as pups to elicit and direct maternal behavior. As adults they emit ultrasonic vocalizations in response to predators or perceived danger. Another short, high frequency, ultrasonic, socially induced vocalization is known as chirping that has been linked to laughter and is interpreted as an expectation of something rewarding. Some pet rats owners use bat detectors in order to notice this vocalization.
Ducks make for a nice photography subject, especially when they allow us to get close to them. Getting to the eye level also helps. They usually have amazing plumage and piercing eyes. The Common goldeneye duck (Bucephala clangula) from my pictures is not quite the best example as it is a female and females aren’t so vividly colored but they still have those piercing eyes that I was talking about. The English name is also referring to those golden eyes while the scientific name refers to the shape of the head, from ancient greek ,,bucephala’’-,,bullhead’’. In Europe they can only be found in Scandinavia where it also breeds and in winter in the Baltic States. They naturally nest in cavities in large trees, where they return year after year, though they will accept nest boxes as well.
Before going to the lake, where I found the above duck, I have made a short trip
The Tufted duck (Aythya
The last species included in this article is the Common Redpoll (Acanthis
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For all species found on my spotting adventures, take a look at INaturalist.
The gear that I’ve used for spotting and book used for identification, here.