Friday, 4 March 2011

Odd Ones Out

Since the Ynys Hir Barnacle geese left the estuary, I did not expect to see another this season so couldn't resist drawing this solitary bird at Dolydd Hafren. A different setting in amongst the green pasture and debris of the now receded river, with pheasants, curlew and the ubiquitous Canada geese that only just tolerated its presence.
As I was packing up at dusk a 50+ strong group of curlew flew in and landed on a point in the river. The birds bodies were dark, silhouetted against the river apart from the slightest golden highlights picking out their contortions as they stretched, preened and bathed. In amongst the mass of silhouettes it was easy to pick out the much blogged leucistic bird, completely white apart from a few black tips to the primaries, tail and a pink ridge to bill and eye. I never thought I'd be interested in a leucistic bird the way people marvel at them, but it truly was striking in contrast with the silhouettes of the darker birds and mass of goosander, teal, wigeon, gadwall and pintail all gathering around the point to roost - definitely a subject to return to. (palette cb,cr,cy on all 3).