Saturday, December 15, 2007

Phragmites, buntings and rails

The feather-topped Phragmites reed is the mainstay of most of the shallow water wetlands, encouraging the bogbumpers (see last post), reed and sedge warblers and the elusive bearded tit. In the winter I tend to associate two other birds - the most visible being the reed bunting.
In winter the dramatic black head of the male fades - much like the brambling of a few posts ago,
and a couple of years ago the bird below caused me much excitement until I realised it was a reed bunting moulting into summer plumage rather than some kind of exotic relative!

The other bird I tend to associate with phragmites is one I rarely see at my local wetlands patch, although as you walk around Newport wetlands the pig-like squeals seem to be heard all over the place. One of the hides at Potteric Carr holds a strong promise of seeing this shy bird, although sorties out of the reeds do tend to be quick dashes. Still, enough this time to get some better shots.
Kind of cute, eh? Again try clicking for a bigger view - if blogger is playing ball!

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