Friday, 26 March 2010


The end of March and the first week of April is the best time to observe the complex and interesting pre-breeding behavior of Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa/Grutto). This takes place in the afternoon preferably in flooded grasslands. The display of the brick-red ♂♂ - downward spreading of tail and puff out of the rufous mantle feathers - is needed to trigger the process of ♀’s ovule ripping. Other ♂♂ are scared off, by showing the white conspicuous underwings. Although the ♂♂ are very much present, the duller ♀♀ determine when the mating start. This is one of the many things that I learned over the years from Astrid Kant, the godwit specialist in The Netherlands. Thanks Astrid!
The photos below are taken in overcast weather conditions, I begin to appreciate such lighting conditions more and more.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Piss off!

I once read that conflicts between humans can be traced back to one out of 3 things: women, money (resources in general), or power (status). In the animal world this is exactly the same. The rightmost Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos/Wilde Eend) is furious because his ♀ (not visible on the photo) was approached by another ♂.
Oh yeah, I made a small crop with a 16×9 aspect ratio of this photo.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Fluffy tuft

Spring is coming, but it is still cold this morning with -4°C. The strong NO-wind kept the water open. After the low and soft winter illumination, I have to get used to the other quality of light. This ♂ Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula/Kuifeend) is photographed in bright sunlight; windy conditions are necessary in order to show the fluffy tuft.