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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Camera Critters: mysteries to us, but...

We saw very little wildlife in Russia. In fact, we saw very few critters of any kind besides birds, including many sparrows plus this pretty bird Dick thought might be some sort of sparrow as well. I disagreed, but didn't have any other suggestion to offer. Stymied, I mentioned it to a British birder whose blog I follow, and he suggested I e-mail him our "mystery bird" photos, even though he had never been to Russia and wasn't sure he'd know them. But he did!

This first one, which Dick thought might be some sort of sparrow, turns out to be called a White Wagtail. I love the name!



The next one, which somewhat resembled the starlings we see walking around in our yard at home, had beautiful spots on its feathers, and turned out to be, yes, a starling.


And this last, cute little sweetie, with its suggestion of color on its back, its white-tipped tail and white-patterned wings, is a Chaffinch. You can tell we're neither of us birders, we're just the sort of tourists who say to one another, "Oh, look at the cute little bird over there! Take a picture of it! Quick!"

© Photos by Richard Schear

Mysteries no more, our little buddies can now be referred to by their proper names when we reminisce about our summer holiday with Viking River Cruises, and about the mystery of identifying these three birds.

Thank you so much, Phil, for identifying them for us! — Kay and Dick

Posted for Camera Critters
Misty Dawn's meme for every being from bugs to bears and in between.
Thanks, Misty!
To see other critters captured by other cameras this week, please click
HERE!

24 comments:

kaykuala said...

Kay,
I've a fascination for birds. In fact my first poetry posting one year ago was on a bird. I managed to snap it feeding its young. Not easy to snap them. Your photos are very clear. You must have waited for sometime to come with such shots!

Hank

ladyfi said...

What delightful shots!

Cheryl said...

They're all beautiful, Kay. It's great you got some help with identifying them. It can be frustrating.

Jo said...

Oh that's fantastic that you managed to get the birds id'd, Kay. Excellent photos. We saw the White Wagtail in the Sudan. The starling visits my garden in South Africa. (they were introduced to SA from Europe and we know them as European Starlings. The bird in your photo is a non-breeding male. Back home, when breeding, the males have yellow bills. I just love the Chaffinch too. We only have one Chaffinch, found at the southernmost point of SA, namely the Cape Peninsula but it's redish and grey. How exciting that you saw birds that also appear in Africa. When I read birder blogs in the US, I barely recognise any of the birds shown. Hope you're having a wonderful weekend. Blessings. Jo

Inger-M said...

I'm rolling over laughing: "Oh, look at the cute little bird over there! Take a picture of it! Quick!" - that me exactly! You did take the pictures, and very well done too!

growing wild on waverly lane said...

That Starling is a stain-glass window. I rescued one who had fallen into a porch column (into which a woodpecker had etched a hole). I know it's hard to picture, but trust me.

As usual, Husband was critical of my defacing the column. A person's got to do what a person's got to do.

What marvelous travels you have!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Beautiful birds, and it must have been wonderful visiting Russia. Wow. I blogged a while back about the plight of the homeless dogs in Russia.....The Hungry Dogs of an Eternal Winter. No SPCA over there.

Carletta said...

I have to smile at your post. I don't know many birds myself but love trying to capture them anyway.
You took some excellent shots!

Phil said...

Hi Kay and I guess I might be famous (or infamous) after getting a mention on your blog. of course those 3 birds are all very common in the UK and with birds it's often a question of where you are in the world.

Leslie said...

I love the names White Wagtail and Chaffinch. And now I can say I know what they look like! The Wagtail looks a bit like our southern Mockingbirds. Does it wag its tail? Our Warblers do that. In fact, they are known as "tail waggers!"

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

Yep...I remember my folks having 78s also. Long, long ago. But by the time our kids were born [and my folks were still alive] they bought 33 1/3 vinyls...of the radio program "The Shadow"...similar to this one I found online...

HERE

Love your critter photo share.

Hope your weekend is treating you well.

Fran said...

Beautiful pictures once again, we have white wagtails, grey wagtails and pied wagtails around here and we used to often see chaffinchs in the garden. I love the birds and keep a book close to hand to identify them. The marshes around Tollesbury are quite important for some types of breeding birds.

nana_ang_poppaphil said...

Great shots, and that would so be me saying "oh look at that cute bird, take a picture quick". I'm not very good at identifying birds.

Powell River Books said...

That really surprises me about finding few critters in Russia. But I guess it sort of makes sense. You have to be in the right place at the right time. I am always amazed at how few animals I see up the lake. You would think it is great animal habitat. We do see little mammals like mice, squirrels and my dreaded wood rat. And in the spring and summer there are lots of birds, but no large critters, at least near our high cliffs. - Margy

Jidhu Jose said...

beautiful birds

Dimple said...

Being something of a nature lover, I do know some birds, but would not have been able to help you with these. They are all pretty birds!

eileeninmd said...

Pretty birds and photos, Kay! I am sure Russia has lots of beautiful birds.

Dianne said...

That pretty little white wag-tail is gorgeous Kay - how fortunate your blogger friend was able to identify it!
Enjoy your Sunday!

Romina said...

Very cute birds, I like the first one as twisting her head as if someone is following.

Have a nice weekend.

Carola Bartz said...

I do love birding, but I still lack a lot of the names, especially in English... The birds here in your photos are beautiful! It's so hard to capture birds in pictures, so you did really well.

Ebie said...

I love these bird names, as cute as the birds themselves.

I am so poor to naming animals and birds. But I am getting better with the help of blog hopping.

Enjoy your weekend Kay.

chubskulit said...

I love the details of the tail. Beautiful captures Kay!

Seasons said...

Yep, I knew right off it had to be Phil! Very nice of him to share his knowledge, nice of you to share these pretty pictures and give Phil acknowledgment which he rightly deserves. That White Wagtail is really something...they all are. Thanks, Kay and Richard.

Romina said...

That's very cute birds and a lovely name, me either is not very good on naming every variety of birds.

Have a great weekend.