Friday, 20 November 2015

The Tuesday Teaser: Revealed

There’s a distinct possibility that even I underestimated my own sneakiness. Having said that, it did inadvertently level the playing field: there was only one way to get thumbnail 2 correct and that was by guessing. Patches of red feathers appear on a number of bird species and there was no way of deducing which one I’d chosen. As for the others, it’s fair to say a good dollop of guesswork was the key to success. Expertise in bird identification was absolutely no use whatsoever in 99.9% of the quiz. Hmm....

And so, to the much anticipated results.

In first place is Si with 4 points (1 correct answer and 3 points for being the first to respond in the comments box).

In second place is Ben with 2 points (2 points for being the second to respond in the comments box).

Thanks guys for jumping in. You’re pioneers of the Tuesday Teaser and I’ll try to be less sneaky next time around, I promise. For you, Ben, I might even throw in a moth or two.

If you're curious to find out what the birds were, here are the (impossible) thumbnails revealed... Did anyone get more than one right?!

Common Crossbill 

During eruptive years, Wendover Woods is the place to look.


A regular passage migrant, frequently found on Ivinghoe Hills.

Black-tailed Godwit

These are juveniles on Startop’s End Reservoir. They're a regular passage migrant at Tring Reservoirs.

Ring Ouzel

A regular passage migrant. This one was on Ivinghoe Beacon

Grey Heron

Resident. This photo of a preening juvenile was taken at Wilstone Reservoir

Water Pipit

In recent years, Tring Reservoirs has frequently been the home to at least one wintering bird. I took this shot at the end of March 2012, at Startop's End Reservoir, when the bird had all but finished its transition into its smart breeding plumage.

P.S. One highlight from this week: during a brief spell of dry weather, when the sun shone weakly over the scrub and saplings at Heartwood Forest (St Albans), 8 Lesser Redpolls and 5 Reed Buntings were taking it in turns to bathe in a big muddy puddle next to their hedgerow perch. All splashes and head dunking and wing flapping. Birds make bath time look like so much fun!

Plus, very glad to still have 2 Coal Tits and 1 Goldcrest visiting garden feeders and bird bath. They seem to hold their own amongst countless Blue and Great TitsBlackbirds, Robin, Wren and Dunnocks. They also have to keep their wits about them in case the local Sparrowhawk chances by.


  1. Oh my god, my wild guess at Water Pipit was right!

    Nearly got the ring ouzel, I wondered about the beak for a long time before I put blackbird.

    Thanks for putting this up.

    1. Hi Si, your thinking was obviously along the right lines if you were toying between Blackbird and Ring Ouzel. Most impressed with your Water Pipit ID!

  2. Great collection of wonderful images.

    1. Thanks for your kind comment John - I'm hoping we'll have a spell of some nice, crisp winter sun after the gloom of late.