Monday, 4 November 2013

In Praise of the Commonplace

Mallard, Canada Geese and a
Downy Woodpecker
4 November 2013

    This morning I had to go out and do a little shopping and collect the key for the board room of the credit union (Libro Financial Services) where the executive of our naturalists' club meets. Whenever I do this I have a circuit that I follow and I do a little birding along the way.
    Included along this route are two storm water management ponds around which the vegetation has grown up and it forms good habitat and cover for a variety of birds.
    I am quite sure that as I get older my delight in the very basic components of nature gets ever more keen, and my appreciation of it grows exponentially. This morning, with a little ice already forming overnight on the still waters of these ponds, I was greeted by the sight of minor flotillas of Canada Geese Branta canadensis, Mallards Anas platyrynchos, and hitching its way up a tree a male Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens. In addition there were Dark-eyed Juncos Junco hyemalis, Black-capped Chickadees Poecile atricapillus, American Tree Sparrows Spizella arborea and a variety of other birds, all common and frequently observed. 
    Not even the rarest of sightings could have eclipsed my happiness as I wallowed in the deep sense of euphoria engendered by the companionship of old friends. We should all take note of the familiar and enjoy its rewards.


  1. I love those woodpeckers, and your geese and mallard photos are beautiful David. A great catch en route to the meeting

  2. Great sightings on your way!
    Where I am no such water spots to watch birds that close, you're lucky! ;-)
    Your pic are gorgeous, especially the last one!

  3. Nice post. I often wonder what raptures birders would go into if Mallard were rare! They are a cracking looking bird.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  4. Beautiful images, David, especially that last one.

    It's all too easy to to overlook the commonplace birds. I was remeinded of this last Thursday when a friend and I went to a feeding station at a local beauty-spot for a few hours (great for a concentrated photographic practise session!) On reviewing the photos that I had taken, I was strongly reminded as to how spectacular some of our 'everyday' birds are.

  5. You leave here very well see how beautiful the wild ducks are. Beautiful colors and beautiful flanszende positions. And you call a Woodpecker Downy Woodpecker?

  6. Helma - Downy Woodpecker is the commonest woodpecker in this area.