Hi all, could someone please help with in ID of this bird, spotted on the Somerset Coastline up near Bridgewater. It's probably something obvious but I just cannot work out what. It was some distance from my position but clearly large enough to make its presence seen. It was a very upright, bold looking bird, it could even have been heron size. Not one of my better photos, so hopefully it is good enough!!
Looks suspiciously like a bustard to me.
I did wonder about a female Great Bustard? Maybe I am totally wrong. Just a loose thought.
Looking at lots of images of female bustards the neck colour, generally stance and beak size seem wrong though... Unless it's just a strange angle?
Looks like a ruff to me.
Many thanks all, for your comments. My first thought was of a Bustard but ruled it out for similar reasons. Ruff is one possibility but it must have been too big for one of these. I just wished I had spent more time watching this bird!
Female Houbara Bustard ? Looking on Google images at some of the birds in an upright stance it looks similar - also there is a hint of Black cap/neck streaks in the photo ,(if you stand on your head and squint)!
I'd go for ruff as well for what it's worth. I find it really hard to judge scale sometimes with a distant bird. Just need to find it again now Robin.
Could be a bittern, bill looks right and occasionally they are found out in the open when the weather turns cold...?
A bit of a guess and quite a long shot but could this be a Dowitcher, as I note that there has been one in Hampshire very recently?
Hmmm, this is an interesting one indeed.
My first thought was Bustard, especially as one has been reported in the general area already this month.
Bill colour is wrong though.
Ruff - Neck seems too thick and legs too thin, and bill colour not right.
Bittern - Bill colour is almost right, but shape is not, also the primaries are too short.
Houbara Bustard - Colours seem right, except again for the bill, which is tinged with some Yellow, but not as much as the photo, also neck slightly thinner.
Short Billed Dowitcher - Bill wrong colour and not long enough, colours not right underneath, and neck is too thick.
Slender Billed Curlew - Is getting there is some photos very similar neck thickness and overall general colouring. All except the Bill. The photo shows a Yellow short bill, admittedly its at a distance etc, but Yellow V black?
Loving this... Let the mystery continue :)
The grassy clumps around it make it look quite big if a wader...and also looks like it has quite thick legs..
Has the image been enhanced at all? If it has, can you post the original version?
Agreed Cookie, if the average uncut grass leaf is between 6-8 inches in height, then this bird is quite a large bird...
Once again, many thanks for all the comments. The photo was slightly enhanced, I will post the original as soon as possible. Anyone else going down to Steart should keep a look out for this one.
Curlew with end of bill concealed in the grass..........!
But the shadow suggests it doesn't have its beak in the ground?
We definitely need to see the original photo. Reversing the photo to show it in negative form might reveal more detail about the bill length/shape for instance....
As promised here are some more photos, taken with a Canon 7D and a 400mm lens.
1. Cropped image, straight from the camera
2. Uncropped image, straight from the camera. Note that over on the right there may be two similar birds
3. Cropped image of the birds to the right
I'm sure that this bird will turn out to be something very very common!!!
If in doubt my top tip is ALWAYS assume it's a first for Britain if not Europe , It makes birding much more exciting ! P.S. Curlew is looking more likely by the minute Nigel !
Curlew. Eurasian, Regular.
All the best,
The 2 birds close by are Curlew and it stands to reason that the mystery bird is one as well...
Perhaps a trick of the light or the enhancement of the photo caused the bill to look much shorter and straighter than in reality.
Love these mysterys thanks :)
Many thanks for everyone who helped work out what this bird was. I agree in that it was a Curlew. Just a trick of the light that made the bill look short, a bird walking up a slope and of course a poor photograph that made it out to be something else. I must learn to take better photos!!, although I could always post an interesting image on April 1st.
Have been out today, enjoying the sun and watching the Curlew, but sadly no SEOs, over at Steart.