Sunday, 11 December 2016

Frost Bittern

 I had one of these days today and i  had Planned to go too Caerphilly Castle to see the Dragon Sculpture and on getting there bright and early , I found out it,s been keeped in the castle this time and in the past it,s been outside the Castle and it  did not open  and  till 10 am and I was there at 8 am and also there was a christmas market today and it would be crazy by than and when i walked around the castle i so a female Goosander  and a pair of Kingfisher . So i decided to  go on  to plan B and sit in the hide at forest farm and see if the Bittern appears and i got the Water Rail staight away and Kingfisher shorty after and i was Amazed to see him Diving and come out with a Dragon Fly Larvae and looking at  the size i would say Emperor Dragonfly and as always the kingfisher put on a great show and i was talking to a lady later and she said do you know Kingfisher are not real blue they are Brown and i thought she must be crazy and  i checking when i got home this what i found .There is no blue pigment in the feathers of a Kingfisher .The blue is a result of Structural  Colouration. The Structure of the Feathers [ Which are made up of Keratin like our Hair and Nails ] Scatters Blue light by a process called the Tyndall Effect.Visible White light is made up of loads of different colours of light [ Remember the song sing a rainbow ] Blue light has a shorter wavelength Compared to the other colours [ Except Violet ] At about 400 nano meters.This fact means that blue light is more easily reflected by particles in the feathers back towards our eyes [ Since  light is reflected when it strikes a particle of eqal or greater diameter to it,s Wavelength ]. This fact means that blue light is more easily reflected by particles in the feathers back towards our eyes [ Since light is reflected when it stikes a particle of equal or greater diameter to it,s  wavelenght ] . All the other colours pass staight through this reflected blue light reaches  our eyes and leads to us perciving the familar blue of the birds. Incidentally this is the same process by which we see the sky as blue . This colouration is not the resuit of iridescence , as it is in the colour on Hummingbirds ercetera.We can tell this because the Kingfisher still appears blue no matter what angle it is viewed from , whereas Hummingbird throat patches , for instance produced by iridescence appear and disapear depeding on the viewing angle .So the next tine you catch glimpse of blue darting past you or you marvel at a beautiful Kingfisher perched on a branch remember it,s not Blue  it,s Brown. and thats what a Elaine Turpin had to say and nice to know and it would make a great question in a pub quiz. As for the bittern i missed it by ten mintues and spend about 5 hours there today and i know how Mark felt when he went to spend a penny and missed the one at cossie on the bridge  all those  years ago . Today  was a good day and nice to see Adrian  murch out and about and he got the bittern.

 The jays were like hoovers and amazing how many peanuts they can put in there beak and strange it not to see any common snipe there today and i be back and yes the hide was freezing and yes i almost got frost bite,


  1. And I still haven't seen one of the blighters on the ground or in broad bloody daylight!!!
    So kingfishers only pretend to be blue. I knew you couldn't trust those slimy buggers.
    Butterfly wings are known for not being pigmented, but in their case, the colours come from diffraction. If you look at a butterfly or moth wing scale with a microscope, the surface is corrugated and behaves in the same way as rows upon rows of prismatic reflectors.

  2. Amazing mark and had you heard they were brown and fairly common at the moment and try looking near water and not in caves or mine shafts.