16 October 2008

Common redshank

Common redshank

Common redshank (Tringa totanus), Keoladeo Ghana National Park, India ("Keoladeo" is pronounced "Kevladev"). I'm struck by the contrast between this beautiful, clean bird and the disgusting, foetid water — sadly ubiquitous in the parts of India in which I travelled. Still, I guess it might resemble the primordial soup from which life, including birds like this, evolved.

All content © 2008 Pete McGregor


lesley said...

"Disgusting, foetid water" - yes, those are gas bubbles, aren't they? Still you may be right (and optimistic?). I'd never thought about what primordial soup might have been like.

I'd never heard of this bird. What lovely feather markings it has. It looks plump and healthy so, if such water is its main feeding ground, maybe there's good nourishment in that soup after all. (Not that I'm advocating for dirty water not to be cleaned up. I know it would support more life if it were.)

pohanginapete said...

Yes Lesley, those are indeed gas bubbles. When I look at this photo I sometimes get the impression the bird looks slightly disapproving of what it's standing in. However, it seemed happy enough; as I watched, it spent some time preening. On the other hand, if I were standing almost knee-deep in soupy water like that, I'd probably want to clean myself too (I'd get out first, though!).

Aunty said...

As Lesley says, a fascinating photograph with a great contrast of clean bird and filthy soup! I have watched seagulls on a rubbish tip, eating and picking over goodness knows what sort of crap, and then flying, glistening white and gleaming clean into a blue sky. One old bird's filth is another's healthy diet!

pohanginapete said...

Aunty: Yes, how do they manage it? Mind you, it doesn't pay to think too closely about the sorts of parasite loads they carry.