Spatula

The Lago di Alviano in Italy is one of my favourite places. Whether it’s cold and foggy or bright and breezy, there’s always a wonderful atmosphere here. Just look at this Lake:

Lago di Alviano - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Out on the Lake I can see a Spoonbill. It’s a Eurasian Spoonbill, Platalea leucorodia. It’s got the yellow bill-tip of a breeding bird and a wet and spiky head:

Spoonbill - Lago di Alviano - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

What a character.

It’s been busy sifting through the bottom of the Lake with its familiar side-to-side action and is now grooming and preening. Eurasian Spoonbills are found in Africa, Europe and Asia. Just to emphasise how poor UK biodiversity is, the RSPB suggests there are between 0 and 4 breeding pairs in the UK.

Spoonbill - Lago di Alviano - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

In England its traditional name was Shovelard. It was probably a great deal commoner in the UK in Medieval times and with the current human-made climate changes it may well be common in the UK again in this Century. I’d love to see Spoonbills re-establish themselves as common breeding birds in the UK, but rapid and uncontrolled climate change isn’t a price worth paying.

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Spotted Redshank - Lago di Alviano - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

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