Saturday, July 31, 2021

Avocets and reeds

 a slight variation on the straight Avocet flock shot - and a colour ringed bird from a nest in Lancashire

Spotted Redshanks

 a well moulted early arrival and a late comer still mostly in summer finery 

juvenile Greenshank

 There is something about the pristine condition of the plumage and the intricate patterns of juvenile waders that just makes them so attractive - my first juvenile Greenshank of the autumn 

Friday, July 30, 2021

Red Knot in flight

 The electronic shutter again - just fired at a small party of Knot flying past in the rain and the results were OK considering the lack of light - the intricate patterns of the summer plumage feathers are amazing - would love to see them on the tundra breeding grounds 

Black-tailed Godwits - moult and electronic shutter in low light

 on a dull and wet morning with constant slanting rain I sat watching the Killingholme Black-tailed Godwits; all Icelandic birds the population using the Humber has risen from a high of 63 in the autumn of 1989 to over 7000 in recent autumns but this is only part of the story; up to 7000 have been counted at one time in the roost at Killingholme pits but observations of colour ringed birds have shown that there is a high turnover of birds particularly later in the autumn, September - October and it is likely that over 10,000 birds use the Humber as a staging area each autumn with up to 3500 wintering. At this time of year all the birds are adults undertaking their post breeding moult with early arrivals already having dropped inner primaries and coverts and some central tail feathers while other more recently arrived birds have yet to start their moult. Up to 30 Knot were in the roost. 

Today the light was a bit dire and I was using 4000 ISO on the Canon R6 to get 1/2000th second on flying birds - for the first time I also reverted to the electronic shutter and with these birds flying fast and jinking in all directions it proved very adept at holding the AF on the birds - something to try again on rapidly moving subjects 

White-rumped Sandpiper Snettisham

 this was one of those surreal experiences; not aware that there had been a White-rumped Sandpiper in previous week, I was scanning the incoming Dunlin for the Western Sandpiper, along with several other birders when I came across this striking summer adult White-rumped Sandpiper but oddly as I watched it no-one else mentioned it being there which seemed strange as it was one of the closest birds, albeit still at c100m range - when I mentioned it to the guy next to me he quickly got onto it and everyone followed suit with it showing quite well later in the morning on the falling tide - The Western never came close enough even for a record shot 

juvenile Mediterranean Gull

some lovely looking juveniles off Snettisham 

Snettisham waders July 27th

continued the twitching theme of the month with a trip to Snettisham for the Western Sandpiper, a new British tick for me, at this rate I may even get to 500 one day! the spectacle fo the mostly red/orange Red Knot roost was pretty amazing and there were plenty of terns and Mediterranean Gulls to keep you entertained plus 4 or so Turtle Doves - here a few shots of the roosting waders that do not do the atmosphere justice - must go back later in the autumn