Thursday, October 11, 2012

Spitting Images

Thursday morning dawned grey with rain. Definitely not ringing or photography weather but after calling at Jamie’s Fish Place I took a look up at Knott End shore, knowing there would be more than a few birds to look at. 

With camera under wraps I took a walk about the jetty and then alongside the river as the rain spit and spat, barely enough to damp my enthusiasm, but a prelude to heavy rain promised for later in the day. Almost everyone has been seeing good numbers of Pied and White Wagtails in the last week or two, either reporting them on visible migration counts or as grounded birds. It was the turn of Knott End today with at least 15 Pied/White Wagtails counted flitting about the sea wall, the jetty and the car park area. At least 12 grounded Meadow Pipits too, but no Rock Pipits that I could find yet, the pebbly shore of Knott End being ideal habitat and a regular winter haunt of the species. 

Meadow Pipit

Pied Wagtail

Just a lowish tide didn’t bring the waders or wildfowl too close with approximate counts of 2250 Oystercatcher, 70 Redshank, 32 Turnstone, 100+ Knot and 24 Sanderling. Shelduck numbers are really building with 220+ today, in contrast to the Eider with 4 hard-to-find birds out in the grey water of the estuary. 


A walk up river produced several more wagtails and Meadow Pipits, and on a telegraph pole 2 Mistle Thrushes, a bird now so uncommon that a sighting becomes noteworthy; possibly they were morning migrants or alternatively a pair or two may be residents of the golf course. There were Chaffinches on the move, just a few crossing the river from the direction of Fleetwood and heading east. 

Back at the car the camera was set on ISO800 for the grey light, with a few pictures of pipits and wagtails searching the sea wall for insects. Someone came with a bag of bread and the gulls arrived as if by magic and the tiny birds flew off to a safer spot. 

Meadow Pipit

Pied Wagtail

 Lesser Black-backed Gull

Herring Gull

Black-headed Gull

Herring Gull
The forecast is better for weekend with sun and showers on the cards. Let’s hope the experts are right. If so Another Bird Blog will be out and about and reporting it just here.


Isidro Ortiz said...

Buenas capturas Phil.Saludos

grammie g said...

Hey Phil..Now what did you go into Jamie's Fish Store for that early in the morning...I hope he serves coffee, and fish pancakes ; }!
Gulls can smell food a mile away or even more, those crazy bugger decent on a bit of food out of nowhere!!The best snatch I ever saw was the lady with a sandwich at the beach..She layed half of it on the arm of her chair,leaned forward to pass the other half to someone, and the gull picked it right of the arm of chair..LOL!!
Great to get a look at some uncommon bird, that's always a plus, but when it is uncommon
people..well : }!
I am fan of the Pied Wagtail he is a cutie!!
Here hoping your weather is better! Not to rub it in or anything, but there is not a cloud in the sky that I can see here : }}}
Your hanging in there friend

Gail Dixon said...

So many great bird shots, it's hard to pick a favorite. Bravo on each one!

eileeninmd said...

Phil, they are all great photos. Love all the birds, the Pied Wagtail is a cutie and I love the Redshank too. Amazing count on the Oystercatchers. Great post. Happy birding!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Golly Phil, these images are all so spectacular and I always enjoy how close you get to the birds. Hmm, maybe you should produce your own field guide book;') Have a marvelous weekend~

El rincón de Ceditas said...

Siempre es una delicia visitar tu blog, es impresionante als capturas que haces. Saludos y buen fin de semana.

Unknown said...

Great sequence!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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