I've never made it to see the wader spectacular at Snettisham in Norfolk, but I did witness something on a much much smaller scale at Hoylake recently. As the tide crept in on the beach, thousands of small waders such as Dunlin, Knot, Sanderling, Redshank, Oystercatcher and others were being shunted off their dry ground and being forced to relocate to drier spots. The sight and sound was breath taking. Here you can see a small number of those waders squashed up on the beach.
Waders are my favourite type of birds to photograph. I find them to be very photogenic. There are so many different types and each species has a variety of different plumage's. At Hoylake last weekend I came across hundreds possibly thousands of Dunlin busying themselves on the beach as the tide came in. Within them was one individual that was in almost full summer breeding plumage. Very unusual for January but very nice to see all the same.
Lovely little birds that gave me great joy watching them.
This individual with the rusty looking back is in breeding plumage.
You can see how much it differs to the much duller grey winter plumage,
A nice early start on Sunday saw me up and out before sunrise. I headed over to the Wirral for the chance to see a Buff Bellied Pipit that had been showing well for some weeks. I turned up and knew I was in the right place when I came across quite a number of parked cars lining Denhall Lane. It took a few minutes before someone picked it out amongst the Meadow Pipits it was flitting about with. Another lifer for me. It's been a productive few weeks. Long may it continue.
Some of the birders that were in attendance very early this morning.
2013 started with a rarity in the country, in the shape of a Black bellied Dipper and it finished with a county rarity in the form of a Black-throated Diver. Both very different birds and both gave very differing views. The Dipper allowed me to get nice and close to it, while the Diver preferred to stay well out in the middle of the reservoir it was sat on. Hence these very distant and blurry record shots. Still it was a lifer for me, so I was just grateful to see it and it looked great in all its glory through the bins.
I came across this very pale Pied Wagtail the other day. It was bobbing around the fringes of a reservoir. It's paleness made me question whether this might be a White Wagtail. I sought the views of birders much more experienced than me, and it would be highly unusual to see a White Wagtail here at this time of year. This is a Pied, but one that put on a nice show for me, so I thought I'd share with you too.
I do like the Goosander. It can be a real pain to get close too. More often than not it's on the other side of the lake or pool, close to the undergrowth and desperately trying to get away from you. I was fortunate the other day to get close (ish) to this female while out in Manchester. It gave some good views before, once again, moving too far away from my lens.