Let me know when that tide's coming in won't you

Let me know when that tide's coming in won't you

Friday 28 February 2020

Etherow Park Marsh Tit

I popped along to Etherow Park in Marple at the weekend, and I was on the look out for a Marsh Tit. A very unusual bird for Stockport and the Manchester area in general. I had seen one the previous week in Norfolk, but quite fancied ticking this closer to home, and it was handily spending a lot of its time around a feeding station and hide. This meant that I could sit for a couple of hours and just enjoy what nature brought to me.
It seemed that it was bringing every other Tit species apart from the Marsh variety. It was cold with the odd downpour thrown in, but it meant the birds were quite active and gave me plenty of opportunity to photograph them at relatively close quarters. All of them had wonderful plumage and they looked in good shape and set for Spring.

The Marsh Tit don't show while I was there, but here is the bird I photographed last week at Sculthorpe Moor.

One of the many Blue Tits that was busy at the feeding station.

The Coal Tit. I was very grateful of the hide to be able to photograph this bird. They're so fast, but this guy was very comfortable, and I was even able to photograph it eating. A first for me, as they normally bolt off to the safety of a tree to eat.

Eating a sunflower heart from between it's tiny feet.

A very handsome and shiny looking Great Tit.

Friday 21 February 2020

Sheringham Beach - Purple Sandpiper & Caspian Gull

I spent a good long weekend down at my parents in Norfolk, and that always means plenty of opportunity to add some year ticks. A bird that is a regular during the winter months is the Purple Sandpiper that can be found on the large granite rocks on the Sheringham coast. There were a pair around, and I was able to see at least one on most days. One of my favourite wading birds, I look forward to seeing these well camouflaged creatures.

Typically in amongst the crashing waves at high tide.

A bird that has also been on the beach recently is this juvenile Caspian Gull. A 1st winter individual, this was only the second time that I've seen one, so it was good to be able to stand and study it for a while as it mingled with some juvenile Herring Gulls.

The Caspian Gull can be seen here in the centre, and is noticably lighter in colour to the Herring Gulls either side of it.

Saturday 1 February 2020

Snow Bunting

An early morning visit to Rhyl on the North Wales coast had me searching the beach for a pair of elusive Snow Buntings. They had been reported here for some time and often overwinter here. Finding them though was not easy. Watching the stones for anything that moved in the early morning gloom was difficult, and not helped by how well camouflaged they are amongst the pebbles.
After 20 minutes or so I caught sight of some movement, and there they were. They are really confiding birds and by perching myself on a rock, they carried on their business and came towards me. So many photographers don't use any field craft, but patience and good positioning means you never need to spook your birds and they in turn feel comfortable with you, which allows you to get your shots.

The male is darker, with the colouring almost black as opposed to the brown of the female.

Male on the left.