I recently took a short-break down to Pembrokeshire to use up the last of my annual leave in work. I also needed to use a voucher for a National Trust Cottage, won in photo competition last Autumn, before the end of the year. The garden of the cottage was a bird photographer's dream, woodland on one side and the garden literally running in to the estuary mud of the Cleddau. However, I was on holiday looking around this area of Wales I have not visited before and combined with the low number of daylight hours, meant camera time was limited.
I managed to get a couple of photos of one of the Jays visiting the garden from the surrounding woodland on a very frosty morning. and obviously intrigued by the lens
However, it was the mud of the estuary at the end of the garden which really drew my attention, especially as I could see waders and waterfowl moving all bathed in golden winter sun. The plan was made to sit hidden at the edge of the very sticky but slippery estuary mud (that I am still trying to clean off various bits items) and wait for the birds to come to me. All I will say for anyone trying this is to proceed with extreme caution on any estuary mud and remember the tide, as it is easy to get caught out and cut off.
The target was redshank and the plan worked with a bit of assistance from the rising tide and some low winter lightWader trails through the mud
I was in an interesting position, as due to the light angle, the mud appeared brown to my left and blue-grey to the right. This allowed for some marked variation in the background. A photo taken from the rightand one from the left... The waters were slowly rising with the tide, but very still and reflective as they covered the mud.