Sunday, January 11, 2009


Twite are a species I have wanted to photograph for a while. I can't really provide a reason why as they are not the most visually attractive birds. They are fairly scarce these days and have shown rapid declines in recent decades. It is particularly unusual to find them on the Wirral peninsula where I live, so a reported small flock of 13 birds on a local beach naturally attracted my interest. The birds had been around for a while before I got opportunity to pay them a visit. From the reports coming in they seemed to be quite mobile up and down the coast. However, they were tending to favour one area, which would require an afternoon visit due to light direction, and so that is where I headed.

On arrival they took a little time to locate and even though were highly mobile or would perch high up on the clay cliffs. Eventually they settled down to feed on the seeds in the weed line along the beach. Small ground feeding birds are always tricky especially when feeding amongst beach debris. In the end I settled down low to near to the birds and waited for them to come to me.
Foraging amongst the beach debris along the tideline After brief spells feeding on the beach they would fly up on to the adjacent clay cliffs to rest and preen. Fortunately on one occasion they did this at the cliff base.
The birds would also drink from areas where water was seeping through the cliff face.
Eventually the birds took off on another long flight down the beach and I lost track of them. The short session was over but very enjoyable and good to get a new species in the library.


Jenny said...

Superb shots, especially against the warm colours in the background. Very interesting commentary too. Thank you!

Quantum Tiger said...

Fasntastic pictures and fantastic light (under such conditions they look pretty visually appealing to me!). Great blog.

T and S said...

Awesome eye level series Rich. The 4th one is my favorite...Thomas

Rich Steel said...

Thanks for the replies. I was fortunate to find the twite bathed in glorious winter afternoon light which is some of my favourite. You can't beat a close encounter with a new species.




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