I recently took a visit across to Marshside RSPB. The main purpose of the trip was to try and get some photographs of black-tailed godwits in dispute which always make a great photographic subject. However, this plan was not fulfilled as the were very few godwits present which was no doubt partly due to the large number of the noisey and aggressive avocets that were there.
Black and white birds are always a tricky exposure as it is a fine balance in trying to get some detail in the black areas without over exposing the whites. The easiest way to do this is just to time the visit when the sun is low and light less harsh, either early in the morning in late in the afternoon.
There was plenty of activity as the birds engaged in terratorial and dominance disputes.
There was also a fair amount of mating going on which follows a very specific sequence. The female stands still and adopts a position with tail up and head flat to the water while the male struts around her preening himself.
The male then starts to splash water over the female's head from both sides, immediately before mating.
After the act the male jumps down and the birds cross bills before making a short run across the water. An enjoyable session overall despite the general lack of godwits.