Friday, December 11, 2009

Visiting Phalarope

A couple of weeks back on a Friday night I notice reports of a Grey Phalarope that had taken up temporary residence on a local lake. This is a species I have not seen or photographed before and in fact was the first one that had appeared locally for several years. So I made the decision that night, given the weather was not to grim, to head out the next day to try and photograph it. I woke the next morning to some very grim and grey conditions and debated for a while if it was actually worth bothering. However, one factor which swung the decision to head forth in to the gloom was wanting to get some Phalarope experience as this is one of my target birds I have for a trip planned in 2010. Three facts that I know about Phalaropes are that they are very confiding, small, hyperactive and will spin in tight circles sometimes when feeding.

On arrival at the lake the bird was easily located by a few other photographers and bird watchers that were present.


These bird seem incredibly buoyant

I have never come across a bird that is so completely oblivious to the presence of people and it would happily swim past at a distance of 2ft.

I had taken quite a few photos in the poor light and noticed a slither of blue sky appear above and so decided to sit it out to see if conditions would improve. The skies quickly cleared and some good winter sun beamed down.



The calm conditions gave opportunity to catch some reflective photos. The bird was showing some remenant hints of its amazing red summer plumage.

No collection of photos of the bird would be complete with some of that hyperactive feeding action.

A enjoyable session with an enchanting little bird and it makes me look forward even more to my future encounter with Phalaropes next summer, although that will be in a very different setting and with the red necked variety.


Mel Gilbert said...

Fantastic photography!

holdingmoments said...

Even in the dull light, you've captured this bird perfectly Richard.
A superb set.

David Álvarez said...

Great photos! This is a great year for phalaropes. In the north of Spain the seashore is full of them, during the last month it was easy to find groups of many hundreds of birds very close to the coast and even in many beaches.

MObugs said...


Paul Foster said...

Youve captured this bird perfectly Richard!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cindy said...

Wow these are gorgeous. I love all the photos but the last one is superb. Happy Holidays! ~Cindy

Lee Harrison said...

amazing shots, at the beginning of this year I had never seen a Phalarope and now this is the only one I've not seen; unfortunatly I couldn't get out to see this bird " DAM uni work..."

Rich Steel said...

Thanks for the comments. Hopefully in June I will be photographing some red necked phalarope in their breeding areas. Fingers crossed!




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