Happy New Year to you all.
As the light has been dire since the start of the New Year I thought I would wind back time a little to just before Christmas. At the bottom of the road where I live is the River Mersey. I have looked at it many times but in the 10 years I have been here, I have strangely never bothered to take a camera to the wading birds that appear amongst the mud, sand and rock at low tide. It can be all too easy to overlook the wildlife on your 'doorstep'. My interest in the end of the road as a new photography site however has been awakened while taking our two new dogs, Ziggy and Mojo, for their daily walk. I have started observing the birds, watching the light and tides and starting to realise the photography potential.
It was on one of these walks that I found a Curlew in the fading afternoon low winter sun standing on ome rocks close to the promenade. I stopped for a while and this usually nervous species just stood and looked right back. It was time to get the camera so the hounds' walk was cut short as I quickly headed back up the hill to the house before returning to find the bird in the same spot.
While on the subject of Curlew I also recently had a productive short session with these birds, including some delightfully close encounters, as they foraged for earthworms on a local field.
Back to the end of my road session, and having taken a few photos of the Curlew I noticed a small group of Sanderling and Dunlin feeding along the tideline of the ebbing water. Sanderling are one of my favourite waders to photograph as the scurry around along the waters edge.
The Dunlin are much more sedate and leisurely as they search for food left by the tide.
Another worm being extracted from the estuary mud.
The sun quickly dropped and the short session was over but it is unlikely to be my last at the end of my street.
I will finish this post with a couple of photos of Purple Sandpipers taken in some less favourable light about 5 minutes from home.
It just shows that you do not need to head off to the horizon to find good wildlife and it can pay off to have a good look around your immediate local area. You might be quite pleasently surprised at what you may find.