Thursday, January 06, 2011

Down the Road

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.


holdingmoments said...

Great shots Rich from your doorstep.
A co-operative Curlew too! Nice one.

That is so very true; we often overlook what is right there in front of us. Much of my efforts at the end of last year involved just my local lake. Amazing some of the birds it has produced.

Barbara said...

Gorgeous. I love your photographs. It is always a treat when you post new ones.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

You do always such a fine job. All of these entries are exceptional, I always enjoy~ Happy New Year~

mel said...

wow, those bird-pictures are great! i like especially the white one with the bubbles around hes feet :-)

Marc Heath said...

Some stunning images there. Will be back to see some more.

Angad Achappa said...

Love that second image of the Curlew!! :) Was a flash used for fill light in the first image?

Angad Achappa

Ben and Carrie Tracks said...

Glad to have stopped by - looking forward to following your adventures and seeing more of your magic making birds photogenic. As wildlife biologists, we have a lot of time with our "subjects" and birds have proven to be some of the most interesting, and difficult to photograph...

-Carrie and Ben

Balaphoto said...

Excellent shots!! Salut!!

Francesc, Barcelona

Nellie from Beyond My Garden said...

Love that curlew.

M. Buchholz New England Photography said...

Your wildlife photography is just magnificent. Beautiful captures.

Rich Steel said...

Thanks for the replies. Angad the curlew photo was not taken with fill flash, just some low winter sun. I don't use flash for my photography just the light coming out of the sky. I have only tried flash a couple of times and it seemed to freak the birds which to be is not acceptable. Welfare of the subject should always be the number one priority.




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