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Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The last of the seaside waders?

The forecast for Monday was doom and gloom with an Amber weather warning from the Met office – 70mph winds and torrential rain, so what more better time than a visit to Rossall to see if any of the waders were left before departing north! The reality was I was two-thirds of the way there on an errand, the days chores complete; the leaden skies of the morning had passed for clear blue skies without a cloud to be seen and high tide due. Mind you it was blowing a 'hoolie', very strong winds which whipped up the sand, provding a good sand-blasting and merely trying to stand and focus was problematic, let alone trying to protect one's equipment, including the camera!

When I arrived, working my way into place with great stealth and time... yep the old dog walkers came to the rescue! The whole promenade, coastal path and beach but no, they have to come onto the stretch I am photographing, dogs running wild into the few birds huddled as best they could out of the wind. The sand-blasting also meant the waders needed to get out of the atrocious conditions as best they could and flying into the wind was problematic so small groups huddled where they could but the conditions did seem to upset them and from time to time small groups lifted off – so I perched myself on the surfline of the mountainous seas and concentrated on trying to capture the birds in the air.

Mostly Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Sanderling, a dozen Turnstone and Knot were the feature as they were turning into summer plummage and no doubt departing these shores, if they haven't already done so now, a few days later.

The photos full size on the computer screen are OK but I've noticed do not work quite so well small, so you may wish to double-click an image to enlarge it. I had understood the files were compressed when I uploaded them but that does not seem to be the case – hence me using up my image storage allocation – therefore these images have been turned into low resolution images, quite how successful they are remains to be seen. I hope I have manged to capture the spirit of the day and these fab waders... how many species can you spot?

(On the way home, late in the evening I called at Newton Marsh to see the male Garganey, accompanied by 3 male Shoveler, 3 Shelduck and 3 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Redshank, as well as the Mallard, Coot and Moorhen etc)

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