Saturday, 1 February 2014

Never Take for Granted!

I decided this morning to go out a little later at 8am after having breakfast with the girls, hoping that the sun would be already out. Everything was going to plan and I left home. For some reason I looked down at the wife's car and saw the front tyre was flat, great! I pumped it up but couldn't take the chance that she would get stuck out somewhere with the kids so done the right thing and took the car to the garage to look at the tyre. By now the sun was shining and thankfully an hour later I was back home and off in the other car for some birding. The plan was to walk at Chambers Wall and try to get a better photo of a Yellowhammer before driving down to Minnis Bay to find the mythical Purple Sandpiper that has been seen in the area. Despite the lovely weather, thank you very much sunshine, I did not see that much but the birds I did see I actually looked at in great detail. Its so easy to just give a quick glance to some of our birds but when you really look and study them, they are works of art. Walking up to Chambers Wall crossing I could hear a Corn Bunting singing and after crossing over the track I could see a number of birds in the distance on the tops of bushes. A quick scan revealed c50 Corn Bunting and in with them were c12 Yellowhammer including some smart males. I spent a while trying for some shots but they had none of it, never letting me get near enough for a decent image. I managed a few shots which for the time being will suffice but I will keep trying for a better shot.


Moving on towards the sea I noted 3 Tree Sparrow which dropped in briefly but with a badly timed train passing, they soon flew off again. There were 2 Fieldfare, 5 Reed Bunting, 2 Little Egret, and Stonechat. Not much was noted on the way back to the car except for c250 Brent Geese. After a quick cup of coffee I drove on down to Minnis Bay where the tide was already coming in fast. There were a few rocks exposed but not as many as I had hoped. I looked in the area Chris Hindle had seen the Purple Sandpiper but no luck. This species can be very tricky in the area with normally a small window each year to connect. All was not wasted as I noted 2 Bar tailed Godwit with one posing nicely with a Curlew of which 5 others were seen.

Curlew and Bar tailed Godwit

There were 5 Great crested Grebe, 5 Ringed Plover, 1 Sanderling, 15 Dunlin and c50 Brent Geese feeding close inshore allowing me to get some nice views and a few more shots of the day before they flew off west.

Dark bellied Brent Geese

Not the greatest list but nice to be out in the sunshine and use the camera, and the chance to appreciate some of our commoner species up close. Hopefully out in the morning again till 10am and its looks like more sunshine, now that's something to look forward too, and perhaps a few birds too!


  1. A much better day for getting out Marc, 50 Corn Buntings! I'll settle for just one! I look forward to seeing one of your ''proper'' photo's of the Yellowhammer - stunning birds, as you say :-)

  2. Brilliant image of the Curlew and Bar-tailed Godwit. Seeing the two together you appreciate the size difference which is surprising in your shot Marc. Nice work on the Yellowhammer and DBBG.

  3. never seen that kind of geese

  4. So all that regret during the week that you couldn't be out and about - like the rest of us who were getting rained on and walking through floods, turned out great for you, the sun came out, a rare event, and Sunday looks just as good, if not better - fantastic when the timing all works out as you want it. Enjoy the commoner birds, they're equally as good as the rare ones.

  5. I would have been more than chuffed if I'd have seen that lot this morning. That Yellow hammer is so bright it looks like a Canary;-), and I love the geese shots.
    All the best Gordon.