Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder

At last some migration movement today. It was thought worth persuing the Little Crake again, so about 45 minutes were spent in that area but only netted single Whitethroat and Willow Warbler. High water was about 10-30 so little point stopping at FB, I walked from Barleycrates to the Obs recording a dozen Wheatear, 7 Whinchat, 4 Yellow Wagtail and a few Hirundines. At the Obs I had just finish my buns and coffee, when some inconsiderate called an Ortolan above Culverwell. Hauling the afore mentioned victuals up the hill, the bird immediately put up from a crop field and settled (for a while in company with a Sedge Warbler) on a nearby hedge, affording excellent and not too distant views which begs the question why are the photographs so poor - more practice required. I knew it had been a while since I had recorded this uncommon Bunting but was surprised to find it was last century. Well done the Slade family for an excellent find!

As far as camera practice is concerned, the opportunity came at Ferry Bridge after I'd made my counts. Here there were 71 Ringed Plover, 52 Dunlin, 7 Sanderling, 8 Turnstone, a Black-tailed Godwit, 2 each Mediterranean Gull & Sandwich Tern plus an over-flying Grey Wagtail. The attendant flock of Starlings included several juvenile birds, along with the adults and Meds made ideal photographic subjects. While taking these shots I thought of the Starlings, that if they were not so common they would generate a 'twitch' every time. I have reproduced some of the shots in this post because of their sheer beauty and because I like them.

Ortolan - above Culverwell, Portland, Dorset. For much better shots visit PBO website

Starlings - Papua New Guinea

Mediterranean Gull - also at Ferry Bridge

and a few more Waders
Wattled Plover - Akubo NR, The Gambia

Masked Plover - The Kakadoo, Northern Territory, Australia

Yellow-wattled Plover - Bundala NP, Sri Lanka

Black-headed Plover - Tendaba, The Gambia

Spur-winged Plover - Tanjeh Bridge, The Gambia