On the Saturday we arrived, whilst in the hide at Fishnish we got onto a second winter Iceland Gull whilst scanning the 80 or so gulls around the fish farms a couple of hundred meters or so off shore. It gave fine scope views but was far to distant for any photography.
Heading Towards Lockdown
Mull, capricious, at times turbulent and always always changeable. This is an island of light and shade, of brilliance and foreboding often shifting between these extremes within minutes. It is a place that draws you in, holds you and tugs at you as you leave.
A few of the birds we caught up with
Winter in Norfolk brings vast skies and some great birds. I’ve visited the north Norfolk coast on a few occasions in the last year or so sometimes as part of bird race with friends (good company and good birding and if you’re up for a year list, gets you off to a flying start with well over a hundred species possible in a few days) and sometimes on my own.
It’s been the geese that have drawn me to various locations recently but there’s normally a trade off in the form of waders that frequent the same habitat. Here’s a few images of some of the waders I’ve encountered recently whilst following the geese.
The last post from the Mersey looked mainly at the physical power of the water as the high tide reached its peak, but I was very much aware of a developing narrative that involved not just the waves and surges but people and the wider context in which I was experiencing the event.
Second day in the hide – 500 avocets, black and bar-tailed godwits and dunlin – the hide tide had pushed them all onto the Bowling Green Marsh on the Exe estuary. I was in the hide early enough to watch the avocets arrive, they came in three pulses.
More to come from Islay later but I managed a few of days down on the Exe estuary last week, again in search of getting some images of geese, dark-bellied brent this time from arctic Russia, in the context of the estuary. It was also an opportunity to witness a spectacle that has to be one of the finest in Britain, the population of avocets that flock in large numbers to this part of the world during the winter.
A run up to Dinas, always a favourite haunt, and a good walk around the ‘rock’ past Twm Sion Cati’s cave in still very cold conditions produced some really fine icicles and ice sculptures. It was difficult to get a sense of the beauty through photographs and I felt dissatisfied when I left them, never an easy thing to do, and this disappointment was confirmed when I downloaded the images.
Up on the mountain road yesterday, between Bridgend and Maesteg, I came across six fieldfares and a redwing, a little further on and a small group of mistle thrushes were feeding in the short grass.
I’ve spent a lot of time of the last few weeks and months photographing wild geese and swans. They hold a fascination for me and one that I’ll explore soon in a essay in the ‘Birds Eloquent’ section of the web site.
A couple of weeks ago I went on a circular walk with a couple of friends around Trefil in the South Wales Valleys. It’s a walk that takes in so much variety and history in such a short distance, as well as providing some stunning panoramas over the Brecon Beacons.