Wednesday 22 September 2010

Dotterels at sunrise at Davidstow

These two first year Dotterels were photographed at first light this morning.  I was up at 5am only to be met with thick fog in Truro.  I drove in fog all the way to Bodmin Moor and miraculously it cleared on arrival.  An early morning burst of low sunshine for about ten minutes was enough to capture these two in perfect light.  The sun then disappeared and the final image below is shown for comparison of two different lights.  The early morning dew on the grass adds some effect.

Dotterels are annual but scarce passage migrants through Cornwall.  They are seen in varying numbers every year.  The nearest breeding site in the UK is Scotland and they spend their winter around the Spanish Pyranees and parts of North Africa and Morocco.

The most popular sites to see this species in Cornwall are around the Land's End area, especially Porthgwarra. Davidstow and Trevose are also favoured sites on their route south.

Monday 20 September 2010

Barwits and Blackwits for comparison

The shots of Black-tailed Godwit and Bar-tailed Godwit were taken last week at Ryan's Field, Hayle and Marazion beach.  They show the subtle differences between the two species. The Black-tailed is on the left.

Barwit on left side.

Barwit above.

Barwit above at Marazion beach.

Wryneck at Botallack, pt 2

I've gone through the Wryneck images again and these two stood out.  The shot above is a 50% crop

Saturday 18 September 2010

Wryneck at Botallack, Cornwall

Wrynecks must have had a successful breeding season as this Autumn, Cornwall has witnessed unusually high numbers.  On one day last week, no fewer than seven were in the county.  I photographed this bird today at Botallack, West Cornwall.  It was quite content to sun itself in the open for several minutes at a time.

The image below shows just why it has such a strange name!

Thursday 16 September 2010

Balearic Shearwaters off St Ives Island and Newquay in Autumn 2009

These four images were taken last autumn and are posted for comparison to the paler bird in the earlier post (below).  The flight shots were taken off St Ives and the settled bird from a pelagic off Newquay.

Wednesday 15 September 2010

Shearwater sp off St Ives Island

This shearwater was seen today off St Ives Island and is showing some characteristics of Yelkouan.  Any constructive comments welcome.  Showing clear black under tail coverts and white vent, extensive white underwing and long legs.

Showing black under tail coverts and white vent.

Showing raised head profile, white underparts and short tail.

Showing short tail and leg projection.

Arctic Skua at St Ives Island, Cornwall

Adult Arctic Skua, one of 15 seen between 7am and 11.30am this morning.

Pomarine Skua at St Ives, Cornwall

This adult Pomarine Skua was one of four seen today off St Ives Island.  The images show the diagnostic rounded tail extension.  This feature is normally seen in Spring so was quite a surprise to see this bird still sporting its' "spoons".  A first year bird was also following behind but just too far out of the camera frame.

Sunday 12 September 2010

Redshank, Spotted Redshank and adult Pectoral Sandpiper at Treraven Meadows!

Treraven Meadows at Wadebridge seems to be the in-place at the moment.  The recent high tides have left a stunning muddy area with many pools and the waders seem to love it here. The Black Terns last week must have been a delightful sight.

This is a second attempt at posting these Spotted Redshank images.  I've just popped my senility tablet so all is now well !  ;--)

First year Common Redshank above.

Ad. Pectoral Sandpiper above.  A 100% crop of a very distant bird.  This is the fourth Pec Sand for this autumn in Cornwall.  An adult is unusual though.

Wood Sandpiper at Treraven Meadows, Wadebridge

These images are of the same bird in different positions.  All were taken within ten minutes of each other.  It's quite surprising how a change of location affects the light and colour. 

The yellow reflection is from a yellow sign on a post directly in line of the camera.

First year Dunlin

Consolation photo's after today's Buff-breast dip at Davidstow!  That said, it's surprising that any wader stays here given the disturbance on the site.  Today's entertainment included microlite aircraft, fixed wing aircraft, dog walkers, dog walkers from the car, kite flyers, boy racers, radio control planes and a motor bike !

Northern Wheatear at Davidstow

First year Northern Wheatear, one of six on Davidstow runway today.

Saturday 11 September 2010

Walmsley Sanctuary waderfest

This post includes 12 images of a variety of waders from the CBWPS reserve at Wadebridge on Thursday evening.  A rising high tide is the key to success here.  On our visit, no less than 41 Greenshank, 114 Black-tailed Godwit, two Bar-tailed Godwit, three Little Stint, two Curlew Sandpiper (though 21 present tonight Sat 11th), Green Sandpiper, several Common Snipe and Dunlin. 

Bar-tailed Godwit and Black-tailed Godwit

Four species of wader above inc Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin and two godwits.

Little Stint

Part of a flock of 41 Greenshank, though up to 50 have been counted this week.  The colour ringed bird is the returning, annual Ythan Estuary bird.