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Purple on the rocks

  I have the real pleasure of writing my first blog post of 2022 about a trip to Battery Point, Portishead, Bristol to photograph Purple Sandpipers (Calidris Maritima). As many of my readers will know I love waders probably above all bird species and so when I had the opportunity to get some pictures with my good friend Paul Joy of this rare, specially protected and very confiding wader species that winters in the UK coastland I was really excited. Up until this point I had never seen a Purple Sandpiper. They are small waders, bigger than a Dunlin but slightly smaller and less robust than a Turnstone.  They migrate to the UK in the winter from as far away places as Canada, Greenland, Svalbard, Fennoscandia and Russia. They then spend their time along the coasts roosting and feeding on various rocky outcrops. They have a preference for rocks covered with seaweeds where they forage for insects, molluscs and crustaceans. They get their names because of a Purple sheen that can be seen in t

Dipper on the Torfaen - Breaker of Stones


Earlier this year they became an obsession of mine and I found several locations along the Afon Lwyd - aka the Grey River and the Torfaen -"breaker of stones" and that's where the Borough gets its name from.

Dippers are known to be an indicator species so their presence on a river is a good indicator of water quality and bio-diversity.

The Afon Lwyd has certainly come on leaps and bounds in the last 20 years as it used to be heavily polluted.

Its one of the fastest flowing rivers in Wales but remains heavily littered which is very disappointing and I just wish people would take their rubbish home.

I am posting a few photos from January this year when I spent quite a lot of time trying to get close to them.

Autumn is now upon us and for the next few months, I am planning to get some close up, sharp and less noisy shots of the Dippers on local rivers in my area  -using some skills I have picked up getting close to the Kingfishers.



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