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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

A Tor of the Marsh - Ham Wall Bird Watching Trip

I visited the Ham Wall RSPB Nature Reserve on Sunday with three of my birding friends.

What a great place. It is teaming with wildlife and the hides are fantastic.

The reserve is well known for two species in-particular  - Marsh Harriers and Starling murmurations ( It could be argued that there is a long list of other birds that could replace those two I chose).

The Marsh Harriers put on a terrific show and I was fortunate to have better light and more opportunity to get some photographs albeit at a distance of these amazing birds.

The reed beds are full of life and I heard the call of a  Cettis Warbler for the first time but could not get a photo.

My friend and I even glimpsed what we think is a Siberian Chiff Chaff.

The day finished with the Starlings putting on quite a performance. Despite deciding not to swirl around too much it was an amazing experience.


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