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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

Bird Firsts of 2017

This year has been amazing for bird firsts for me. Many of them in Gwent but some I had to travel to places such as the Forest of Dean and Ham Wall.

  1. Waxwing 
  2. Redwing
  3. Bittern 
  4. Spoonbill 
  5. Pied Flycatcher
  6. Spotted Flycatcher
  7. Yellowhammer
  8. Wood Warbler
  9. Common Redstart
  10. Common Rock Thrush
  11. Fieldfare
  12. Marsh Tit
  13. Lesser Redpoll
  14. Crossbills
  15. Marsh Harrier
  16. Great Egret
  17. Cettis Warbler
  18. Golden Plover
  19. Hawfinch
I have photos of all 18 except for the Cettis Warbler which I heard first and caught a glimpse of at the RSPB Ham Wall Nature Reserve.

My favorite bird first of the year for me was the Pied Flycatchers. I was fortunate to spend many hours observing them in a local wood and they were very accommodating. Beautiful birds and I look forward to seeing them again in the Spring.


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