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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

Common Crane and Spoonbill

I ventured down to Goldcliff Lagoons this morning. Got there early and had the place to myself for a while.

I could hear panicked bird alarm calls on entering the reserve and caught sight of a Marsh Harrier drifting across the reserve and being mobbed by lapwings.

The view from hide 1 was one of utter commotion as the raptor progressed to the reeds at the far side and caused havoc as just about every bird took to the sky.

After a while life started to calm down the raptor moved off the reserve and everything returned to order.

I was thrilled to see  that the Spoonbill remained at the lagoons and I enjoyed capturing some video of it feeding. Its an impressive bird.

Spring is certainly here at last. Chiff Chaffs were singing away and I saw my first Swallows swoop in across the reserve.

Whilst chatting to a couple of birders a Common Crane cruised in with an escort of Shelduck. It was like watching the bird equivalent of a Vulcan bomber flying in with a fighter escort. To me it looked like the Shelducks were mobbing it. I watched the Shelducks mob just about everything that looked big and raptorish all morning so I guess they were thinking it was big and potentially nasty.

There was a lot of raptor activity today. Whilst sat watching the lagoons with some fellow birders we got to witness flocks of Avocets and Black Tailed Godwits getting harried by a raptor which was fantastic. I managed to get some great pictures but will be keeping those to myself.

As usual quite alot of variety today of bird species. Lots of Shelducks, Shovlers, Ringed Plovers, Redshanks, Teal, Wigeon, Avocets, Pochard, Coots, Meadow Pippits,Black Tailed Godwits, Cormorant,Little Egret,Tufted Ducks, Canadian Geese, Skylarks, Carrion Crows, Ravens, Starlings, Magpies,Chiff Chaffs, Cettis Calling form the hedgerows and Curlews out on the estuary before the high tide came in.

Overall a great morning and enjoyed chatting with fellow birders/photographers.

Greylag Goose coming into land

Black Tailed Godwits

Black Tailed Godwits

Common Crane escorted by Shelducks

Avocets spooked by a raptor

Spoonbill feeding

Spoonbill


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