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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

Moon and Saturn conjunction

On Sunday the skies were almost clear of clouds and the waning crescent moon was shining brightly.
I enjoy taking pictures of the moon and find it fascinating.

Whilst taking the pictures I noticed that there was a very bright star and decided to include it in some of the pictures I took of the moon.

Monday night I was reading my Twitter feed and saw that another photographer had tweeted some similar pictures to those that I had taken. What piqued my interest even more was that he pointed out that the bright star was in fact a planet and it was Saturn. The rings were visible when zooming in close up on the picture.

I checked my pictures and was dumb struck when I could also zoom in on the star and see that it was Saturn and also could make out its rings. I've thanked the Tweeter as I would never have realised.

The fact that the Moon and Saturn can bee seen in the night sky close together is called a conjunction. Amazing to think that Saturn is 1.2 billion kilometres away.

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