Posts Tagged ‘photography


Towering Waders

I caught a flock of Grey Plover sweeping through the village last week. Those dark auxiliaries; the armpit feathers, are a dead giveaway for an otherwise quite bland winter plumage wader. Several flocks have been around the village for a week or two now. If they aren’t in the clifftop fields they will undoubtedly be down on the beach.



As we sat at the top of the beach waiting for cetaceans that never arrived this week, Tania and I were pleased to see some new arrivals.

Signposting the end of good weather Winter visitors are perhaps given a mixed welcome, but when they come still dressed in their summer garb they are a delight. Four Red-throated Divers, maybe fresh in from Scottish Lochs, were fishing just beyond the surf. How could I not get the camera out?



A few Leporids around on tours the other day.


Card surprise

I found some photos the other day. I must admit I’d forgotten I’d taken them. Shot at the end of last year before lock-down. A beautiful Twite.


An early Christmas visitor from Lapland

We were watching a small group of Snow Buntings that were flitting around a field edge last week. They were completely ignoring dogs, kids and people walking the cliff top bank so were quite easy to observe. Arriving as quickly as it later disappeared was a single lonely Lapland Bunting among them. Always good to see these birds return each winter even in smaller numbers than they occurred in years passed.


Diving for cover

Took my car in for a service this week. Rather than walk home and then back again to pick up the car I thought I’d do a few hours sea watching. It wasn’t raining … ideal.

After an hour of the three hours I spent staring through a telescope at the North Sea I was conscious of a presence near to me. I looked sideways and there was a lady standing but a matter of inches from me.

“Would you mind please STEPPING BACK” said I. It took her a little by surprise. Why I don’t know but there does seem to be a wilful disregard for simple rules designed to keep us all safe. However, my volume had the desired effect and she stepped back.

I returned my eye to the scope … but after a silence I sensed she was brewing a comment.

“Can’t you find something more useful to do?” was the retort.

Now, if you know me you will know that for the most part I am a mild mannered man. However, I have been subject to so many people doing as they wish for so long this year quite frankly it is beginning to get on my tits. She and people like her are keeping me from seeing and hugging my daughter. I must admit at this point I saw red and she was the recipient of a polite but assertive dialogue.

“I am watching the sea to monitor marine mammals. The information I , and others like me, gather enables decisions to be taken by authorities and decision makers to protect both the environment and our native marine fauna for me, for you, your children and your children’s children for years to come. So, the next time you see me spending my spare time looking out to sea you may thank me, from a distance, and MOVE ON”

I didn’t make a friend that day but perhaps her silence thereafter indicates it will make her think a little about what matters if not to her, to others.

Had she been more respectful I may have shown her the Red throated Diver in the surf to which she was completely oblivious. Just one of three species of diver seen that morning.


Devious Dusky

After failing miserably to photograph the Dusky Warbler in Cot valley during the tour in Cornwall last month, I got a second bite at the cherry this week.

Friend Mark found one not but 800m up the road at Beeston Common. It was as furtive as the Cot valley bird. Sticks and twigs. Always, sticks and twigs. These birds love thick damp cover. I even visited again with Tania at the weekend in poring rain. The light was dreadful but it showed pretty well … for a nano-second after two hours of waiting

I heard of a Dusky Warbler at Muckleborough about five miles away (it’s been a good year for them) so we tried for that one on our Sunday walk. A ‘third bite’ at that proverbial cherry!. It was ‘tutting’ away in thick cover; and showed well for Tania … but not me.

I went again yesterday. It was good to stand with Bob and at last see it well. Showing just long enough for a couple of record shots that look something like a bird rather than a smudge. This species is a true skulker. i don’t think I’ve ever seen one that has given itself up easily.



When doing a photography Tour we came across this completely camouflaged little Dunlin on the beach. Sat with another three or four of his mates he was keeping a beady eye on me while he roosted.


Prickly Subject

One animal that hardly ever turns up on tours is the Hedgehog. I’ve only ever once found one other whilst on tour in the last 13 years I’ve been running the business. Hardly surprising really given their nocturnal habits and the massive decline the species has endured in the last 25 years. However, we were on a photography tour this week and I spotted one shuffling his way in some grass away to our right. He made a fitting subject. We were quite careful not to approach too closely. He never rolled up into a ball and continued sniffing at everything on his way home.



The Best British Butterfly … Probably

Arguably the smartest British Butterfly is the Silver Spotted Skipper. Why? Well firstly its identify is beyond doubt when seen; its livery is as distinctive as they come. It is beautiful. It’s a diminutive butterfly full of character; tempting the photographer low to the ground and then before the shutter can be released they skip away in erratic flight. You can almost hear them laugh.

Supposedly a grassland species we saw swarms flying high into Blackthorn bushes this week. What’s all that about?

Come along and join us on a new tour to see these delightful little characters next year on the 12th August. See here


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Jan 2022


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