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Saturday, 26 July 2014

I guess you have to start somewhere, so I'll just share a few pics from this month - so far...

At the RSPB Burton Marsh reserve on 13th July, there were amazing numbers of young little egrets, recently fledged from the nearby colony that they share with grey herons. There were more than 100 birds on one lagoon - anyone remember when they were rare? Although I was shooting against the light, it seems to have worked quite well on these white birds with the sun very close to the horizon behind them. A multiple exposure sequence of a young egret chasing one of its parents.

Young Little Egret - feed me!
There are spectacular numbers of waders at the RSPB Frampton reserve at the moment, with black-tailed godwit numbers exceeding 1,000 birds. Sadly, the lesser yellowlegs prefers a photo-inaccessible area but the other waders, along with the exhibitionist glossy ibis, provide plenty of interest. The black-tails seem to be very argumentative, and intense fights between individuals break out from time to time. A small number of birds seem to be involved in a disproportionate number of the squabbles .. ?

Black-tailed Godwits squabbling at Frampton.

This will seem ungrateful, but I am really annoyed by this photograph. The ibis was working its way very slowly toward the hide but the low evening sun was at its back, throwing the entire bird into shadow. It was clear, however, that the way it was working along the lagoon edge it would eventually pass me and be beautifully lit - critically important for an iridescent "black" bird. I took a single shot as the ibis began to move into position, then the slightly noisy arrival of another photographer flushed the bird - which settled several hundred metres away. Aargh!

Glossy ibis Plegadis falcinellus Frampton
Glossy Ibis, Frampton

This was a real "grab" shot. We were crossing the runway of an airport in southern England after a summer downpour when I spotted this little chap picking drowned insects off the surface. So a quick stop, window down (engine still running) and a few shots rattled off before we were obliged to get off the runway. I was surprised to see that it was a little ringed plover - there was a pair of "common" ringed plovers nesting just off the airport - but these birds are migrants and this young bird may have fledged far away from where we saw it.

Little ringed plover Charadrius dubius juvenile
Little Ringed Plover - Juvenile


  1. Nigel, my brother-in-law Baron gave me the link to your blog - which I shall now follow. Your photography is incredible (and I speak as one who has earned a certain amount thanks to my ability to take simple snapshots). Many thanks for what you have done.

  2. What a lovely mid-week surprise. Thank you Rodney ... Marilyn... St. Davids, PA