7th February 2018 ff

February 10, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Chris goes white water kayaking!

Well, not really. I wanted [7/2/18] to have another go at travelling south to Holme Pierrepont in Notts to try to see the spotted sandpiper. My previous encounter with a spotted sandpiper involved an exhaustingly long walk in pre-camera days. This one sounded rather more accessible.

This time the motorways were kind. I broke my journey and photographed a couple of thrushes under a beech tree.

Song thrush

Mistle thrush

On arrival at Holme Pierrepont, the National Watersports Centre, I learnt that kayakers had frightened the bird off towards the River Trent. 'Bloody kayakers!' someone said. I dared to point out that the white water rapids that the bird seems to prefer had been built for kayaking not for rare waders. 'Spose so!' he answered with a grin. There were a few other birds about...

Kingfisher on the wires that hold the navigation poles in place. Grey wagtails - one had been taken by a sparrowhawk I was told.

Still no sign of the sandpiper. I thought I'd try my hand at action photography!

I explored the site which also caters for rowing events. On the Regatta Lake a long-tailed duck had been found.

Eventually the spotted sandpiper came back - by the bridge towards the far end of the rapids. 

It might not like the fast moving kayaks but people didn't seem to bother it at all and you could get quite close.

Better keep an eye open for that sparrowhawk!

Black Velvet

Velvet scoter seen in South Bay, Scarborough close to the harbour. That was Thursday. Friday, late morning, Sheila and I set off in rain/sleet for Scarborough to have a look. We parked on the south side of the harbour. As we drew up Sheila announced: 'I can see it.'

Not having much faith in her identification skills I assumed it would be a cormorant. She's much more sharp-eyed than I am, however. And I had to eat humble pie: with the scope I confirmed she was right. It all makes for an interesting test of the power of a 52 megapixels camera combined with 700mm [equivalent] lens pulling power.

Here's an uncropped view of the bird well out in the bay...

...and here are the best of the crops It dived a lot and it was anybody's guess where it would surface.

Unfortunately it never came close but the images give a good idea of a drake velvet scoter, I think.

About 50 turnstones were busying round our feet, running along in front of us like clockwork toys. Sheila asked me to include them too!


144 UK 2018


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