Zenfolio | Chris Downes' Focus on Birds | 10th-13th January 2018

10th-13th January 2018

January 14, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

It's just good to be out!

Words used when things don't go entirely to plan. Two such days this week. Wednesday 10th January up in Cleveland/Co. Durham I managed to see nothing new for the year list but still enjoyed my day. South Shields pier area: Mr. Crow in the car park.

Lots of waders...dunlin, sanderlings and purple sandpiper. Dunlins followed by a sanderling huddle and purple sandpipers.

Look what turned up among the ringed plovers! A rather dull snow bunting.

No sign of a glaucous gull. This great black-back came close!

Finally a cormorant just off the car park. An afternoon run out to Fairburn Lin Dike hide on the 11th January saw this distant drake smew. Always a thrill to see a white nun!

First photo is uncropped to give an idea how far it was even with the 700mm equivalent lens plus extender. Believe it or not, the smew is just north-west [as it were] of the left hand coot.

Same photo cropped. Here's the best few of the crop - also much cropped! You can only tell the pictures are in colour from the first shots with the shoveler in view.

Another afternoon run at the last minute to Scarborough on January 12th to try for a waxwing at B&Q. We'd seen them there in a previous year. Got really lucky this time! At first they [3 birds] were up in a tree and the light was tricky as was finding an unobstructed view.

Then they flew down to a low-growing cotoneaster bush for berries. The birds had already eaten all the visible ones and were now poking their heads into the bush for more! Then head up with berry in bill! I always think they can look quite fierce. Next one is my favourite shot.

January 13th I went back to South Shields for the glaucous gull; to North Shields for a firecrest; to Wingate quarry for a little owl and to Saltholme for a long-eared owl. I saw none of them: another dot day for year ticks! But it was good to be out!! I think. It was very cold at Seaton Snook where I had close views of 6 snow buntings but no twite. Altogether a blank day.

I encountered a co-operative rock pipit however - so here s/he is! Even little brown jobs can make interesting images in my view.

Putting your best foot forward! A turnstone was too cold to be bothered moving. Second photo is uncropped.


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