You see all sorts on the water. If you're lucky you'll get to see something a little out of the ordinary, but most of the time it's the same old suspects. These shouldn't be taken for granted though. Once upon a time the Tree and House Sparrow were very common sights in this country. Enjoy what's in front of you no matter how familiar they are.
I usually hear the Goldfinch before I see it. Usually in small flocks darting overhead, or sat on telephone wires. You can 't beat it when they come to feed in your garden though. This lovely specimen below was taken at Burton Mere RSPB reserve, where they make sure the feeders are full for all types of species. A nice sunny day helped to bring the shine out on the red face.
One of the more colourful wading birds I enjoy seeing is the Oystercatcher. I am also lucky enough to see them on my own patch in Woodford, where they have bred in recent years.
Down on the coast they stand out amongst the other birds due to their black and white plumage and almost day glow orange bills. Always nice to see, but sometimes their call can get on your wick after a while. It's pretty monotonous, and loud.
Nice pink legs.
Happy to mingle here with the Redshanks and a Dunlin.
It never rains but it pours. For the first time in a long time, I was able to get out onto my patch, albeit the majority of it was spent sat in my car due to the dreadful weather. However I was able to catch up with a local rarity. Three Pink-footed geese had been on the Church Lane flood for a few days and I was hoping that they'd be able to hang around until I could get there. When I arrived I could see a couple of hundred Canada Geese and a few Greylag Geese mixed in with them. Stupidly I'd left the binoculars at home, and I didn't have time to go back and get them in my small window of opportunity. I relied on my camera lens to pick them out, and I did that some 150 yards away. I usually venture to Martin Mere or Norfolk to see these birds. To see them just two miles from my where I live was quite amazing. Come again please.
Then, to my amazement, a bird was put up in the air by three incoming Mallards. It was quite clearly a Pintail, even without binoculars. I threw the camera up at it and hoped for the best. Two local rarities in one day. Birding doesn't get much better than this.
This Pintail flew towards me and then over me. A real Stockport Borough rarity.
The Pintail kindly came back, so I was able to get some very distant shots of it on the flood on Sunday.
Redshanks, and especially their call, remind me of Norfolk and time spent with my parents, which is sadly few and far between these days. I always look forward to our time bird watching in Norfolk as I try to impart a little of my knowledge to them, so hopefully they can enjoy birding as much as I do. When I was in Colwyn Bay seeking that Purple Sandpiper, my ears pricked up as I heard the unmistakable call of the Redshank. Thoughts of my parents came flooding back and I had to locate them. When I did I just watched and followed with the camera as they skimmed across the sea and landed close by. Smashing birds.
A bird that I concentrated on while at Hoylake was the little Sanderling. A wading bird similar in size to the Dunlin which was also seen in good numbers at Hoylake. In winter plumage here, it has a lovely silvery grey colour on top and an almost pristine white underneath. It is a winter visitor here but a little bird I love seeing all the same. So apologies if I've over indulged with too many pictures.
I purposely went in search of a bird a week or so ago. A bird I'd never seen before but had wanted to for some time. I made it my mission to find it on this particular day, and thanks to some really great directions from a fellow birder I managed to track it down in Colwyn Bay. The Purple Sandpiper is a pretty dumpy looking bird, but I found it to be a fascinating one as it wound it's way along the rocks on the coast looking for food. It was mixed in with a few Turnstone, which really made my day. Another lifer for me. Can this year get any better?
Undeterred by the waves breaking on the rocks behind.