Friday, 25 September 2009

Flying Display

This week I visited the sands and mudflats of the Southport coastline as high tides would be good for wader watching as the birds roosted around high water. I have discovered a part of the coastline that is little disturbed by dog walkers etc as the approach is very wet and muddy and is definitely a wellie job to reach the areas favoured by the waders.
I arrived just as the morning's cloudy dull conditions were giving way to the sunny p.m. promised by the weatherman. I located a large flock of  waders and managed to get into position without disturbing the roosting birds. I settled down with camera set up and awaited the action. The large flock was comprised of mainly knot and bar tailed godwit with a few dunlin and sanderling. Some birds were still feeding but most were dozing in the pleasant afternoon sunshine.
Eventually as if on a given signal most of the birds were up and away to join others feeding on the sands as the receding tide was now uncovering these very rich feeding grounds. I was joined by another photographer, Phil Tomkinson from Blackpool whose excellent bird photographs are well known in this part of the world. Together we enjoyed some great action as flocks of knot and godwits performed their flying displays all around us. We also enjoyed a colourful fly past from a flock of oystercatchers heading for the feeding grounds .
This weekend there is another flying display along this coastline as the Southport Air Show takes place  with the Red Arrows amongst many others showing off their flying skills to the crowds. Spectacular as that will be I don't think it can match the flying displays performed by the thousands of waders currently here on the Lancashire coastline. They will certainly not be around this weekend as the noise from the airshow will scare them all away but hopefully they will return to delight me throughout the autumn and winter months.
I have tried to capture the fantastic flying displays with the camera and some of the many images I took are shown above. I may post more later of this memorable event.


  1. These are totally mind blowing, if I didn't know better I would suspect a little cloning. Superb!!

  2. Thanks Adrian for looking. Definitely NO CLONING. A long walk with tripod and long lens,careful approach and patience was the key to these shots.Large flocks of waders currently passing through and good numbers will winter.

  3. just the sheer quantity of waders astounds me - incredible!


  4. It must have been a really exhilarating experience to be so close to all those waders, especially when they were taking off.

    Love the photos, especially the 2nd and last one. And as you say, the oystercatchers are very colourful - a colour you've caught well.

  5. Amazing captures Brian.
    What a great sight to witness.