Sunday, 24 April 2011

Waders and Wheatears

Last week I visited the Lancashire Coast at Southport to witness the wader roost as it coincided with a very high tide of over ten metres. The weather was more summerlike with temperatures into the seventies but on the coast it was pleasant with cooling sea breezes and it turned out to be a wonderful session with many thousands of waders present on this stretch of the Lancashire coastline.
The vast majority of the birds were dunlin and knot and the flocks of knot were very impressive as they were pushed along the coast by the advancing high tide. Often on these big tides the birds rest and sleep but on this occasion they were feeding non stop no doubt taking advantage of the excellent weather and preparing for the long flights to the breeding grounds in the High Arctic. It was a fabulous spectacle and at the peak of the tide some of the dunlin came very close allowing some nice portraits as they continued to feed unconcerned by my presence.
All to soon the birds dispersed to other areas as more of their feeding grounds were exposed by the rapidly falling tide and soon they were well out of range of the camera but I had enjoyed a wonderful spectacle and I wished the waders well on their long journeys to their far away breeding grounds. On the way back along the coast I now had time to photograph the numerous wheatears I had seen posing nicely and just begging to have their photographs taken. The wheatears were newly arrived on the Lancashire Coast from their African wintering quarters and were feeding up prior to their departure for breeding areas in the hills of Northern England.
What a wonderful experience it had been and I hope the few images I have selected above convey some of the spectacle I enjoyed on what was also a wonderful day weatherwise .It is weather that looks like continuing for some time yet and will encourage me to get out and about with the camera in the coming weeks and hopefully post some more images from my wanderings Meantime hope my readers continue to enjoy my postings and I look forward to your comments.


  1. These are just beautiful, Brian. Must have really be amazing to see in person.

  2. Always good to see you've been out and about armed with your camera with some excellent results to share with us as usual Brian.

    I know this is all a bit repetitive but....we must get out sometime in the lovely month of May.

  3. Again another memorable session with the waders Brian,expertly conveyed and photographed.Looking forward to more of your excellent posts!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Wow! Those are some stunningly beautiful pictures you've got there! Nature is such a treat...

  5. Ah Ha, so it was you with all the birds Brian. I tried Rossall and only a few Dunlin and Ringed Plovers on station... but plenty of Wheatears. Crackin images as always.

  6. Beautiful shots! It's always so cool to see such large flocks of shorebirds.

  7. Hi all,

    Waders refer to long-legged wading birds, excluding the more marine web-footed sea-bird groups. Many waders have sensitive nerve endings at the end of their bills which enable them to detect prey items hidden in mud or soft soil. Thanks a lot!

    Birth Of a Manta Ray