Saturday, 3 September 2011
Wader Watching...Red Knot
It has been a while since I have posted any images. This last week however has seen me back in business. There has been a series of high tides coinciding with some warm late summer weather, ideal conditions to revisit some of my favourite locations on the Lancashire coastline. I made two visits to the coast at Southport and one with good friend and photographer Martin to Rossall Point at Fleetwood.
There were good numbers of waders present particularly at Southport where a large wader roost provided me with many opportunities to capture some excellent images. For this first post I have concentrated on the Red Knot. Knot were present in very large numbers and packed together at high tide to form a large carpet of birds. Many of the birds were still showing signs of their red breeding plumage and one particularly handsome bird is shown above in it's breeding finery after which it is of course named. Most however were showing typical grey winter plumage but amongst them were some juvenile birds with lovely feather detail again shown in close up above.
The knot were disturbed from time to time by dog walkers and others who seemed determined despite my protests to walk right through the roosting flocks and send them all up into the air. This did however present opportunities for some impressive flight shots also shown above. As the high tide retreated so did the birds going further out onto the feeding grounds on the beach. I followed a group of birds and managed to get close to a mixed group of knot, dunlin and sanderling. Again close ups of these birds were obtained in very nice afternoon sunshine and I was very well pleased with the results.
I have shown above various images of the knot on the roost and in flight and hope they convey some of the excitement of witnessing one of Nature's great spectacles. Further posts will concentrate on the other waders seen during this week's high tides when I was able to get up close and personal with sanderling,dunlin,ringed plover and turnstone.... Watch this space !!!