With the weather conditions very much up and down at the moment, there have been plenty of days when common passerine migrants have been very thin on the ground. The strong south-westerly winds and accompanying rain showers have, however, turned up a neat variety of waders around the coast of the island. This appearance has been helped by the recent full moon, which has increased the tide heights and thus forced many waders onto a much shorter area of coastline. I spent a morning in Solfach Hide a few days ago, watching Whimbrels, Ringed Plovers, Dunlins and Common Sandpipers coming and going, feeding along the edge of the sea. The driving rain allowed for some more atmospheric images to be taken, as can be seen below. I hope you enjoy this selection of pictures:
Whimbrels in flight. These were taken with a Canon 7D mk II, a Canon 300mm f2.8 and a Canon 1.4x converter. I was quite pleased with the performance of the 7D in the low light in the top few images, with minimal noise levels.
The top image is of an Oystercatcher taking off from a rock as a large wave rolls in. This bird is underlit by the sea foam and spray below. Again, this was taken with the following: Canon 7D mk II, Canon 300mm f2.8 and Canon 1.4x converter. The second image is the same bird before the wave hit!
I spent a little while photographing these Ringed Plovers as they fed on the beach. I found that sitting still about 6 metres from the waters edge worked well, as the birds would work the length of the beach, and when they came past me they would sprint as fast as they could until they were a little further away. In the upper image, I used a shutter speed of 1/150th sec to try and capture a bit of the speed
Dunlin numbers are really starting to build up now, with around 10 individuals on the beach most days. I am sure there will be a blog post to follow focussing exclusively on this species, but here is a quick shot of one running past