Was driving along the road following the Co.Down coast. Something dark was swimming close to shore, There are seals in this area but normally you don’t see them where the tide is in. So pulling into a small car park and seeing people watching something I got out and asked the first person what was in view. His reply was a ship just off shore repairing something. Walking down to the beach to see the seal which turned out to be a woman swimming wearing a wet/dry suit. Given this is the start of winter and it about 7 degrees Celsius (44 Fahrenheit) and a cold wind blowing it was not warm. Got talking to her and being a local she told me about Killard Point. It was a Royal air force base around the second world war and was used for radar until it closed.
After following her directions and were to park I followed the shore around to the reserve gateway which you enter from the beach. I meet few people on the reserve and a few I did meet give me a lot of info about what to see and the best time of year to visit depending on the season. Below is a few bird photos i took while walking the coast. I intend to return once a month and will also include some landscape shots from the area.
I know this is not a sea bird shot but of the repair ship people were watching.
First up we have a Curlew ( Numenius arquata ) the one at the top the b&w bird is an Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus )
Like these ones, which are resting has they stand one one leg and like the right hand bird they rest there heads on there back. A bird very easy to identify by its markings and bright red eye.
And one landing on a rocky isle to wait for the tide to drop and expose there feeding ground.
Liked the way this Redshank ( Tringa totanus ) stood out against the clear backdrop.
A shot across the bay to Kilclief castle, not the greatest of photos, the landscape is nice around here and hope to do some landscape shots in the area.
The two larger birds are Cormorants ( Phalacrocorax carbo ) they are about the size of a large goose and are diving bird that feeds on fish.
Identifying these are not so easy, but given there habits and markings I think they are Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea ) which are a winter visitor to our shores from North Siberia.
These were hard to get a good shot of, they stayed well away from where I was.
Ringed Plover ( Charadrius hiaticula ) or there international name Common Ringed Plover.
Rock Pipit ( Anthus petrosus )
Got this shot while walking back from the reserve, I got a few shots of them on the pebbly beach but not as close or sharp has this.
These next few photo’s are of one of Britain and Ireland’s smallest birds, the Wren
(Troglodytes troglodytes )
Again these are hard to photograph, fast moving and busy seldom staying still. Most time you only catch a glimpse has they fly from one point to the next. It was this movement gave it away and a little crawling on the ground that got me these shots, plus thanks to a long focal lenght lens.
On my drive home I called at another reserve near Dundrum on the County Down coast and on leaving it I saw a Grey Heron ( Ardea cinerea ) in a field near a river that run’s along the road side. Using the car like a hide I got a few shots. Would have been nice if he had been hunting the river bank but maybe next time.
Thank you all for coming on my day out with nature here in Ireland.
Till the next time, take care.