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Lockdown wildlife.

First I hope you are all keeping well and safe where ever you are in the world. Here in the north of Ireland we are back in a four week lockdown but we can still go out to exercise. So when the weather allows I pack the camera and head for the coast. I’m lucky that I have some great mud flats where the sea birds and wading birds feed within a 30 – 40 minutes drive. So the following photographs have been taken over the last few weeks along the County Down coast. Most of them have been shot with a Nikon D750 camera fitted with the Sigma 150 – 600 mm telephoto lens, some handheld and others using a tripod fitted with a gimble head. The following link is a great site for bird information here in Ireland and the UK. https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/curlew/

The above is the Curlew ( Numenius arquata) taking off , great fun to watch has they sprint up to take off speed.

Here we see the Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) it’s a very distinctive bird with it’s bold black and white plumage, orange beak and legs but most of all that blood red eye.

Next the Brent goose ( Branta bernicla) This small goose  is similar in size to a mallard duck. Can be hard to get good photographs with the eye showing because of the dark coloured neck and head. With the setting sun behind me it was just right this evening. They are always in a flock and the on singled out here is seen drinking.

The Snipe(Gallinago gallinago) this is a bird that is getting rare to see here, it’s numbers have declined over the years. When I was a kid at school ( a long time ago) these where common and seen over most marshes daily. I was surprised to see two of them together. The Brent geese disturbed them and these one flew closer to me and nested down into the seaweed.

The Redshank (Tringa totanus) gets it’s name from it’s most distinctive features, their bright orange-red legs. I find these are one of our most common birds along this part of the coast. They can be found in large flocks or today just a few feeding on the incoming tide.

The next photographs where taken from my van when I saw this Kestrel just for the road side. I pulled over and shot a few frames before it moved off.

Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) these are a small falcon and are often seen as here along the road sides hovering looking for small prey.

The colour is a little weak in these photographs of the Kestrel with the bright sky behind them but since they were part of the coast outings I included them.

Thank you for visiting and I’ll leave you with a image of Portaferry across Strangford lough.

Brent geese with Portaferry in the back ground and Windmill hill on the right.

George.

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