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.

Mud Walker and Thank you..

Hello my friends, well the rain stopped and the sun make a weak showing. So nipped down to the County down coast which is a half hour drive from home. The tide was out and there where plenty on bird life around. but it was to far out on the mudflats for photography. Would have waited for the incoming tide to push them back to the shore but the light drops here around 3.30pm (2.45pm when I got there) and will be dark an hour later.

There were just a few Redshank’s close to the shore, feeding on whatever lives under this liquid mud. So without boring you I’ll post a few photos of these small waders.

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Grabbed a few shots of Rooks flying from the tree behind me.

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The next shots were me just playing around with a redshank photo in B&W.

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I hope you enjoyed this quick trip to the coast with me.

Before I go I want to wish you all Season’s Greeting, and THANK YOU all for your support over the year.

May all your wishes be granted in 2020.

Happy new year.

George..

 

 

 

From snow to coast.

This time last week I was digging the snow from the drive, taking photo’s in the snow. A week later and bar the mountains the snow is gone, well for now. Here in Ireland the weather can change in an hour. With a cool breeze and sunshine that gave no heat I headed for the coast. With heavy rain showers and a bitter wind I sat with a coffee and watched the bird life feeding in the mud flats left has the tide receded. With the return of the no heat sunshine I grabbed the camera’s and went for a walk. Below are a few of my shots from the day.

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Relax now this is the only bird shot this week, a couple of Redshank’s feeding around the mud flats.

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Fishing boats and one of the markers at the mouth of Strangford Lough. In the back ground is the Isle of Man, Looking closer because of the use of a telephoto lens.

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Kilclief beach looking the Irish sea towards the Isle of Man on the horizon.

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Then I spotted this, photo below.

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Parked in the wrong spot…. the colour of the toy car caught my eye on the walk back.

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It was the sun hitting the seaweed and lichen on the rocks that drew me to this photo.

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My final one of the day.

Thank you for visiting my blog, feel free to comment. What you like ,dislike etc.

Enjoy your weekend.

George.

 

 

 

 

Ducks, Waders and Seagulls.

Map

Street view

The map link above should take you to the area where most of the photographs in this post were shot. I was using a Nikon D750 with a Sigma 150 – 600 zoom. Some post processing and chopping  before posting.

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First up we have a couple of Mallards ( Anas platyrhynchos ) enjoying the low winter sun.

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Teal (Anas crecca ) Male and female. Love the marking of the male Teal, from the striped head to colourful rear.

The next set of photos were shot about a mile along the coast.  This wader is common around the coast in Northern Ireland

Redshank ( Tringa totanus )

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Gull time.

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Bath time

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Herring Gull (Larus argentatus )  playing tug-o-war with the sea weed.

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Common Gull ( Larus canus )

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Taking a guess at this one, I think its a Herring Gull in flight.

 

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This smaller gull is a Black Headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus ) in it’s winter plumage.

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Again I think this is a Herring Gull delivering  it’s bodily waste on those below.

These next couple of photograph’s are off  our largest wader here in the Uk & Ireland.

Curlew ( Numenius arquata)

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That was my Saturday, photographing the birds along this stretch of coast. There are more to photograph has well as the seals but that’s another day.  Next time I’ll pack a flask of coffee and a warmer coat so I can walk more of the coastline.

Thank you for joining me.

George.