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.
Here we are in March 2020 and I’m writing the first blog post of the year. It’s been a busy couple of years here in my world. Had and have some plans for the site for the start of the year but I’m a little behind, now we have the Coronavirus ( COIID-19) spreading across the world. With every aspect of life effected some of my projects might have to be sidelined for awhile depending on travel restrictions.
So I have been out a few times with the camera around the coast here in Northern Ireland, so below are some for the birds wintering here.
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.
Grabbed a few shots of Rooks flying from the tree behind me.
The next shots were me just playing around with a redshank photo in B&W.
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.
With many changes in my life over the last two and a half years my blog has fell by the wayside. Slowly getting the time to get back out with the camera, so hopefully I’ll get posting a few more posts here.
A quick check on the tide tables I knew I could get to Dundrum inner bay for the incoming tide. This means the wildlife feeding on the mudflats gets pushed closer to me and my camera. So getting in to a good hiding spot that gives a clear view I await the tide and hope the dog walkers don’t come near me. Has the birds come closer to shore they are not coming my way. This is a waiting game and one I don’t mine. More time to watch nature and enjoy the breeze thats picking up. At least its blowing inland.
A Grey Heron feeding in a fresh water river that runs onto the coastal mudflats. Shot this short video on the spur of the moment and has you can see I was not set up for video. This is something I have been thinking about doing more off, so watch this space.
Black tailed Goodwit, this is a first for me. I have never seen these birds in this area before so was lucky to get a few shots.
Not the greatest photo but you see where it got it’s name.
With the tide filling this small bay I move a halfmile down into the main bay. Shot these next couple of photo while on the move.
And a Rook with a shell silhouette.
This were my last shots before high tide. T.he beautiful Little Egert.
Thank you for joining me here at Dundrum. It’s in Co.Down Northern Ireland, just a few miles from the Mourne mountains. The Bay is a protected nature reserve with a walk on the old railway enbankment running the length of the bay.
Great Black-backed gull. First winter plumage. These gulls are the largest gull we get in the UK and Ireland. At a height of 64-78 cm and a wingspan of 150 – 165 cm. These gulls are as large has most geese.
This shot was taken on the shore of Strangford lough, County Down, Northern Ireland.
A breezy and over cast day but a warm wind kept any chill at bay. This first photo is at the start of Strangford Lough at a place called Kilclief. I am here trying out new filters.
The small light marker is one of two at the mouth of the lough. Played around with setting here to see what I could product. This shot was converted to B&W and processed with’s Silver Efex Pro.Then it was a few more miles around the coast to St. John’s lighthouse. Here the wind was full on has it came around the headland.
Again a long exposure smoothed the water and clouds, again finished in Silver Efex Pro.
Then on the way home following the coast I spotted wind surfers out on the water, no filters on here. Using a 70 – 300mm lens on the Nikon D7200 I got this next shot hand held.
Across the bay you can see part of the Mourne mountains with Newcastle town at the base. Sunlight was throwing shafts of light through the clouds onto the water just off shore and the wind surfers zipping across the water in the strong winds. There its time for me to leave the coast and head inland home.