Tuesday, 23 September 2014

An Absolute Photography Wader Fest at Titchwell

7th September 2014

It had been a good day at Titchwell with plenty of birds close enough for some decent shots. However, I decided to keep the best to Part 2 of the blog which I hope you will agree is an absolute bird photography wader fest that can only be experienced at Titchwell. First up was a Redshank feeding on the saltwater lagoon by the beach. Even better when it walked out on to a spit and was silhouetted against the sunlit water.

Back in the Parinder Hide a juvenile Spotted Redshank flew in for 10 seconds, just long enough to grab a couple of shots. Still brown and spotty like the Redshank and complete with orange legs, but also with that tell-tale dagger of a bill.

As is normal for this time of year there were dozens of Ruff in assorted plumage. However, whereas they are normally far out on the fresh-marsh, today they were coming quite close to the Parinder Hide and the beach path. As borne out by the number of questions we were asked, they are the wader that causes the most confusion amongst beginners and, not surprisingly, frequently get dismissed as Redshank

Also close to the beach path were three Little Stint on the mud with their knitting-needle-like feeding action. Although they were close they were difficult to photograph as they are so fast and only adopt a photogenic pose for a split second. The last shot shows the distinctive "braces" that characterise this species.

But for me today the stars of the show were the Curlew Sandpipers. I have probably never seen so many at Titchwell before but for most of the time they kept their distance. But then, for no apparent reason, a flock of 10 birds rose up and after a couple of circuits landed just 15 yards from the path.

I have been photographing birds for three years now and can easily say that a high percentage of my best close-up shots have been taken at Titchwell, which must be by far the Mecca of the bird photography world.

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