7 Dec 2011

Bar-tailed Godwits and Grey Plover at Killard Nature Reserve

Bar-tailed Godwit
What a fab morning it was this morning. When I listened to the weather last night the forecast was for heavy gales and rain in the morning and I thought that had put paid to my day off. So when I got up later than usual and the sun was streaming through the house I hastily grabbed some porridge before heading to Killard Nature Reserve with Pickle my dog.

The sun was incredibly bright and the tide was just on the turn. This can be really good for shorebirds as they feed on the receding tide. One particular spot at Killard is very good and there can often be Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Turnstones, Purple Sandpiper, Grey Plover, Oystercatchers and Bar-tailed Godwit.
Ringed Plover

Grey Plover and Ringed Plover

Grey Plover / Black-bellied Plover
Grey Plover / Black-bellied Plover
Over the last five or six years there have always been one or two Grey Plover that spend the winter out at Killard and I have always found them very difficult to get close to but a couple of days ago this bird above allowed me to get fairly close, even if it took 45 minutes of crawling to get close to it. It was worth it. They are one of my favourite birds and I would love to see them in their full summer plumage on their breeding grounds.

Today the Grey Plover wasn't on the beach but there were three Bar-tailed Godwits which were flying around along with some Dunlin and Ringed Plovers.
Bar-tailed Godwit

 At first they were quite flighty but the longer I stayed in the one position the less they became worried about me or the dog. After quite a while I crawled across the very wet sand and got to within about 25 feet of them and watched feeding on ragworms. I meanwhile was getting colder and colder as the wet beach was working it's way through my clothes and called it a day. I walked away with a spring in my step (this might be to do with the fact I have lost 35lbs in the last two months) There is something about bird photography that gives me a real buzz especially when the light is right and you finally find yourself getting close to birds that aren't that easy to approach.
Bar-tailed Godwit feeding on Ragworm
Feeding bar-tailed Godwit

Incoming Bar-tailed Godwit

Bar-tailed Godwit

Bar-tailed Godwit


Springman said...

What a great blog. Your photography is fantastic, a wonderful look into Northern Ireland's bird kingdom. I'm going to link this perfect post up with WBW. Thank you for sharing!

Rambling Woods said...

It is heartwarming to read about the lengths that a bird lover will go to get a good photo and then share that joy with the rest of us.. My crawling days are over, but I could just picture that..wonderful photos...Michelle

holdingmoments said...

The low angle makes such a difference.
Excellent pictures.

Andrew said...

A beautiful bird.. I often see Black-tailed Godwits But have never seen this lovely bird... they have been reported on my patch though.

I have had a lovely browse around your blog..

eileeninmd said...

It is nice to see the bird of Ireland. I love the Godwit and the cute Ringed Plover. Awesome photos and post. Have a great day!