Coastal Birds

This is the slightly overdue second part of my New Year’s Eve blog, and the promised bird life.

The tide was out which is always helpful for spotting the more unusual visitors as the seaweed-laden rocks are excellent feeding grounds. Oystercatchers are among the more regular visitors, though mussels rather than oysters are the mainstay of their diet.

Oystercatcher at Rottingdean, East Sussex

Oystercatcher at Rottingdean, East Sussex

Oystercatcher at Rottingdean, East Sussex

Oystercatcher at Rottingdean, East Sussex

Oystercatcher at Rottingdean, East Sussex

Oystercatcher at Rottingdean, East Sussex

Another fairly common visitor is the little egret. Several were feeding on the rocks, though they remain quite shy and prone to hop along the coast if disturbed.

Little egret at Rottingdean

Little egret at Rottingdean

Little egret at Rottingdean

Little egret at Rottingdean

Little egret with Brighton in the background

Little egret with Brighton in the background

Much harder to spot than the pure white egret are the much smaller ringed plovers. When in among the rocks and pebbles they all but disappear from view (perfect camouflage), but even they can’t remain hidden from view once they take to the air.

Ringed plovers at Rottingdean

Ringed plovers at Rottingdean

Finally, on many levels the pick of the bunch, a curlew. These large birds are very occasional visitors to the Rottingdean coast but make excellent use of their long curved bill to search out the tastiest food.

Curlew at Rottingdean Beach, East Sussex

Curlew at Rottingdean Beach, East Sussex

Curlew at Rottingdean Beach, East Sussex

Curlew at Rottingdean Beach, East Sussex

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens.

This entry was posted in water birds and tagged , , , .

4 Comments

  1. Fi dwyer January 6, 2016 at 9:08 am #

    Lovely shots, as always Words. The Curlew is great. Have you ever captured an Avocet? Would love to see if you have. Happy New Year to you and Jackie. Fi xx

    • Words January 8, 2016 at 11:30 pm #

      Hi Fi, I’ve only once managed an avocet (and then from too far away)

      And a very happy New Year to you and Just… we really must get together this year! W xx

  2. Darko January 7, 2016 at 12:59 am #

    Wow, that’s quite a few different birds for a day 🙂

    • Words January 8, 2016 at 11:31 pm #

      Darko, winter is always great for birds. The need to eat brings them flocking.