Tag Archives: oystercatcher

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.

Posted in water birds Also tagged , , |

Oystercatchers and Fulmars at Rottingdean

I had to pop down to Rottingdean today. It was high tide, and very windy.

Sea crashing against the Undercliff Walk at Rottingdean

Sea crashing against the Undercliff Walk at Rottingdean

Down on one of the few more sheltered parts of the beach, a small group of oystercatchers were lazily grazing among the pebbles.

Oystercatcher

Oystercatcher

High above, the fulmars were patrolling the cliffs.

Fulmar

Fulmar

Fulmar

Fulmar

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

Posted in coastal, Landscape, water birds Also tagged , |

Oystercatchers and other birds

The oystercatchers are the pick of today’s birds, but I’ll get to them in a moment. I’ll start with some early morning photos of the local heron, something of a fixture at Falmer Pond.

Once again we had sunshine in the morning.

Heron

Heron posing in the sunshine

Heron flying low over Falmer Pond

Heron flying low over Falmer Pond

Heron flying low over Falmer Pond

At this time of day, getting the best of the light depends greatly on where the subject is on the pond. The heron flew into shade, but at the far end the ducks were resplendent.

Female Mallard

Female Mallard

Male Mallard

Male Mallard

The best of the light had gone by lunchtime, but I had a few minutes to spare down at Rottingdean. I headed for the beach, where a smal lgroup of oystercatchers were gathered.

Oystercatchers

Oystercatchers on the beach at Rottingdean

Oystercatcher

Some were feeding…

Oystercatcher

Some were dozing…

Oystercatcher

This pair of oystercatchers were going for a stroll…

Oystercatcher

Oystercatcher on the Wing

One final treat, a passing cormorant.

Cormorant in flight

Cormorant in flight

All the shots today were taken with the 100-400 lens with a 1.4 extender attached. It’s a nice combination and performs well, though you are restricted to the centre focusing point with this combination. It does however turn the lens into a 560mm monster, which once you take into account the 1.6 crop factor on the 7D Mark II’s sensor equates to a more than respectable 896mm. You really can get in pretty close with that.

Camera note: all photos taken with the Canon 7D Mark II and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens + Canon EF 1.4xIII extender.

Posted in water birds, Wildlife Also tagged , , , |