Monday, 14 November 2011

The Wirral...One Of Those Days!!!

I had a choice to make yesterday...Stay fairly local and photograph Red Deer or drive the 50 or so miles to the Wirral and capture some coastal birds.
Having checked the forecast for both locations for a few days leading up to Sunday (bright sunshine) I decided on the Wirral.

I left the house at around 6.30am in darkness and the longer the journey went, the more I noticed that there was a distinct lack of any hint of a sunrise!
On arrival at my first planned stop at West Kirby, I was greeted by a very gloomy looking scene.
In fact not just gloomy, but very cold and windy too!

On the rocks by the Marine Lake, there were various waders roosting which included Turnstone, Dunlin, Knot and Redshank.
Unfortunately without flash and with a shutter speed of 10s at iso1000 I wasn't able to get any decent shots before the birds departed for the shore.

By the time I made it down to the shore, the light had improved enough for me to get some sort of photography out of the trip and with my Wellingtons sinking deep into the very boggy sand I made my way towards some distant feeding Shelduck...

I didn't attempt trying to get any nearer the Shelduck, because there was a real risk of quicksand and I had already prised my boots out of the sand several times up to then!
I next headed (on much firmer ground)  on the fruitless venture of trying to capture some feeding Redshank.

Missing out on the Redshank didn't annoy me as much as missing the Little Egret that had taken to feeding at the spot where I stood photographing the Shelduck!
To be honest, the morning was turning out to be a very frustrating one indeed and despite there being large numbers of birds on the beach, getting close to them was becoming a real problem.

The one highlight at West Kirby yesterday as always, was watching the large flocks of Knot lifting to the sky every time something spooked them...

The sad news is, that on a 5 hour shoot at one of my favourite and most productive locations, the best I could do at getting close to a bird was this Herring Gull...

After spending a very cold and frankly disappointing morning at West Kirby, I decided to move down the coast and try my luck at Parkgate.
Parkgate despite being a birdwatchers paradise is a place where no small amount of luck is required to get decent images and it isn't always the most photographer friendly location.
The trouble with Parkgate is the more interesting subjects are usually quite a fair distance away in the scrapes.

I only stayed an hour or so at Parkgate and after missing out at West Kirby, there was a little consolation after I spotted a distant Little Egret...

By now I had just about had enough for the day and after receiving a phone call telling me how sunny it had been back home, I decided it was time to head back there.
I did however very nearly give into the temptation of stopping off at Burton to try and photograph a reported Glossy Ibis...Sometimes though, you just know when your lucks not in and when to cut your losses!

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