4 December 2011

A windy Sunday

It has been very windy the last couple of days and strong easterlies brought large flocks of Black Legged Kittiwakes to the coast. In among the flock were 3 very rare Red Legged Kittiwake, one of the birds I most want to see. Osamu found them yesterday and e-mailed me.

I went to the port where he'd seen the birds (in a flock of 4000 Black Legged Kittiwakes).

I found the grand total of ONE Black Legged Kittiwake and not a red leg in sight anywhere...........although it was still windy the wind had changed direction and it seemed all the kittiwakes had upped and left. Well, all except one that is. There were 8 species of Gull but nothing especially interesting. I don't often go 'twitching' but I still felt the twinge of disappointment. They do appear to be fairly regular, I just need to be ready next year when the easterlies hit I guess.......

There was a small group of Harlequin Duck in the port at least.

I always seem to mess up the exposure on these and when I try and process them on the computer afterwards (using shadow/highlights and tweaking the WB) they always look a little unnatural like these shots............

This harbour isn't the most pleasant place to hang around. It's always cold and windy and it's covered in bird s**t. Indeed my wife calls it 'the s**tty harbour'.

The Harlequins were bobbing around on the rough waves in one corner..........

A Black Necked Grebe popped up unexpectedly........

Other stuff around included Brent Goose, White Tailed Eagle and Goldeneye.

We then gave up on the Kittiwakes and headed back to Onuma when the sun came out and we fed the tame Tits and Nuthatches again, they were striking some nice poses.

It was raining a lot the last couple of days, there was no snow at Onuma and the lake isn't anywhere near frozen yet. These shots still have a very autumnal feel to them.

I'm sure by next weekend everything will be all white..........

All Liverpool's rivals won yesterday. That's not good.

Hopefully the (imminent?) snow and ice will bring a few new species to photograph............and you never know if the wind blows in the right direction and I can persuade my wife to drive me to the s**tty harbour there may be a small cute Gull with short red legs there.

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  1. So, liverpool eh? Me too! Southend United or Charlton Athletic in the 3rd round draw - not bad. Got to win at Fulham tomorrow.

    Stunning photographs of the little chaps again Stu - the poses are superb and the backgrounds beautifully diffused. Brilliant.

  2. A windy Sunday - you and me both, but don't send the snow, just the Harlequins.

  3. Like the scaup's head peaking over the waves - nice one. Like Phil I'd take one of those harlequins over here any day of the week


  4. Wow, those harlequins look like origami and the light does look like autumn on the tits etc. maybe good for new species but I don't know if I can bear the coming winter. It is just dull here.

  5. 3,999 kittiwakes disappeared within a night, how is that even possible! After seeing Russell's comment above, I now feel that harlequins do look like origami too lol.

    I never like using shadow/highlights function in Photoshop though. It makes the photos look unnatural as you said. Sometimes it's inevitable but I always try to limit the use of it and use other functions like brightness/contrast, curves and levels to brighten up the images. I personally like using the Curves function the most.

  6. Harlequins take the cake. Hope you are keeping fine. Just back in blogosphere after a break.

  7. Thanks for all the comments............

    Galllcissa, hope you were doing something exciting during your break...

    Ayuwat, I think shadows/highlights is basically just curves for dummies, perhaps I should look at the curves tool a little more.


  8. Some fabulous shots in good light. Harlequins are brilliant !


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