Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Canutes from the far north....

Monday. My day off. I'd cleared the decks so that I could spend some time with the shorebirds on Hoylake shore.

Arriving early I had nothing to do but stand and wait for the tide to come in....

The tide was still a distant line of white foam and the beach was all mine. The birds were distant too but I knew the impending tide was big enough push them right up to the prom. This was the calm before the storm. A storm, a tornado, of Knot. Calidris canutus have arrived in big numbers from their far northern breeding grounds.

The birds were trying to fed but the tide just wouldn't let them. They ran from the waves like they'd never seen an incoming tide before. That unsettled the flock and made them jumpy. They exploded from the shore when a Sparrowhawk whizzed over. A detonation of Knot.

The birds were up and down all the time and I found various ways of recording the action. A tripod allowed some long shutter speeds to be used in an effort to capture the frantic motion of the flock.

On the beach the birds huddled together. Some started to roost, tucking heads under wings. Others must have been keeping watch as every now and then a ripple of alarm spread through the birds. It started at one end of the flock and spread across it. It looked like a tidal bore. Heads appeared, necks were craned and when no danger was detected they were re-tucked under folded wings.

When a spell of rain ended in a rainbow the flock was in the air after another false alarm. It started to land and congregate at the end of this rainbow.

The tide was reaching it's full height and the birds were as close as they were going to get. It was now that the birds settled, the tide no longer a thorn in their side. The birds slowed from a run to a walk, more roosted. I was able to stand and stare at these awesome little migrants.... and take a few more pictures...

Make way for the canutes from the far north....

1 comment:

  1. Excellent. Almost as good as being there myself. Almost ;-)