Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spotted Redshank and Other Waders.

On a recent visit to Leighton Moss RSPB I had hoped to photograph some Avocets that had returned to the Eric Morecombe pools. Unfortunately, they were feeding on a very distant pool and were only just visible through my telescope. But, as always, there is always something of interest to photograph, and when that other something is one of my favourite waders, a Spotted Redshank, I am more than happy. This elegant winter-plumaged bird fed at times in the company of a Common Redshank, so it was also a good opportunity to study the differences between the two species.
It was a blustery day, and most of the other birds were sheltering from the wind, but Curlew, Oystercatcher and Little Egret all came into photographable range.
Another bonus was the presence of a small group of European White-fronted Geese in a field near the level-crossing. These were probably feeding up on the first leg of their migration back to their breeding grounds. I finished the day off on the main reserve where a unusual pair of Great-crested Grebes were showing interest in one another; unusual because one of the pair was still in winter-plumage. I had hoped they might indulge in their beautiful mating ritual, the famous "weed dance", but maybe they were not quite ready for that.
Also the resident pair of Great Black-backed Gulls that nest on the island opposite the Public Hide were displaying to one another. Although at one point one of the birds almost landed on a lapwing that was also asleep on the island!

Spotted Redshank (left) and Common Redshank


European White-fronted Geese
Black-headed Gull


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