One day of sunshine - grab the camera !

Following storm Brendan today had the promise of decent weather so needed no excuse to get out to the coastal area and thus decided on Connah's Quay as it's a quiet reserve and sometimes you can get some nice waders on the bund pools and muddy estuary.      Even with 300m + 2x  a lot of birds were a little far out so most of these shots are heavily cropped.    

First of all we visited Middle and Dee Hides by the bund pools where we saw Redshank, Greenshank, tons of Teal, Wigeon plus fluffy bum Little Grebes and the beautiful Snipe so took a few pics;     it's easier for me these days with deteriorating eyesight to get shots from being seated in a hide rather than try to locate them via eyeglasses, binoculars and camera outside whilst walking around !     

Miss Lovely-legs January winner  -  Green Sandpiper ?  

Greenshank ?

Fluffy bum next .............

These Snipe were a bit distant on the far bank of the bund pool but it's not often I see them swimming  !

They obviously don't like to swim all the way to the grassy island in the middle of the bund pool so they flew the rest of the way  !

Sorry these are all heavily cropped shots but once again, kept them as record shots …...

and they all made it to Snipe Island  !

Next we headed to the opposite end and West Hide where one of two Pied Waggies was inspecting the car parking area 

Wigeon were doing a flypast outside the hide along the Dee Estuary   (clearer if you click full zoom)

Curlews were on their way in to shore as the high tide was encroaching and filling the estuary edges …..

a distant Redshank was watching the water rise higher over the mud flats 

and the Curlew was too busy digging out worms to worry about the high tide fast approaching …..

Curlew and Redshank seeing who could find the juiciest lug worms   ! 

Lots of Teal around too,    males were practicing their courtship routines like clockwork toys   

and having scraps with other drakes 

now trying to drown the other drake  !! 

Mrs Teal obviously wasn't impressed with the drakes courtship display and sailed on by   !

One of the female Teals showed her joy at seeing the back of storm Brendan and welcoming the sunshine back again -  despite the 9 degrees feeling more like zero !

It's no good Mr Teal,  she's still not interested    !!    too many other suitors to consider first 

out on the distant mudflat the three Cormoranteers were either trying to keep lookout whilst another relieved itself and the third was wondering what to do with a rather large gullet of fish !

The one who had swallowed fish ?    looked rather uncomfortable so it went back into the water to try regurgitate the food 

(on closer viewing on another photo I have I am hoping it hasn't ingested plastic :(    )

then back to the mudflat not looking much better as he swallowed the fish again  ! 

the attractive Shelducks were also out on the mud making the most of the food source before the estuary filled 

The Curlews were calling ………………..

Another Curlew close by …...

then it was time to say goodbye ………………….

Byeeeee    !! 

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Regards, Hazel 

"Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Looks like a lovely day out. Snipe seem to be showing in numbers at the moment - there are currently loads at Pennington. The Curlew looks really muddy right up to its face and that is one greedy looking Cormorant!
    For me, the slightly upturned bill says the second one is a Greenshank. I think the paler, unspotted, breast right up to the bill is more indicative of Greenshank too, although perhaps this isn't as conclusive. I think they both are but I'm less certain about the first one.

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    Nige   Flickr

  • In reply to Nigel O:

    Thanks Nige,  It's pretty good if you time it for incoming tide bringing the waders closer.    If you ever want to visit Connah's Quay, we can take a guest in on our permit.  

    Nigel O said:
    that is one greedy looking Cormorant!

    Now I've zoomed right in to the photo of the distant Cormorant (via Win.photo software)  I'm not quite sure what it has and really hoping it is not plastic as it looks more rigid than a fish .............. even when it regurgitated one bit the gullet still looked very full so fingers crossed it is fish/crustacean and not plastic   :(      

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Superb photos Hazy, love them all especially the curlew and redshank together and all looking especially lovely with the weather behaving and sun showing even though I agree it is still very chilly.

    Lot to learn

  • That looked a splendid day Hazel, what a difference a drop of sunshine makes!! Lovely shots
  • In reply to HAZY:

    HAZY said:
    If you ever want to visit Connah's Quay, we can take a guest in on our permit.  

    Very kind, thank you. I'm always up for different places and we probably are due to meet up sometime. Keep an eye on the weather and tides ... speaking of which, I will also try and do Parkgate for the Feb Tide-watch.

    HAZY said:
    Now I've zoomed right in to the photo of the distant Cormorant (via Win.photo software)  I'm not quite sure what it has

    I can't tell, but it is not that dissimilar to a fish tail and if it did regurgitate something then I think it would have got rid of anything plastic or solid so there's a good chance it just had eyes bigger than its belly - it's surprising how often they do catch and swallow absolute monsters.

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    Nige   Flickr

  • In reply to Nigel O:

    Nigel O said:
    I'm always up for different places and we probably are due to meet up sometime. Keep an eye on the weather and tides ... speaking of which, I will also try and do Parkgate for the Feb Tide-watch.

    Let us know if you are heading to Parkgate as it's easy to visit both places on same day so we can either start on Wirral or at Connah's Quay Power Station

    Nigel O said:
    can't tell, but it is not that dissimilar to a fish tail and if it did regurgitate something then I think it would have got rid of anything plastic or solid so there's a good chance it just had eyes bigger than its belly - it's surprising how often they do catch and swallow absolute monsters.

    Fingers crossed that's what it was but it swallowed it again and seemed to have a lot more food in that extended gullet area;     I've seen them take huge eels and other fish but this bird seemed to look uncomfortable with what it swallowed the whole time I was there;    really hope its just food which will eventually get digested.    

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to HAZY:

    HAZY said:
    Let us know if you are heading to Parkgate

    Will do.

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    Nige   Flickr

  • What a fabulous collection of photos Hazel, I'm hard pressed to pick a favourite, they're all fab.

    Its an are I keep saying I must investigate, particularly Burton Mere, which looking at the map, is almost as easy to get to as Conwy for the day, from where I live. Well, the right day, Sunday isn't an option, the M6 home would be a mare.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • Great set, please send some of that sunshine eastwards :)

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    Cheers,

    Bob

    My Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bobs_retired_now/

  • You certainly made the most of a rare day of sunshine. Great set of photos and so good to see all those Curlews. Love the shots of the Snipe in flight.

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    Regards,Tony

    My Flickr Photostream