Saturday, 11 September 2010

Chelmarsh - Curlew Sands!!!

So far as Shropshire is concerned any additions to the 2010 yearlist are going to be classy birds and I was hoping for something special today? There was nothing happening at Venus Pool when the mobile rang at 8.45.....

......next stop was going to be Chelmarsh scrape ASAP with news from Yvonne of TWO probable Curlew Sandpipers and the first 'emergency response' for 'JET' my new Megane!

On arrival, the two waders were indeed most definitely Curlew Sands and amazingly, feeding frantically in front of the hide! Trying to capture two waders, with all the depth of field constraints is not an easy matter but these are the pick of many attempts!!








The close they came, the harder it was to keep both in focus....






Next challenge was to concentrate on one bird and hope for some sharp quality. They were feeding in such a frenzy, it was difficult to catch moments when the bill wasn't entirely submerged or a completely blurred!

The birds enclosed by their own ripples.....








Close up with all the key features on show. The long evenly decurved bill, scaly uniform plumage and prominent supercilium. These are juvenile birds with the charactersitic peachy wash across the breast and 'fresh' plumage.....












All of the above images were taken during the first 20 minutes or so. After that, they spent most of their time up by the island at the other end of the scrape!

One of my favourite images from the day, not a close up by any means but a brief pause from feeding/preening....






Wonder what's next?- Pec Sand before too long and hopefully at VP this time!

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