Saturday, 7 November 2009

Reasons To Like Birding #1

I thought I'd take advantage of the sun this morning. Not as happy as I would like with the range of Sabine's Gull images I took last week I decided to head back to North Shields Fish Quay and have another go. The only flaw in my plan was the absence of the Sab's Gull.
Not wishing to waste a nice, bright morning I wandered around looking for other targets all a little difficult with the sun low in the southern sky and me on the north side of the river.
There are many reasons why birders, bird, probably as many reasons as there are species. For some it's all about the birds, the unparalleled beauty, others enjoy the thrill of the chase, dare I say hunt. For some its names or ticks on a list or lists, others value the rare, still more are seduced by the competitive lure of the combination of lists and rares .
Maybe its a little of all those I just mentioned but I keep finding more reasons, so here's another one from this morning.

1. What other hobby allows a man to crouch for an hour on an upturned fish crate surrounded by 4 inches of water on an ebbing tide yards from a commercial fish quay without feeling the slightest embarrassment?

Lost it? Not quite, trying hard to capture some Turnstone images just east of the fish quay I was struggling. The strong sunlight was resulting in heavy shadows on one side of the birds masking the detail. I knew I had to get between the sun and the birds but they were feeding along the tide line and I didn't fancy getting my feet wet. An upturned fish crate gave me an idea. I dragged the fish crate into the surf, jumped on and sat down. Gradually the Turnstone grew in confidence and fed nearer and nearer eventually passing right through my shadow allowing me to get some images that were halfway to reasonable.

Ruddy Turnstone, North Shields Fish Quay
I'm not sure what the various folk passing by thought or the two fisherman that stopped for a few seconds to stare, but for whatever reason it seemed to cause the Turnstone to be more confiding and move closer, back and forth along the tide line. I would recomend however that this technique is only used on an ebbing tide, wouldn't want to be blamed for any of the less nimble of the local photographers getting their feet wet.
The only birds of any note this morning were eight Med Gull on Newbiggin Beach.

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