Friday, 4 March 2016

A dash of colour

A striking summer plumaged Bar-tailed Godwit has spent several winters in Poole Harbour, standing out among a flock of its congeners like a colour image superimposed on a monochrome movie. They roost on Brownsea Island and feed along Shore Road, but despite several close encounters with the flock at the latter site I have never seen the brick red individual close enough to photograph until recently. The light was somewhere between 'Joey Essex' and 'Donald Trump' (i.e. not very bright) but with some extreme over-exposure and patience I was able to get some reasonable pictures, despite both photographer and bird being battered by a strong easterly wind. A stunning plumage.
Earlier in the day I had the pleasure of helping out with spotting duties on a Birds of Poole Harbour family birdboat. Most of the families on board had the good sense to stay below decks out of the wind, and I felt I had let down the hardy souls who joined us up top as there wasn't too much to be spotted! That said, we saw some decent birds and got some great close views of species which would generally be seen more distantly from land. Highlights below.
Black-necked Grebe
Great Northern Diver
Male Goldeneye
Red-breasted Merganser (male)
Red-breasted Merganser (female)

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