Sunday 18 September 2016

Brownsea through a variety of lenses

Both my sons have been showing an interest in photography lately so I've been digging out old camera bodies and lenses in the hope of encouraging them. I am thinking that if I can get them hooked now, I will have someone to drive me round in my old age while I sit in the back barking directions. The novelty of having their own cameras helped persuade them that a day trip to Brownsea yesterday would be a good idea, as opposed to their normal Saturday morning routine of slaying elf-lizards on Skyrim.
Taking the slightly complex but more scenic route from Wareham around the south side of Poole Harbour, over on the Studland ferry as foot passengers and to Brownsea via the famous yellow boat from Sandbanks, we got the first one of the morning and were in the hides overlooking the lagoon shortly before 1030. Large numbers of waders were present, the most numerous being Oystercathcer, Black-tailed Godwit and Avocet, flocks of which are building up for the winter.
Two Curlew Sandpipers close in to the Low Hide with a Dunlin behind
Juvenile Curlew Sandpiper on the right with characteristic peachy wash on the breast - with Dunlin for comparison
A very smart wader
Another juvenile Curlew Sand - the peach colouration has faded on this one
Much scarcer among the waders were a few each of Ruff and Curlew Sandpiper, both of which eventually came in close to the hides having initially been viewable only distantly through the telescope. A dozen Spotted Redshank were also hanging out with the Redshank flock.
Spotted Redshank - one of a dozen present
Avocet - part of a flock of almost 200
Black-tailed Godwit - a scaly-backed juvenile
A couple of Ruff were secreted amongst the Godwits
In truth, despite my efforts to tool them up with half-decent camera gear, the boys didn't take many photos of birds - they spent most of the time at opposite ends of the generously appointed hides photographing each other, or spraying imaginary bullets around using the camera's high speed burst mode to simulate semi-automatic assault rifles. Charming. But they did seem to appreciate the compelling nature of wildlife photography eventually when a tame Red Squirrel allowed a close approach near the Villa. A kindly soul had left a few nuts out and it kept returning to eat a few and bury the rest.
A flock of at least 25 Spoonbill was present - looking unusually awake here...
...and even more lively here
Red Squirrel
A slightly messy eater

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