Monday, 23 November 2009

Not So Old Rope

All Red-necked Phalarope shots (c) 2009 Vince Cowell
Red-necked Phalarope
A more typical pose
Bearded Tit shots (c) 2009 Michael Flowers
Looks great from a distance - but eyes a bit creepy close-up!
The reason it needs the grit
Although my cold hasn't completely gone, I risked the inclement weather to try & photograph the Red-Necked Phalarope now the vast crowds have dispersed. It wasn't there when I arrived at about 9am, but Lawts had seen it fairly close, so while he went to look for the Beardies I stayed with a couple of East Yorkshire-ites to wait for high tide. It reappeared about 15 minutes later, as it could be glimpsed in a patch of threadbare reeds, busily pecking at the exposed mud. It played cat and mouse with us for some time, but as the tide continued to come in, it came down to the channel opposite & spent a good five minutes preening. When it finished cleaning itself, it was very busy & hardly stopped for a second in the awkward lighting conditions. The wind was still pretty ferocious after last night's gales, so once it had again retreated behind the reeds, I'd spent over an hour there in an unpleasant wind, so decided to retreat back to the Beardies. I took my place at the boardwalk/gravel path junction whilst a white-haired chap was ready on the boardwalk. I had been there less than 10 minutes when I spotted 2 birds in the reedbed on the left, so signalled the other chap, and he'd just set up his camera when first the female then a male bird came out. The male was showing really well, when a burke in a high-visibility top (and bins!) bustled right past them, frightening them away & asked if they were about!!! He stayed less than 2 minutes before bustling back. The last I saw of one was a male as it flew south over the boardwalk a few minutes later. Lawts & pal came in for a few minutes, but decided to go back for the Phalarope. Dave Mansell arrived and gave some very valuable insights into the birdlife of the Scarborough area. We waited approximately another hour, but the birds didn't return. I sloped off back home, while Dave went to try for the Phalarope, and possibly the Beardies later in the day. I hope he got some good shots. My very grateful thanks to Vince Cowell for allowing me to share his Phalarope pics from yesterday - when the bird seems to have been incredibly confiding - enjoy!


Mike Randall Bird Photography said...

Lovely pictures of Vinces of the Phalarope and yours of the Beardies Michael.

Michael Flowers said...

Cheers, Mike
Just wish the female Beardie just out of shot wasn't obscured by the reed - would have looked good with the 2 of 'em together

PMella said...

They're brilliant shots!

Not to rub it in but the phalarope was showing within a few feet when I saw it in Sunday, but you can take some consolation in the fact it was absolutely pissing it down at the time!

Michael Flowers said...

Oh, it was quite close eventually, but I shouldn't really have gone to see it when I felt so grotty, especially in the sharp wind. Glad to say it wasn't raining though & the crowd had gone. I wouldn't have gone on a Sunday even if I'd felt OK - I don't like birding in big crowds.