Thursday, 30 April 2015

Sunset snaps

I live in Hunstanton and regularly see people taking pictures of the sunset over The Wash cameras, phones and tablets held in front of their faces in supplication and I suspect 99% of the time capturing the same snap shot of a ball of fire descending into the sea.

I am occasionally tempted to take a picture like this and below is one that I think works due to the very simplicity and symmetry of the composition.

Wash sunset
But I like to try and get something a little more interesting and a few evenings back I went for a walk at dusk along Hunstanton Beach with my binoculars and little compact camera [a Panasonic Lumix TZ30], as much to stretch my legs and back as anything and with perhaps a vague hope of hearing and maybe seeing a newly arrived Sandwich Tern offshore.

As I filled the void left by the completely absent terns I played with my camera wondering how to make the setting sun part of a more interesting composition than just the cliched ball of fire setting into the sea. And then I saw this family strung out in a line and trudging homewards. I liked the fact there were three of them and how at the end of the day Dad was leading the way and followed by mum and child with their tired heads bowed, or at least that's what I read into the picture. Also liked the simple composition with lines of colour. And yes I know that the horizon isn't quite straight.

Home from the beach

Sunday, 19 April 2015

A brief visit to South Essex

Spent a couple of days for work in south Essex on the 15th and 16th of April, managed to see a few birds along the way.

A hot Wednesday afternoon was spent walking the seawall at Wallasea Island a real feel of summer with the odd Swallow hawking over the approach road and a smattering of citrus bright Yellow Wagtails. As ever the hugeness of this site hits you straight between the yes as you walk down footpath along the edge of the Crouch estuary and view the island being transformed before your eyes.

Bird-wise we heard then saw two or three Med Gulls and a number of Little Egrets and lost of sky larks and singing Corn Buntings. But perhaps the highlight of the visit were the two Short Eared Owls hunting the rank grass by the side of the road.

Black Winged Stilts caught in the act at Bowers Marsh
On Thursday a walk and talk around Bowers Marsh was enlivened by the presence of a pair of Black Winged Stilts part of an influx in the K this spring as this species continues to show signs of colonising. Whilst watching the Stilts and Avocet's we also managed to pick out an unexpected Glaucous Gull. Half a dozen Swallows were the most I have seen together this year. I tried my hand at digiscoping through my old Nikon ED and got the "best" results using my Panasonic Lumix TZ30 Macro Zoom setting.

Glaucous Gull at Bowers Marsh
Finished the tour at Wat Tyler Country Park where the first bird I saw and heard was a Cuckoo, pretty quickly followed by the explosive song of a Cettis Warbler.

Decaying boat at Wat Tyler Country Park