Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Plenty of Snow Buntings at a Freezing Cleethorpes

As a good bright day was forecast I decided on a trip down to Cleethorpes to see if the snow buntings were still around.  On the way I called in at the country park to see if anything was happening there.  There was nothing of note on the lake and no sign of the kingfisher or any other photographers so I headed back to the car.  From the car park though a sparrowhawk flew in to perch in a tree on the edge of the island so I quickly got the camera out and mounted it to the monopod.  Before I could get near, however, it was disturbed by another hawk and there was a brief mid air tussle before they both flew off.  A pair??

From the park it was but a couple of minutes before I was parking up by Buck Beck and making my way across the frozen saltmarsh and creeks to the beech.  There was a very cold northerly wind and the beech and creeks were frozen.  Straight away the flock of snow buntings were easily found but before I could reach them they were disturbed by dog walkers, a regular problem when photographing down here.  The birds flew north so I followed along the edge of the dunes.  It wasn't long before I spotted another photographer intent on getting close to the birds and then ensued a game of cat and mouse with them for the next couple of hours; enjoyable, but very frustrating.  The birds feed on seeds and vegetation on the ground, either beach, dunes or saltmarsh and are constantly on the move; very awkward to get shots.  As soon as the photographer works his way carefully to get close enough for pictures they whirl up like a blizzard and settle in another spot, often at the other end of the marsh.  During the morning there were other birds around: plenty of pipits and reed buntings and the odd yellowhammer and crow.

Once I had filled my memory card I opted to pay a visit to the boating lake to secure some pictures of pochard, coot and tufted duck.

A very successful and enjoyable morning.

To view large, please click on an image.

Brent Goose
Crow
Reed Bunting, female
Snow bunting
Snow bunting
Snow bunting
Snow bunting
Snow bunting
Snow bunting
Snow bunting
Snow bunting
Snow bunting
Snow bunting
Yellowhammer
Coot
Pochard
Tufted Duck

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