Saturday, January 11, 2014

Grey Phalarope at Hove Lagoon, East Sussex

Yes! I'm back. Not that I've actually been away or stopped birding or something. Not at all. Let's face it, I'm just a rubbish blogger. I'd like to change that this year but I know I have said this before so no guarantees.

I'm almost as bad at processing my bird photos, in fact I've got a year's worth of pictures that need looking through, editing and uploading. Plus I keep taking more pictures...but I'll get there, honest.

So I'm going to tell you about some of the birds I saw and photographed last year as well as 'new' ones.

Let me start with the first bird that I photographed in 2014: the grey phalarope that, as we speak, is still swimming around and delighting birders as well as non-birders on the tiny children's paddling pool next to Hove Lagoon. Like most phalaropes, this little beauty is pretty much tame and is happy to go about its business (swimming, "spinning", feeding mainly on bloodworms, preening, sleeping, occasionally flying over to the Lagoon only to return to the paddling pool a few minutes later), no matter how many people are standing and lying (that would be photographers) around the pool.

Spinning and creating a vortex:

The phalarope was first reported on Sunday and on Tuesday morning, I decided I could no longer resist and had to go and see it. It was windy and raining (nothing new there) but you just never know how long a migrant that has been blown off course will hang around. When we arrived at Hove Lagoon, something amazing happened: the sun came out. And it was shining the whole time we were there, watching the gorgeous little bird. Perfect. I took as many photos as my memory card would allow (about 660 RAW shots I think) but spent a lot of the time just watching the little wader. It's always a great feeling when, for a change, a bird isn't terrified of you and flies off before you've had a chance to really watch its behaviour.

Got a bloodworm!

Great colours...



In flight (record shot!!!)...the bird appears to be missing a few feathers.

Splish splash....


Please click here for more photos: Grey Phalarope at Hove

What a great bird and a wonderful start to the New Year. I'm looking forward to all of the birds I'll be watching and photographing this year, old friends and new!

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