Friday, January 01, 2016

Purple Patch

The second half of 2015 wore me down.  Iceland had been fun, and I will go back, but the light was frustrating and then once home a combination of work and weather meant photography sessions were few and far between - even walking the dog it was hard to find shots with my pocket camera.  One grey session in the wood yielded no more than the usual GS woodpecker on the dead tree, the foxes failed to show in the daylight - at least when I had my gear - and the fallow deer were .....fallow.
So it was with some trepidation that I set off last Monday to try and catch the purple sandpipers at Portishead.  This would be my 4th or 5th attempt over the last 3 years.  I seemed to have an unhappy knack of choosing the tides when they didn't show.  Last year from the day I went they never showed again all winter!
All the forecasting apps said we would have some sun in the morning, but it looked distinctly grey to me as I set off across the bridge.  Parking the car I met 'Mrs Trellis' the author of the Avon Birds blog, (sightings, but also GSOH) and he told me the birds were there - and they were!  Although things were looking up to call it a purple patch is in truth relative to the rest of the year, but I did manage to clamber, slip and slide my way over the rocks and wet algae to a lowish level to grab my first ever shots of this species.  Sadly the sun never appeared and the light was very contrasty between the rocks/birds and the tea coloured Bristol channel water.
Still some shots were usable although there was a bit of dodging and burning to try and get them postable.

So Happy New Year to you - surely for me at least 2016 has to be better.  This year badgers are on the list later on, but if we ever get some winter I hope maybe to grab a hawfinch or two first. And the grebes again.  And perhaps those deer ..............

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