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 ..............