Sunday 28 December 2014

Covehithe's Shorelark trio

Its been almost two years since Polina joined me for some birding, but decent weather conditions and the promise of some good Shorelark shots was enough to entice her to join me today. Her long lens was taken out of the cupboard, polished up, many layers were donned and we departed for Covehithe, Suffolk just after 10am.

We parked up before the church and followed the public path towards the beach. The location was easy to find, just look for the long lenses!
With patience the birds would eventually show well. Sometimes they would take flight and move further along the edge of the broad, sometimes they would be quite close but into the sun, however given time they would approach to within twenty or thirty feet.
Of the three birds, two were adults and one a juvenile. The juvenile usually approached closest with the adults hanging back a little.

First winter Shorelark, Covehithe broad, Suffolk - 28th December 2014

Adult Shorelark, Covehithe broad, Suffolk - 28th December 2014

First winter Shorelark, Covehithe broad, Suffolk - 28th December 2014
At first I was shooting from a tripod.

But as the birds approached closer I decided to apply the frying pan and beanbag method (beanbag in a frying pan with the camera and lens on top - easy to push around on the ground and enables close approach without disturbance).

Clearly delighted with myself for bringing the old Tefal pan!

The frying pan / beanbag set-up
Me (on my belly) with Jon Evans

Polina stayed at a different spot further along the edge of the broad but up to now hadn't enjoyed as close an approach I had done.

However, she changed location and that seemed to do the trick as she finally got some decent close-ups of the birds.

P smiles after bagging some good shots
Having spent at least two hours with the birds we decided it was time to leave. We had just remarked, as we headed back along the beach, that the light was starting to improve when the trio flew down about fifty or sixty feet in front of us. Polina got down on her belly and I took the frying pan out and we managed to get a few more shots in much warmer evening light.

With some decent shots in the bag it was truly time to head home.

Time for a quick 'selfie'

No time to hang around - Polina heads for the warmth of the car!

So all in all a great day out, very happy to enjoy some birding with Polina once again and my sincere thanks to Rob Holmes for the excellent 'gen'!
Tomorrow its time for some twitching as I head north for Thayer's Gull and Blyth's Pipit. Bed early me thinks!

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