Thursday, 18 February 2010

Stroll around Farlington Marshes.

With an improvement in the weather I headed south-west to the coast and commenced a slow anti-clockwise stroll around the sea wall path at Farlington Marshes.
High tide was about 2 hours away so many of my initial sightings were distant views through the bins or scope and I therefore decided to test out digi-scoping using a TLS800 photo adapter on my Swarovski scope with the Cannon 450D for the first time. I'm reasonably happy with some of the results but definitely more practice is required with both focusing and camera speed settings.
Brent Geese from behind.
Oystercatchers before the tide eventually swamps their resting place.
Male Common Teal looking their best.
Far out in the harbour were masses of Brent Geese, Red-breasted Mergansers, Shelduck and a few Little Grebes plus the usual Black-headed and a Great Black-backed Gull. The sun was in the wrong direction to take any shots of the occupants on the main pool that included Mallard, Teal, Northern Pintail and Redshank. Most of the waders were a long way out in the harbour on the shingle islands and from time to time I enjoyed the spectacle of massed flocks of Dunlin, Plover, Turnstones and Knot erupting from their resting place and wheeling around before dropping down to a new, dryish location.  
Waders (Knot and Dunlin) sleeping on the last remnant of solid ground way out in the harbour.
Half way round - a view inland over the apparently empty marsh but a fly over by a Peregrine had everything erupting into the air before returning to their hideaways in the grass and reed fringed gulleys. I stopped at The Deeps and added a single Barnacle Goose, Canada Geese, Lapwing, Shoveller, Wigeon; a Skylark displaying high above the marsh; a Reed Bunting perched briefly on the fench below me plus Great Crested Grebes and Goldeneye out on he water.
Northern Shoveller preening.

Heading back inland towards the information building I stopped to take some shots of Brent Geese much closer in a field that I will save for a future post. The final part of my circuit followed the stream where I eventually caught up with Mute Swan, Black-tailed Godwit, Moorhen, Common Gulls and only one Little Egret.
I hope we get some more dry days so that the 'watcher' can get out and enjoy the wildlife around us.  FAB.


  1. I've never been to Farlington marshes, so let's hope for some more sunny weather :-)

  2. I just found your blog, and I must say I am over joyed with the blog, the birds, and your photography. I am a novice birder have been birding for well over 20 years but always learning. My mother who was a birder and a big fan of Audubon and all things of nature. She could name every tree species here in our state and knew almost every bird species & if she didn't she would always have her field guide handy. She had all of us in the family start a "life List" so every time you saw a new bird you would write down in your field guide the date and location of seeing that particular bird. Thank you for reminding me what my mother really taught all of us and that was to appreciate the love of bird watching and id that bird, she taught us the love of nature. You are also teaching and showing what wonders there are to see out there. Keep up the wonderful work.

  3. What an excellent day Frank.
    And excellent digi-scoped shots.

  4. Hi Frank,
    I'm jealous about the shoveler. We have some over here but they are so isolated in the land that they are hard to take photos of. I've never seen it in France neither!!! You got a nice walk and nice observations. That was probably good for both your health and moral... Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures with us!

  5. Nice shots altogether Frank. With digiscoping its all about getting the right focus on the subject through the scope rather than anything to do with the camera and thats not always easy.

  6. Hi Frank,great looking walk.
    Fab Digiscoping shots,well done.

  7. Thanks for this selection, the Farlington Marshes looks like a great place to find birds, as well as other wildlife. Nice to have such places to visit nearby. I am in need of a field day with my family, getting severe cabin fever~

  8. A very interesting post. I am especially interested in the digiscoping - I need/want? either a longer lens or else to look into a digiscoping set-up. Were all the photos taken that way or just the ones of the birds?

  9. Andy. It's definitely worth a visit at any time of year. Just shout anytime you need another pair of eyes.

    jj-momscashblog. Thanks and glad you enjoyed the "EB" blog.

    Keith. Hopefully they will get better with practise and will be cheaper than buying a big lens!

    Chris. Using the scope is the only way I'm ever going to get close enough to some species, including the Shovellers.

    Roy. As always I'm sure you are right.

    JRandSue. John that's praise indeed coming from the master.

    Mary. Not exactly on the doorstep (nearly a 2 hour drive) but usually worth the effort.

  10. Hi Mick. Just the bird shots via digi-scoping. I've left a comment on your recent post with some links that might be helpful.

  11. Such a nice post!I am soooo bad at shore birds and would love to cite by name all those great photos you captured. I am learning, slowly, but you did a great job of digiscoping and caught some really neat shots!

  12. I really enjoyed your post and pictures, Frank!...especially the Teals, they are so pretty!

  13. Great post Frank. Lovely pictures.

  14. Tina. Waders are not half as difficult as identifying LBJ's flitting through dense foliage!

    cindyzlogic. Yes, the male Teal are now wearing their best suits ready to capture the eye of a mate.

    Angie. Cheers but I didn't manage to get the Avocet. Yours are great.

  15. That was a lovely walk. Thanks for taking us along! I would love to see some of those birds! Many are so different than what we have around here. Maybe someday! ~ks

  16. Lovely photos!

    Have a great weekend
    Hugs Gunilla in Singapore

  17. ksdoolittle. It was my pleasure Karen. I'd also like to visit Canada someday so who knows what the future holds in store for us.

    Steve B. Two minds thinking alike.

    A home far away. Thanks Gunilla. Hope you have a good weekend also.

  18. teals really are show-off beautiful birds!

  19. Firstly thanks for the postings great stuff. Several long tailed ducks seen Sunday 7th March surely this is unusual

  20. jihn r. Thanks for stopping by and pleased you found it of some interest. I have a record of seeing a Long-tailed Duck on 15th March so not uncommon at this time of year.

  21. Just found your blog, when I was trying to identify some of the birds I pictured at Farlington yesterday. Your blog has shown me what I could do with my pictures other than posting them on facebook.


I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.


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