Saturday, 11 March 2017

Intruders

We walked along the beach below Ormsaigbeg in the late afternoon sunshine, with the tide rising under a calm surface. Every step of the way we were watched, warily by the gulls but with deep suspicion by the pipits, a dozen or more of them scattered along the shore which took turns in sitting on a rock to monitor our approach, before leaping into the air with a loud twittering.

For some, like this mallard pair, the best way of avoiding us without losing their place along the shore was to sidle out to sea, not far enough to get caught by the larger waves of deep water, but enough to put distance between them and the intruders - after which the wife started to preen herself while her husband watched.

By my count there are thirteen oystercatchers in this shot, with two more out of shot to the left, and....

....very few of them seemed to bother to watch us - except the two on the right, one of which in particular....

....may have had good cause to be suspicious of humans, having been caught and tagged.

However, there came a point when one of them decided we were close enough, whereupon it let out a sharp call....

....causing the whole flock to take to the air in a flurry of black and white feathers....

....and head out to sea....

....only to circle round behind us and land back on the beach.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Jon
    if you are able, from your original photos, to make out the precise combination of colour rings on the Oystercatchers, you can submit the details via this website
    http://app.bto.org/euring/lang/pages/rings.jsp?country=EN
    They should be able to provide you with a potted history of the birds origin and travels.

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