The Joy of Birdwatching

greenshank

 

Shibdon Pond is a reedbed pond four miles from where I live. In the summer common terns nest here and in the winter large flocks of waders congregate and feed. This week there have been hundreds of lapwing, four common sandpiper, six- eight black-tailed godwit, gadwell, redshanks, one juvenile dunlin, seven (visible) snipe and of course grey herons, cormorants, gulls and mallard. It is a place you never tire of visiting and it is only a mile or two from one of the biggest shopping centres in Europe, the dreaded Metro Centre!

A friend kindly gave me a telescope for my birthday and this has opened up another dimension (literally) to my birdwatching. If you have children who are interested in wildlife you can’t start too early; don’t give them toy binoculars or telescopes! Get them good quality optics and they will thank you for it!

 

 

two immaculate greenshank

painting their upside-down selves

in the still water

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I follow a strutting snipe

magnified forty times

its straw-brown camouflage

doesn’t fool me!

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ultramarine sky

and four hundred lapwings

shimmering in the still mirror

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