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Saturday, 28 January 2012

Bickering Black Tails

There is a site on the Essex side of the Thames where, if everything is right, I can get some half decent photos of mainly Black Tailed Godwits. I found this site a few years back by accident whilst surveying, it is an old concrete jetty facing west, half collapsed and disused. When high tide rises in this area, the mud directly in front is the last showing.The trick with it is to get to it without being seen by all and sundry, mainly Black Tailed Godwit, Teal and occasional Redshank. The SAS would have been proud of the approach, every blade of grass is used for cover to reach it.
Once inside, it is a welly job as the mud is quite deep here and there, there are a series of small holes where a telephoto lens can be placed without spooking the birds, it is the perfect hide.
Everything has to come together on the day, I have to catch the tide right as it is rising, it has to be sunny, and most of all the Black Tailed Godwits have to feed on this last bit of mud instead of going to roost.
It doesn’t always happen, on Friday it did.

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Anyone who has ever seen Black Tailed Godwit together will know what I mean when I say bickering, they don’t stop, feathers are constantly raised and fights quite frequent, presumably amongst the males.


  1. A super set of shots with terrific lighting Dave.

    1. Marc, thanks, will probably have to wait another year for the conditions to be right again.