With a small number of exceptions, these images were acquired in the open on the River Clyde (RSPB Inner Clyde at Cardross) or on the Ayrshire Coast; the exceptions are the Black-tailed Godwit taken from a hide at WWT Martin Mere, and the Sanderlings which paraded in front of me at North Berwick. Approaching Godwits in the open is rarely successful but many of the smaller waders are often more accommodating towards the photographer, particularly when they have their heads down for a serious feed. Sanderlings need to feed almost constantly in winter and these were not going to let a prone photographer deter them. The Avocets were also taken at WWT Martin Mere where they seemed to be remanded in custody for their own protection – I have mixed feelings about this but I do not imagine I will ever get so close to one in the wild.

Images were recorded as RAW files on a Pentax K3-II camera, with a 150-450 mm F4.5-5.6 lens using available light. ISO settings up to 3200 were used with spot AE metering and spot AF. Some slow shutter speeds (as low as 1/100th) were unavoidable in winter light but tricky when the photographer was semi-frozen and shivering. Images were processed minimally in Adobe Lightroom software v6.10.1.

The Ayrshire coast is well known for bird life and it offers a wide range of habitats with the right kinds of mud, geology and weed for many species, resident, and breeding and passage migrant. There are no rarities here but I think it will be a long time before I tire of seeing any of them; I hope they will be found in these locations for many years to come.

%d bloggers like this: