Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Sunday, 20 September 2009


On Saturday I paid a visit to one of the local lakes, Willen. Haven’t been for a couple of weeks, and I didn’t want it to think I was neglecting it. I just wanted a quick visit to the hide, and then back home.

The water level in front of the hide has dropped a fair bit, exposing some mud, and someone has cut back the grass and reeds a little, so visibility is a bit better than usual.
Over on the island were a couple of Herons, Little Egret and masses of Canada and Greylag Geese, just chilling in the morning. An advance party of Teal lazily floating around, and the Coots up to their usual squabbling. And all too far away for any pictures.
A Cetti’s Warbler was mocking me from the bushes, briefly showing himself, before diving for cover again. One day I’ll catch him; one day!

As I sat there, lost in my thoughts, something began flying towards the mud in front of me. I picked up the binoculars to get a glimpse of a dark colour bird, and long bill.
A wader!

I’m crap with these, but I recognised this one. A Snipe; and there he was, poking around in the mud. Usually very shy, but I think hunger had the better of him, as he ignored me whilst I fired off some shots. Lots. I figured if I take plenty, some would be half decent. Here’s a couple of the better ones. By no means perfect, but I was pleased to get these.

As he poked and prodded the mud, a smaller brown and white bird appeared. I knew this one too! Result.

A Common Sandpiper. The camera was going into overdrive by now. Shot after shot, in the hope something would be salvageable.

A good job I had spare batteries, the rate I was taking these. I kept checking the screen on the back, zooming in to see how they looked.
Two more flew onto the mud. Different!
Click, click, click.
I wasn’t sure what these were, but they were certainly different to the Common Sandpiper, who was still parading around, along with the Snipe.They sat with their backs to me for a while, so I got all angles. I’d check the ID’s when I get home.

After much consultation with books, and video; Green Sandpipers.

They wandered around, and I continued firing off shots. Over 350 altogether; so much for a quick visit.
A lot were fit only for the bin, but a few weren’t too bad. Good enough to get ID’s from later.
I finally left them to it. I made my way home, and the long job of sorting through all the pictures.
That took care of the rest of Saturday, so now it’s time to catch up on all the blogs I’ve missed.


  1. They are great pics. And where do you were, for the last 4 days??

  2. Very keen on Waders myself, good spot of the green sandpipers. Last weekend I saw golden plovers for the first time and snipe where all over the place as RSPB Marshside, but all too far away to photograph. Nice post.

  3. Thanks Bob. Unfortunatley work has had me in its grip lol

    Thanks Mike. I like waders; just can't tell them apart lol
    I've never seen a Golden Plover yet. One day, hopefully.

  4. A great day Keith and great pics! I'm afraid I would have had to look all of those up to ID them. We visited a small lake yesterday (which would have benefited from a hide) and only saw
    ducks, Swans and a Heron.

  5. Hi Keith,
    I think the Green Sandpipers win the knobbly knees contest. Waders are a closed book for me - nice shots.

  6. Thanks ShySongbird. I'm struggling with the ID's on waders, but slowly, (very), getting there.

    Cheers Rob. Waders and Gulls; nightmares! lol

  7. Nice shots of the Snipe, saw a couple at Potteric Carr last week but were a long way off.

  8. You are spot on with all the ID's Keith. There seems to be a lot of Green Sandpipers about this year. I have seen more this year than all the rest put together.

  9. Great post. Some lovely shots too.

  10. Keith...you sound like me. If one is good, 50, better! I've never been able to photograph our Wilson's Snipe, only flush him. Your snip photos are stellar.

  11. Oh, I could feel the adrenaline rush!

    I had to laugh, "a snipe!" - have you seen Disney's "Up"?

    If no, you should.

  12. Thanks Paul. They usually have a habit of keeping just out of range, or in cover, don’t they.

    Cheers Roy. It was the first Green Sandpiper I’ve knowingly seen this year, so was very pleased. Went back there yesterday for a quick visit, but didn’t see any. The Snipe was still there though, same place.

    Thanks Angie. :)

    Kelly, thanks. Most views I’ve had are the back end as they fly off lol
    Was good to see one out in the open for a change.

    Thanks Jen. Now I’m curious; just gonna have to see that film! lol

  13. See you had yet another productive day.

  14. hello Keith! how are you? i missed all your posts. your blog is one of my personal favorites.

  15. Cettis warblers can be quite annoying. I went to Cley NWT in Norfolk last year and there was a Cettis singing in a small bush next to the path. It stopped singing when I waited for it to show, so I stood there for quite a long time trying to find it. I eventually decided to leave it, but when I walked away it started singin again, so I walked back and it stopped. I must have walked back and forth about 5 times, I decided to "stake" it out, and did eventually spot it. When I think about it now, it was quite funny!

    The days you expect very little to happen are always the days that are the most hectic I find.

  16. Oh well done Keith - on getting the birds and some good shots...I can sense your big grin from here :)

  17. Thanks Adrian. It was a pretty good day once I’d sorted out the ID’s :)

    Thank you lolit, very kind of you to say. Working too much at the moment, getting behind on everything, but otherwise in good health :)

    Thanks Anna. This particular Cetti’s has given me the run around all year lol
    Managed fleeting glimpses, but pictures still elude me.

    Thanks Tricia. I was very pleased to get the shots, and good views of the Snipe.

  18. Hi keith,great images,your common sand looks great.
    Well done with the Green Sand,what a find.

  19. Cheers John. Apparently there have been a few Green Sandpiper spotted on occasions around Bucks recently. I was very pleased to see one.

  20. A fine post my friend. I always enjoying catching up and seeing what you've been up to.
    Sorting through hundreds of photos after a long walk can be tiresome, but as long as there's a few gems in there , it's well worth it eh :-)
    Congrats on the shorebirds !

  21. Lovely wader pictures, Keith. I particularly like snipe but the Greensandpiper is a real catch. Many congratulations. I agree that spare batteries are a good thing - I never go anywhere without mine. Thanks for your kind comments.

  22. Congrats on yet another lovely set of images.

  23. Cheers Nick. Yea, sorting through hundreds of pictures is very time consuming, especially when time's in short supply sometimes. lol
    Puts me behind for catching up on blogs, and posting :)

    Thanks Emma. I went back next day, but the Sandpipers had gone, although the Snipe was still there. I’ll get round to sorting those out eventually lol

    Dev, thank you for your comment. Much appreciated.