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Photographer Leslie Cater
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A Winter Coastline

Birds in a storm 

​After a long break from going to the coastal reserve Minsmere, I decided it was time to grab my camera bag, tripod and camera and visit the site. This particular day in January this year there were high winds and a forecast of a storm surge along the coast. I got to the reserve just before high tide and went for a walk through a wooded area and then onto the coastal path. When I got there the tide was very high and the waves were crashing onto the beach that sounded like thunder. There were quite a few people about watching the wind drive the incoming tide with great force that the waves crashed over the dunes, this in turn was washing the shingle and sand away.  Although there were high winds and large waves, the sun was shining and all in all it was wonderful to be there watching nature's fury but in a bright and warm sunlight coastline. I had hoped to see what might be about regarding bird life, but I saw mostly sea gulls and cormorants on the sea and flying desperately against the wind when taking off from the water. As I looked over the dunes to the reserve I could not see any small birds at all, not surprising considering the wind and the fact it had a bit of a chilly feeling about it I was not surprised not see anything. Eventually I saw a small bird take off and land very quickly deep into the under growth to get out of the wind safely, but that was all and I managed to see what it was, a Dartford Warbler. So I decided to walk along the top of the dunes watching the sea roll and crash it's waves onto the shore but kept an eye out for any other birds that might be brave enough to move about in such high winds. Finally a Robin appeared but disappeared back down in the scrub, then a chaffinch but that did the same. So at this point I thought I know that there are a few Stonechats here on the dunes and hoped to see one of them and went to find them, well not only did I find them, they were sitting on the gorse and some dead plant growth in and out of the wind. These little birds like to sit up on top of The plants and gorse/bramble scrub and keep an eye out, this is what they were doing accept in the high winds and not to bothered to leave where they were perched, only on one or two occasions drop down to the ground for food. I always say, the Stonechat never lets you down and are very welcoming especially in the winter months for you to take a photo or two. That's why I love these little birds, when all else fails you can always rely on the Stonechats to give you a show.

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Friday, 03 December 2021

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