Outer Hebrides: Day Two

Another early start Holly, Dave and I set off once more in search of capturing a Short-eared owl image, which played ball more then yesterday but I am still yet to bag my favourite shot. As it flew from post to post I nabbed a few close up shots but I preferred long distant location shots so far. On our way to photograph my favourite subject so far; the friendly snipe we came across a variety of species including Red-breasted merganser Mergus serrator, Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe, Red shank Tringa totanusred deer and two pairs of  Red Breasted Merganser Mergus serratorknown for their bright plumage and serrated beak for catching fish this was my first observation of these beautiful birds and hopefully not my last. As for the Snipe, the lighting was rather dark and after Andy pulled up behind us he flew off into the distance but I am sure we will see him again with the aim to capture some silhouettes and more diverse shots. 
After editing this mornings images and a well deserved sleep we set out at high tide to photograph the waders that are common along the shoreline, feeding within the stranded seaweed. These small birds can be very skittish so many precautions were taken to ensure we could get the shots we desired without disturbing. By crawling in low to the ground in dark clothing we resembled seals whilst taking minimal slow movements closer to our subjects which included Turnstone Arenaria interpres, Sanderling Calidris alba, Dunlin Calidris alpine and occasional oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus. Whilst many other species were witnessed such as a male hen harrier Circus cyaneus, Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus, and ringed plover Charadrius hiaticula. We started out all grouped together facing the birds from a corner near the tide, as I wore a wetsuit under my waterproofs I was flexible as to where i could position myself along the shore, and after a while of photographing the waders within the unattractive seaweed I spread off from the group into the recently submerged weed and down to the waters edge to capture some low angle water shots whilst some of the waders fed and bathed. At this point with the receding tide the light was declining and so were the birds, whilst there was more space for them to spread making it more difficult to shoot. Some of my favourite images from this shoot were when I broke off alone to the waters edge and captured some artistic shots, but I want to experiment more so tomorrow I plan on starting away from the dried seaweed, within the recently exposed shore and focusing on the birds and the water.

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