Out of curiosity as much as anything (I pass the place most days on the way home from the office) I decided to pop into the grandly-titled Silverlink Biodiversity Park today.
Much to my surprise, I found enough to keep me there for several hours – it lives up to its name, this place.
The number and variety of birds, insects, plants, trees – fish – was impressive (there were even wild Cherry trees with ripe fruit that I happily pigged out on), and although I got few pictures (the weather was decidedly moody) I came away with a very positive impression, and wondering why the fuck there’s nothing remotely similar in Blyth…
A couple of images of a Silverlink Moorhen:
I then decided that I wanted some Stonechat images – a bird I’ve been struggling to get to grips with this year, and headed to the dunes at Blyth beach: there wasn’t much wind at all, which is what I wanted, as this is when Stonechats will indulge in their rather obliging habit of perching in full view on thin stalks, twigs and whatnot.
I started at the Seaton Sluice end of the dunes, hoping to bump into some “Stoneys”, and – hopefully find one of the particularly confiding specimens that sometimes turn up there.
I was in luck.
First was a rather nervous female bird – I couldn’t really get close to her, but this turned out quite nicely (albeit cropped rather more heavily than I’d have liked, and needing a fair bit of work to remove messy stalks and twigs):
Then – for the first time in ages – I bumped into this fella, who seemed totally unfazed by by me pointing a camera at him. Unfortunately he insisted on staying on the higher parts of a large wild Rose bush, so no pleasant background, but these are all more or less full frame:
Obliging little fella!
Unfortunately, as I was leaving the bird to his own devices and wandering down the dune, I failed to see a rabbit hole on the trail (the long dune grasses tend to hide the paths), put my foot in it – and went flying!
I hit the ground pretty hard, camera and lens in hand, twisting my back trying to protect the kit; my heavy camera bag smacked me hard in the back of the head; and my ankle came up like a balloon in minutes!
But the kit was OK, and I was only a couple of miles hobble from home…
(I’m jinxed, I know!)
The skies started to darken – there was some proper weather coming – so I decided to spend my last few minutes on the beach in the hope of fluking a decent Tern shot.
They were too far off unfortunately, but I do quite like this bouncing Black Headed Gull – I’m pretty sure he(?) was enjoying himself:
Black Headed Gull
I’d just rattled off a few frames on this bird when the first drops of rain started to fall, so I quickly wrapped everything up and headed for home.