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Dotterels on passage

Discussion in 'Birds' started by alanhill, May 7, 2007.

  1. Dotterels are rare birds in England. They are upland birds which only pause here on their way to nest in the Scottish Highlands. The traditional site nearestto my home is the top of Pendle Hill. I went up on April 29th and I missed them: but I saw three there on May 5th.

    NIKON D200    ---    300mm    f/5.6    1/400s    ISO 320

    There were at least dozen birdwatchers on the summit, including a couple of snappers (with C*n*n 500mm lenses, which out-gunned my 300mm). We were all very careful not to disturb the birds (all birds are very vulnerable on passage). I chose to wait a little downhill of the birds, hoping that they would move towards me. They are supposed to be stupidly tame (the name is an insult really) but that does not seem to apply on migration. But I managed to get some reasonable shots without disturbing the birds, although they needed some cropping. At least they illustrate the hilltop habitat.

    NIKON D200    ---    300mm    f/5.6    1/400s    ISO 250

    This species has another unusual characteristic. The bird above is a female, she is larger and more vividly coloured than the male. She will lay her clutch and fly off, leaving him to incubate and raise the chicks.

    NIKON D200    ---    300mm    f/5.6    1/400s    ISO 250

    NIKON D200    ---    300mm    f/5.0    1/400s    ISO 100

    Next year, I'd like to try with a longer lens - but I'll need to get fit to carry it to the top of the hill; it's a pretty stiff hike :smile:

  2. Lowolf


    Jan 26, 2006
    great captures
  3. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Quite the interesting bird.. thanks for the info
    Nice pictures
  4. Hi nice images but you must be mad to hike up Pendle Hill twice.

  5. Hokum


    Jun 20, 2006
    Pennines UK
    Nice shots Alan

    You could of dropped me a line, i'd of happily joined you with my 500mm and you could of used it too :) 

    Again nice shots.
  6. Thank you all.

    Guilty as charged, your honour. But not quite as loonie as the 2 blokes in vests and shorts carrying mountain bikes up the steep path, while I was sitting down for a rest half way up :wink:

    Next year, perhaps - I think they've gone now.
    Because Pendle has a flat top, there's quite a few acres to search - which is how I missed them the first time. There were a lot of pairs of eyes (& binoculars & telescopes) last Saturday, but it took 3 hours to find them. I was giving up and heading for the path, when I saw a group of people looking in the same direction and one of them beckoned me over.

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