We are very fortunate to live close to the beach and on a river estuary. With the changing season and changing weather we get to see a plethora of different birds coming and going – especially water birds who flock to the flooded river mouth.
The best time to go bird watching is early morning when everything is quiet and the light is ideal for photography. I love to combine my love of birds with my love of photography, so for me getting out at dawn armed with binoculars and a long lens is the perfect start to the day.
Patience is key. The birds are unusually jumpy and getting close relies on keen hunting skills and good camouflage, using natural cover to get as close as possible without causing alarm and flight. The river gets a wide range of waders due to the high level of food sources, most of which are flock birds who easily spook and are difficult to get too near.
On my last outing back in March, conditions were perfect and I managed to get some good shots of a very large heron and some Egrets, but the small Sandpipers out smarted me – they are very well camouflaged and very quick to move as the slightest sign of danger.
We also get a lot of other birds around the house – we are fortunate to have a pair of Kestrel nesting in a tree close by. They have a favorite sitting place on the roof next door so offer some great opportunities. They have developed a technique of getting the sparrows out of the holes in the wall which is ingenious but quite devastating to the sparrow population.
Finding a decent source to identify the bird species has proven difficult and I am still looking to get a reliable online or hard copy source. The only book I found does not have a single picture in it! It does describe the locations of interest and what you may see with a few sketches but that’s about it. Once I find a suitable source I will add to this post but the best one so far is Morocco Birds but its a bit all over the place.
The one bird that I see a lot, but have not managed to get a picture of is the regional curlew. I see this all the time when I don’t have a camera, but never when I do! Annoyingly, I can get really close to it too so I could get some great pictures … time will tell and I will get one soon.