Saturday, 28 January 2017

"About time too !" i hear you say.

I'm going to start doing a monthly post on Blogger. This isn't the first of them i'm sitting here at 00.52 on Saturday morning, off to bed soon and for some strange reason felt like posting something. The January post will follow in a few days.
I had a bitterly cold session down at North Shields Fish Quay the other day but the place has a special place in my heart as i lived just above the quay for 12 years when i was a young 'un and it was one of my favourite playgrounds. Many hours spent exploring and getting into mischief about the place.
I was the first to discover a "white winger" this winter at the quay as far as i know as i came across the first winter Iceland Gull about two weeks ago pootling about in the gut. As per usual with these things it was about five minutes before i had to get back with the car but rang the better half and was granted an extension of fifteen minutes. I had called by last week in passing for an hour or so and the Iceland was still there but a couple of Glaucous Gulls had joined it. On Thursday i had a few hours so i could take my time, enjoy the smell and feel of the place and watch the gull action. It wasn't just gulls that provided the entertainment ! An ex falconers bird was zipping about looking for lunch but fish was definitely not on its menu but as far as i know it came up short. Turnstones are always a joy to watch, and here the boats seem to provide many tasty morsels for them. A Grey Seal made an appearance just off the quay out on the river. It came up with a flattie on a couple of occasions but i managed to miss the shot both times. The Iceland by far the most stunning of the gulls but the Glaucs with their pirate like activities the most entertaining. It was bitterly cold in a biting breeze coming straight from the west along the river but the sun made a show for a while which eased the pain. While watching the antics of the gulls and seal on the seaward side i saw a potential photographic opportunity and on one of those rare occasions it came to fruition. I was very happy with it.

Iceland gull with the south pier of the Tyne in behind.

Falcon on patrol.

Iceland & Glaucous in flight over the quay.

...and finally a shot i captured early last Saturday when i went down early hoping to capture a nice sunrise over the mouth of the Tyne but when i got home i discovered some dust on the sensor which ruined those images. When i turned to put that camera and lens away to swap for my camera with my 300mm lens on this next view caught my eye. The High & Low lights were part of that early time in my life as was Cliffords Fort .....and the light was superb !