Sunday, 13 January 2013

Out for a Sunday Walk

Today was just one of those occasions where I was just going out for a walk along the coast and nothing planned.  I didn’t get up at the crack of dawn to catch a sunrise or the early wildlife, the tide was all wrong if I wanted to photograph any waders (it was going out), it was just one of those lovely winter days – cold, sunny and no wind and since I haven’t managed to get out for a while with my camera, I took this opportunity.

I started the walk off by going along the dog highway…err, I mean Whitley Bay beach, not long after sunrise and headed off to St Mary’s which is one of my haunts.  As the tide was nearly out, there was a lot of rocks and seaweed exposed which in turn had plenty of waders feeding.  I managed to get a few snap shots but didn’t try to take the extra care I would normally, which meant getting down at bird level and making sure my camera was steady, but because I was in pools water and wet seaweed recently exposed to the tide and there were dogs continually scaring the birds away, I didn’t make any effort and the images taken are accordingly, pretty much rubbish.


View looking back at Whitley Bay


Viewpoint looking towards St Mary’s Lighthouse in the distance


After reaching St Mary’s I had a quick walk around the lighthouse and then to the small patch of wetlands they have there.  There’s always a good chance, even by this late time of the morning – about 10:30am – that you might spot one of the resident Foxes and sure enough, after about 30 minutes of trying the various and some very muddy and water logged vantage points, a Fox in its thick winters coat, made an appearance only stopping on hearing my shutter go off.  Rather inconsiderately stopping in behind a patch of long grass!  I was originally alerted to the presence of the Fox by some birds in the reeds where it was, making alarm calls.  This was then taken up by a couple of Magpies who after I couldn’t see the Fox anymore in the undergrowth, showed me where it was by their location and the noise they were making.

It continue to make a few brief appearances to seemingly keep an eye on me before reappearing with another Fox which looked older, possibly one of the parents.  Both looked back at me before disappearing.  Between the appearances, a Kestrel held vigilance on top of a tree.  Normally you would expect the Magpies to ‘mob’ this bird but they seemed more interested in the Fox.


Further around the wetlands were plenty of wetland birds – Mallards, Coots, Sanderlings, Gulls, etc. Some of these were sent flying when a motorized powered parachute flew by.  It looked like lots of fun up there though noisy even from where I was.

As I packed away my camera and lens I noticed to my horror, mud splashed over the front of the lens.  Not sure I managed that or when and it came off ok, but when I got back to look at my images I noticed that many of the images, particularly the Fox ones were blurred.  I thought maybe because of the mess on the lens but the parachute image looks ok.  I had manually focused that and the Fox images, the latter because of the teleconverter attached and due to the tall grass that was in throwing off the focus.  It was very disappointing that so many images that I took particular care to focus, were so far out of focus and yet the one posted here was ok.  The only thing I can think of that is different between them was the out of focus ones were much further away though I don’t know why this would make a difference.  I will have to do a bit of research and some test shots to see if I can figure it out.



  1. Hi Frank, I think the first landscape is magnificent. Great pocket of light.

  2. Thanks christian. Unfortunately I didn't go out to take landscapes and missed the best of the sunrise earlier.

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