Saturday, September 7, 2013

Naerland Nord

Having seen the big numbers when the day was wet, cold and windy the week before: I couldn't wait to see what it's like on  a relatively good weather day. I rushed back to Naerland very early Saturday morning to check out my favorite birds.

Originally I thought of doing a timelapse of waders feeding and flying off, as it turned out the wader numbers weren't too significant and they were spread out, not to mention that the remote unit didn't reach as far as I thought. That idea was quickly abandoned.

I left most of the gear in the car and decided to explore Naerland Nord, a short northerly walk away. This was the upper section of the beach ... rocky and full of rotting kelp. And full of birds  ... ducks, seagulls, waders, all of them are there! Armed now with only the 400/5.6 and half of a battery life, I decided to stay. I edged closer and closer towards the shore and towards the birds.

It was exhilarating (in addition to the sweet acrid smell of decomposing kelp) to be amidst this order within chaos. Waders all over the place : Bar-tailed Godwit, Sanderling, Little Stint, Ruddy Turnstone, Red Knot, Redshank, Dunlin, Eurasian Curlew, Oystercatcher, Common Ringed Plover, as well as Grey Plover. There are ducks Common Eider and Mallards; seagulls, cormorants and starling. Every half and hour a Peregrine Falcon swooped by onto the buffet  ... and thousands of winged wonders took up to the skies, swirling and circling towards the sea and landed back onto the kelp buffet table in a few minutes.

Last year I spent many and outing searching for THE wader spots in Jaeren, looks like this year I can vouch for two ... Naerland and Reve. Wondering now how the numbers are at Madland, Obrestad, and Kvassheim these last few days! 

Finally it's a case of too little time, too many waders!

PS: Reminder to self - lug all gear all over the place!

Words and images by Nazeri Abghani/07Sep2013

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Naerlande Sor

Last week was my last visit to Naerlande. It was wet, cold and raining ... and I was there with my son, Ali for our short Sunday drive before dinner. Since it was raining, I decided that there was no real need to pack up the usual gear but in the end decided to lug the 40D coupled with a 150mm in any case.

We drove for almost 40 minutes before reaching the beach, the rain did not let up. We decided to peek out on the beach. There was a mass of waders flitting about eagerly feeding amongst the kelp washed ashore. They flew up and around at every perceived danger, made a circle and came back to the very same spot. There was no once else on the beach except us. Autumn beach walking is very popular here, I guess not so when it's pouring.

Equipped with only the 150mm, options for wader photography was rather limited. And it was raining. Ali quickly ran back to the car when he decided it was enough waders for the day, while I decided to hang about and watch.

At one point I was 5-6 feet away from the birds, with the rain and abundance of food, they did not seem to bother too much and just continued feeding. I stayed low on the ground and made a few shots and only left when the wind started to pick up and rain started to get heavier.

Most of the waders were Dunlin, Sanderling, Ruddy Turnstone, Red Knot, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Common Ringed Plover and Bar-tailed Godwit. The interesting thing about wader watching is that you sometimes don't know what's in the flock. Being so close to them pose great possibilities but then it was raining heavily and the wind chilling ...

Text and images by Nazeri Abghani/01Sep2013