April’s out

Tomorrow is May 1st and in honour of my birth most of the world gets a national holiday.   There may be other reasons but I like to think “Labour Day” is when my mother did her bit for Wales and pushed me out into the big wide world of Caerphilly. Today I spent the morning up the road in my new found shore spot. I took a variety of lenses and the 800mm went into the car, just in case.

A quick scan told me the 800 would be needed. It was high tide and only a few rocks were exposed. A group of tattlers were sitting on one and even closer I spied a Red-necked Stint. I was ambivalent about the tattlers but a close up of RNS (not Reuters News Service) was desired. At least the little blighter hung around long enough for me to get the lens but after that it allowed me one shot before it flew. I re-found it with the binoculars later but way out of photography distance. Here is my only frame of RNS.

Red-necked stint

Red-necked stint

Not very impressive but better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

The tattlers were a nice group, sometimes 13, sometimes 14 and occasionally with a Common Sandpiper in their midst. The ever changing cloud and sun combinations meant getting an accurate colour balance was tricky. These have been tweaked but I’m not sure how good the WB is.

Grey-tailed Tattler

Grey-tailed Tattler


The bird lying down on the rock, back right, is the interloper.

There were other Common Sandpipers around. The nearest one was really out of distance even for the 800mm but looked nice in habitat.

Common Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper

Then I switched to my macro lens. Needless to say as I did so the RNS returned but by that time I was too worn out to walk back to the car again to get the bazooka. I found 3 nice fungi opportunities.

Fungi2 Fungus Fungus3I simply love the deep orange of the decaying fungus. The gills look brilliant even though the upper surface has almost passed over completely and rotted away.

And finally my friend Long Tail was out and about. Here is LT in full glory and then looking me in the eye. The eye shot is full frame.

Longtail LongtailcloseupHow did I get so close without LT skipping away? Well I suspect it was a sympathy shot. It saw me faffing about with the tripod and probably felt so sorry for me trying to get set up right it simply decided to hang around to enjoy the show. One wink and then gone.

And me too. Mrs. Ha called me home for lunch. I bumped into a local birding friend on the way  and we exchanged information. He was looking for Bee-eaters. Now I am ready for a siesta. Age is catching up with me. Until next time.



20 thoughts on “April’s out

  1. Happy Birthday, Andrew, and a wonderful set of images!! I really like the sandpiper against that vibrant green background. Very unique and lively.

  2. If you are now risen from a well-deserved rest from your pre-labour day labors, I then greet you with a big Happy Birthday, Andrew! 🙂 I hope the day is filled with more stints than you can shake a sharp stick at.
    And speaking of stints, that first image of the RNS is nice enough. I very much like the stump tattlers. They make a nice group sitting there together. I prefer the 2nd of the two with the birds on the near part facing the camera. I like too the decaying orange fungus, but the 2nd looks as it should be mighty tasty with a bit of syrup and bacon on the side. Probably would be a severely fatal taste treat….the bacon might kill if the mushroom did not.
    So have a fine fun day. Our Labor Day is usually the first Monday in September and Mayday is just for running around a tall pole and celebrating the fact that it is now fully Spring.

    • Thank you for the greetings, Steve. No stints today. The tide seemed to be exceptionally high. I will check later on the HK Observatory website how high it was. Just a few distant tattlers and one sandpiper. I am always incredibly wary of fungi – they are so hard to ID with 100% certainty. I’ll take the bacon and leave the pancake fungus,

      Must dash. I have a maypole to dance around 😉

  3. Happy Birthday Andrew: sorry but Canada is one of the countries that has failed to recognize your gift to the world or at least doesn’t have a national holiday on May 1. I shall write to the Prime Minister, not sure he can actually read – but I expect he has people that do that for him. I can’t promise anything, but the last time I sent in a petition…nothing happened.
    Have a great day and celebration. As my mother once said on a New Year’s Eve call at midnight from Sussex to here – “It’s today here!”.

    • Thanks Rod. Canada clearly needs a new PM. Even if they don’t celebrate my birthday they must be able to find something for the workers to have a day off. I shall celebrate my having a quiet day at home but tomorrow will be busy again, I am sure.

  4. That stint looks like a pale version of a robin with its delicate colouring.

    Tattlers don’t seem to have an issue with personal space do they? How many Tattlers can you get in a mini on a tree stump in the water?

    I also like the texture of the last fungus.

    And I am quite in love with long tail. It’s longer than the rest of him. Such elegance though. You would have thought it would be a nuisance dragging around something so long.

    I’ll save my birthday greetings for tomorrow. I seem to remember my great auntie May was born on May 1st. Hence the imaginative name. A bit like a former work colleague with a December birthday called Carol. I could have been called June, but fortunately I wasn’t.

    • How many tattlers in a mini? Well if I tell you that a tatty is a mere 10″ from bill tip to tail I suspect the answer is rather a lot. The robin / RNS is only 6″ so even more. Perhaps you could suggest to Partner that he gets you a LT for your birthday.

  5. The bird shots are pretty darn good and the sand piper has such an air of sweetness. That one I really like.The orange fungi is a show stopper.

    A happy birthday to you. I ‘m not sure what day you are in. If it is Tuesday or Wednsday in Hong Kong. I don’t know if you DOB is April or May 1st. I hope that you have a wonderul day of eating barbecue and laughter with the girls. 🙂

    • Thank you Mike. The lizard is Mabuya longicaudata and I suspect they are pretty habituated to people. There are lots of people fishing and dog-walking so the smal stuff just gets on with life.

  6. First of all A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you for tomorrow and many happy returns 🙂

    I think Mr LT must have heard something about it on the grapevine, hence being so sweet and patiently waiting for you. A sort of birthday present if you like.
    The orange fungus is extraordinary – it’s really quite beautiful in its way.

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