Birding for World Shorebirds Day

The Global Shorebird Counting Program of World Shorebirds Day is always a good reason to head out to important (shore)bird areas, like the Snettisham RSPB Reserve. It’s not only an Important Bird Area (IBA) but a shorebird site of hemispheric importance. The murmuration of tens of thousands of roosting birds is a true spectacle.

I managed to catch the peak of the high tide at dawn. It was such a relief not to see anyone at the seawall and I could enjoy the sound of roosting birds without any distraction. I headed to one of the RSPB hides and just watched how the beach and the sea turn from the deep blue tones into pastel pink and purple. It sounds romantic, but it’s rather hard to describe the atmosphere of Snettisham and you only realise where the elevated emotions come from, once you take a visit to this reserve at high tide. Below I share some photos which might give something back from the experience I had on this Saturday morning.

A lovely Western Barn Owl was posing for me just after Snettisham village. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

Gorgeous sunrise over Snettisham. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

As the water started to recede, waders started to fly around making it possible to get some blurred movement shots. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

A bit of my artistic side with Black-tailed Godwits. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

The spectacular mass of shorebirds created a blast sound at their take off. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

These Red Knots and Bar-tailed Godwits introduced a very speedy aerial performance. Sony a7RIII, Sony FE 70-200mm f2.8 G Master © Gyorgy Szimuly

The mudflat got exposed very quickly and waders started to flock over the fresh tideline. Sony a7RIII, Sony FE 70-200mm f2.8 G Master © Gyorgy Szimuly

Just like the flames of the fire, the shorebird murmuration is something I could watch endlessly. Sony a7RIII, Sony FE 70-200mm f2.8 G Master © Gyorgy Szimuly

Roosting Eurasian Oystercatchers and Eurasian Curlews.Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

A layer of shorebird species with Common Redshanks, Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwits and Common Shelducks. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

As the sun hit the tidal zone, the mood of the picture changed dramatically. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

Beautiful golden paint on this Bar-tailed Godwit flock. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

Just to get an idea of the number of birds, here is a segment of the area. It’s breathtaking. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

Mixed flock of Red Knots and godwits. Quite a large portion of birds was still in stunning breeding plumage. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

It’s another example of the craziness on the tidal zone. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

With experienced eyes, some other shorebird species can be found on this photo, like a moulting Black-bellied Plover. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

I saw a surprisingly low number of small sandpipers. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

When the sea is receding, a mile long mudflat provides a perfect feeding area for shorebirds and gulls. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

Mediterranean and Mew (or Common) Gulls among the European Herring Gull flock. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

Some Eurasian Oystercatchers has already finished moulting and were in winter plumage. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

Black-tailed Godwits with red Knots. Sony a7RIII, Sony FE 70-200mm f2.8 G Master © Gyorgy Szimuly

Icelandic subspecies of Black-tailed Godwit. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

This Eurasian Spoonbill was a nice addition to the bird list of Snettisham. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

Soon two more birds joined the lone spoonbill. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

A flock of several hundred Red Knots over the open water. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

A view from the seawall. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

Greylag Goose arrived drinking from the fields. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

Nice seaside bungalow with massive oystercatcher art decoration. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

Common Wood Pigeon was resting on this bush in the caravan park. Sony RX10 IV © Gyorgy Szimuly

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