Good weather is in short supply in February. A bright day is a rarity, so after a view of clear blue sky out of the window I strode out with my camera leaving my to-do list well behind.
The Exe estuary still has some muddy channels and some flat areas for wading birds to feed. It’s there I see a Greenshank with its delicate probing bill and unfeasibly long legs:
It reminds me of photographs of people at Glastonbury Festival on a bad year.
The RSPB say there are just 700-1,500 pairs breeding in the UK and just 700 overwintering. I feel honoured to have seen it.
It’s so entertaining watching it probing for worms in the sand I almost forget to take photographs of it.
There is a Redshank further down the estuary, with its red legs and matching bill:
The last 20 years have seen a 38% decline in Redshank numbers in the UK.
Wading birds are crying out for protection of their wetlands.