Out on an autumn day

The starlings were performing quite a spectacle when I arrived at sunrise. Large flocks were silently dropping in to the marsh to feed before taking flight in a swirling mass. I could hear the soft purr of wings as they flew over me.


They dropped into the marsh in front of the Severn Bridge. The colours of the marsh were gentle and cool in this early light.


But as soon as the sun was above the horizon, it touched the marsh giving a burst of colour.


The tide was lapping over the mud by Portishead Pier. Ringed plover were feeding alongside the redshank, their feathers lit by the sun.IMG_7296

But in the depths of Portishead Hole the predominant colour was a lively cobalt turquoise. This was a delicious medley of bold shadows, interrupted now and again with shafts of sunlight.


. . . and more sombre hues deeper in “the Hole”.


Back out in the sunshine some teal flew out of Chapel Pill. There was another flock deep in the upper reaches. I crept away to leave them resting undisturbed.


Further down the creek was this very handsome drake teal. Though I don’t feel this sketch does him justice.


The sunshine soon gave way to showers. I cursed that I had not worn my waterproofs. Though I cared little about getting wet when the rainbows appeared. How do you capture that incredible light?


Late in the afternoon I returned once more. The starlings one again greeted me by Portishead Pier while long shadows spread out across the marsh.

It had been a lovely autumn day of changing light and weather – so good to be out on the marsh.

Follow me on Facebook