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.

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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?

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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.

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