The fauna of the area consists – but is not limited to – Curlew (Numenius arquata), Rock Pipits (Anthus petrosus), Pied Wagtails (Motacilla alba yarrellii), Oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus), Little Egrets (Egretta garzetta), Turnstones (Arenaria interpres) and Ringed Plovers (Charadrius hiaticula).
Oystercatchers are interesting birds, they are generally associated with the coastline, however they also thrive in some inland areas. They have beaks which will give you a good idea of what their diet is. If they are breaking shells or if they prise apart muscle shells then they will have a blunter end to their beak as can been in the image above and on the next page. Whereas, if they have a diet of mostly soft foods such as worms then they will have a pointy beak. I have included two Oystercatcher pictures here as they both have their merits.
The weather on the day was intermittently cloudy and so I was waiting for the sun to shine through the clouds before taking pictures in order to have a light on the eye. This shot may have actually been stronger if I had taken it when the cloud was over and therefore there would have been less contrast between the white and blacks and less dynamic range between the shadows on the underneath of the head. The image of the Oystercatcher looking directly into the sun has two thirds of empty space and a quite simple two tone background. This is technically very strong and does make a nice image, but again the strong sun means that there is a deep shadow behind the bird and I am not too keen on it. Also there is a shadow in front of the eye which I find distracting, however other people have not found the same thing.
I wanted to get the majority of the bird in focus and not just the area immediately around the eye and so I chose to sacrifice a stop of light, drop to F/5.6 and then take the ISO up. The D300s does handle ISO fairly well and with some slight noise removal after the image has come out fine. By this time in the day the sun was low and there was a thin cloud covering which blocked some of the light, however there was still enough sunlight to get a nice halo around the bird. That was the reason I chose to shoot from this side of the bird, usually I would shoot from the other side and have nice evenly lit shot, yet seaweed looks really nice when backlit due to it being translucent.
I hope you like the images!