Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Cetti's Warbler habitat

my photography is usually a reaction to what I see while I'm birding with little set up or deliberate targeting so I was quite pleased with this Cetti's as it shows the bird in its typical habitat and just how you often see one if you see one at all! -- I look at so many stylised picture  of passerines pose don set up perfectly pretty branches and perches by feeding stations or birds attracted by tape luring and although nice posed portraits they do little for me and the sense of achievement must be somewhat different? reduced? this type of work is very prominent in the states where flash is also invariably used to make all images look the same, well illuminated and pretty but characterless to my way of seeing birds -- a personal opinion and had this bird been fully out in the open then maybe I would have been a bit happier?

Common Buzzard and Marsh Harrier

harriers detest buzzards and probably with good cause as I had the impression that one local nest was predated by Buzzards in 2017 -- harriers are much more manoeuvrable and agile being smaller with a lighter wing load but Buzzards are heavy weight and persistent -- this female harrier gave the buzzard a few knocks but then gave up

male Sparrowhawk grab shots

rapid focus as it shot past the hide - a really nice orange and blue adult male that is a regular at Barton -- an example of when getting a catchlight in the eye is not the best result

a few more birds from Alkborough Flats

Water Pipits are never it seems easy to approach for some bizarre reason; another young or adult male Marsh Harrier and one of the local Spotted Redshanks

a male Marsh Harrier but what age?

traditional wisdom would suggest this bird is a young adult male probably something like 3cy but we have a bird in this plumage that has been breeding at a local site for 4 years and it never gets any more adult like so is this actually and adult male plumage that is part of a range of adult plumages?

Sunday, December 09, 2018

colour ringed male Hen Harrier

sometimes you think of a photographic plan and dream of a result that you just know will never happen but today Santa must have come early; I set up in the hope of getting a passing shot of the male Hen Harrier at Alkborough as it left its local roost but by 08:00 I had clearly missed it, not really unexpected but it was a lovely morning though still pre-sunrise -- photographing a passing Marsh Harrier that was far too distant and with nil light I glanced right and saw the male Hen Harrier at point blank range -- panic fire first focus later at 6400ISO and still getting 125th second they were never going to be great! then to my total amazement my dream of it landing on a fence post came to pass and it just sat there for almost 3 minutes while I fired off a lot of shots, dropping the ISO to 1600 and shooting at 1/60th second -- it was only when looking at the shots that I realised it was colour ringed on the left leg Black with OW in white -- thanks to John W for rapid info to the effect that it was a bird ringed at Langholm, Scottish borders, in 2016 making it a 3CY or third winter if you prefer -- I must try dreaming a bit more often

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Alkborough Flats

a sometimes challenging day weather wise but all in all a good day with male Hen Harrier, too far off, the usual gang of Marsh Harriers, Peregrine chasing the 9000+ Lapwings, gangs of Fieldfares and the usual wildfowl and wader accompaniment and a beautiful male Kestrel that almost gave me my shot of the week but I missed it!

Monday, December 03, 2018