Sunday, June 22, 2008


I had a trip to Bempton thinking that the strong winds might be making bird hang in the air in front of the cliff --- well a few sort of did but mainly they kept below the cliff and out of the wind which was westerly by the time I arrived; as I usually find the vegetation on the cliff edge proved to be a real nuisance as the birds came at their closest - strimmer needed

more bills

such an attractive bird --- one bird at least has a good sand eel catch


abundant, big and typically close but getting a decent shot which includes detail and a decent pose seems to be rather difficult!


mostly below the cliff edge I was not happy with images of this species today


never quite as attractive as Razorbills with their less contrasting plumage

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Reed Bunting

I just liked the background to this singing male

patterns in geese

OK so they are tame and terrible things but given the lack of recent local subjects and the superb evening light a couple of days back I just had to try and make something of the lags! and my local Ruddies; 
left to its own devises the AF on the Canon would focus on the Greylag's bill and leave the eye OOF so I picked an AF point which fell over the eye and used a shallow depth of field to give the head on shot more impact

Nyctea landscapes

I have brought the nyctea gallery blog back to life to feature a few landscape shots and what my daughter would call random images which do not really fit the Pewit brief; many people will be relived to see that I have also restricted the front page of Pewit to less posts so it should load quicker; the link to the landscapes site is on the side panel.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Marsh Harriers

After a busy spring I eventually got round to checking on one of my harrier sites where I got some good photos in 2007; it looks as if the two males are there again, same birds, and the old rufous female has a nest but I did not see her with a male today; the male featured is last year's bird who was paired to the rufous female but there seems to have been some wife swapping and he now has the dark chocolate coloured bird shown below; 
when I arrived at 06:40 the male and female were screaming and mobbing something in the reedbed, diving frequently at the reed tops with legs and feet lowered; I suspected it must be a Bittern having seen this behaviour many times on the local patch where the two reedbed dwellers seem to be mortal enemies; the Bittern eventually showed itself and flew out of the reedbed but not before it had provided me with some good photo opportunities on the mobbing harriers; 

Bittern short flight

after 2 hours of continuous mobbing had moved the Bittern from one side of the reedbed to the other the harriers eased off and the male went off hunting; the bittern took the opportunity to make a couple of short flights each time crashing into the reeds before the female harrier could take off from a standing start and catch up with the enemy

more harrier shots

I try to get different poses in flight if possible but wind direction and angle of hides restrict what you can do on most occasions --- this female was seriously agitated by the Bittern and was calling continuously when perched and when mobbing the bittern in the reedbed; the shots show the moult contrast in the wings where she has dropped and grown new feather while incubating 

Sedge Reed and habitat

Friday, June 13, 2008


still going for the perfect swift shot mainly because there is not much else around my patch to aim at at present; getting a bird in an interesting pose or actually feeding is pot luck as they flash past and getting one sharp is rare! reading a Dutch Birding article on their first Pallid Swift I noticed it mentioned pale greater underwing coverts as a feature of Pallid v dark on Common Swift a feature which these shots seem to refute?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

eared / Black-necked Grebe

neither name really sums up the striking appearance of a summer plumage bird;