Saturday, 31 March 2012

Common Crane Record

Record shot of the pair between Sherburn and Ruston, N Yorks, since Wednesday this week.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Go on 'Dip your Bread'

What was going on here then. At the time of photographing the Garganey in my previous post I spotted this Crow.

How clever dropping dry old bread in the water, softening it up and gorging on the now softer offerings.


Drop that bread

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Centre Stage, I give you _ _ _ Garganey

Sunday morning in brilliant weather we finally made it down to the Open Air Theatre in Northstead Manor Gardens, Scarborough to try and see a bird present for the previous week.

For those that do not know Scarborough's Open Air Theatre was famous for musicals and productions in the 50's & 60's and had become very dilapidated through the 80's/90's etc . It undertook a face lift two years and opened, all 5,000 seats to Dame Kiri Te Kawana, Elton John highlights of the season. This year we get Dionne Warwick, JLS what more could you want? Perhaps a Garganey!

When we got there we were for a moment or two disappointed, perhaps the drake had finally gone, it had been seen recently in the water to the North of the theatre stage, this is quite a small area. I went to look down behind the stage and suddenly it was flushed out into the main pool by a fairly vicious Water Hen which certainly did not like the Garganey.

Views for photography were not great a bit into the sun, slightly too distant for my 500mm lens, no converter for my Sigma with auto focus.

After the poor Garganey had rested on the water for a while the Water Hen had another go, and flushed it over the walk way to the stretch of water between the theatre seats (graced by Her Majesty who did the official opening in 2010) and the public footpath and the centre of the stage.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you drake Garganey. I hope you like.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Wrens (Troglodytes troglodytes)

I had Friday afternoon off, yep again, I was using up the last of some of my leave.

I visited Filey Dams YWT and spent a great couple of hours photographing the local Wrens of which there seemed to be a good number. Initially they came to my notice calling in that oh so loud voice for their size. For those who know the site I was by main hide at the viewing screen. I moved over to where a farm gate gives access to the site and a couple of Wrens were present but it was a tad dark in that corner.

I made my way down to East hide and wrens were calling loudly, I then noticed a wren on the board walk, on the railings and going beneath the actual board walk. At one point this bird went through the 'chicken wire over the boards to make it non slip' and below the planking.

What goes through a hole like this!

Clearer view up top!

After that I watched Wrens flitting around the decking, on the board walk rails, amongst the cuttings where willows had been coppiced, at the base of last years reeds, etc. What I was really after was to capture a Wren on the Willow stems, out in the open.

Finally I got the picture I was after and I hope you like the result.

Wrens are real little gems, I saw a Wren the other week close to, real bright and chestnut colour, maybe a fairly young bird, young birds are an even warmer colouring, but they do make you think how beautiful. Who says brown birds are drab!

Wrens are usually found in low shrubs or rank herbage , close to ground level where they forage for insects and spiders, creeping and flitting amongst the stems. They nest in a dome of leaves and grass in a crevice, close to the ground, lined with moss and hair. they lay 5 - 8 eggs. The colony at Filey Dams seem to my ignorant mind to be thriving.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

A day off mid-week, Snow Goose.

It's that time of year when we have to get in the last of our leave, busy schedules, also flexi-leave we squeezed in the later today and went to Top Hill Low.

Great day, lovely and bright, quite warm but a cool breeze in the shade. We saw lots of things, frogs, Roe Deer, Peacock butterflies.

New additions to our year list were Little Ringed Plover, Chiffchaff and Snow Goose.

The Little Ringed Plover was on Watton Barrow too distant for pictures. the Chiffchaff was in trees immediately behind the hide. I took four pictures, every time the Chiffy had flown just as I took the shot and the frames were Chiffy less.

We were in the South Marsh lagoons hide and two Snow Geese flew in. The only trouble was that they were into the sun and I struggled to get a picture, the exposure was really difficult. A great addition to our year lists.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Grey Heron

Alongside a ditch near North Hide at Radipole stood a Grey Heron on our visit two weeks ago today, fairly close to the footpath. I took quite a lot of pictures, these were a little in the sun. The Heron then moved to the other side of the ditch and that made for quite pleasing results.

Monday, 19 March 2012

One, two, three locals too!

Yesterday there was jobs to do before going out, we were thinking of going further afield but why is it jobs always take longer then planned! Is it just the walls of my house but holes to drill develope into great big holes, etc.

Anyway, we just stayed local and had a drive around. In Wykeham Forest we saw Robin, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Gold Finch, Long Tailed Tits, Kestrel, Jay, Dunnock.

In a clearing a pair of Crossbills were coming down onto the ground to feed. The birds were straight into the sun, the shot posted is purely for the record.

Around Wykeham Lanes there was a good number of Fieldfare and Redwings with numbers of Starlings.

The highlight was three Common Buzzards phewing overhead. Like Radipole the sky was clear, maybe not six birds as there but three was pretty special, a bit higher in the sky but the pictures convey a little of the bright sky and atmosphere. One bird went into a stoop.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Coot Image

I have just processed a few of my shots of Coot from Radipole last week. I sometimes get dissapointing results of these birds but the light helped this time to show that lovely red eye.

Canon 40D, Sigma 50-500mm lens, ISO 160, f 7.1, 1/500 sec, 500mm focal length

Canon 40D, Sigma 50-500mm lens, ISO 160, f 8, 1/320 sec, 417 focal length

Canon 40D, Sigma 50-500mm lens, ISO 160, f 8, 1/400, 363 focal length

Canon 40D, Sigma 50-500mm lens, ISO 160, f 8, 1/250 sec, 500 mm

Thursday, 15 March 2012


A couple of pictures from Radipole a week ago yesterday in glorious light, these of a common species, much over looked but when you study up close and that iridescent green head of the male. Very nice.

Canon 40D, Sigma 50 - 500mm lens, ISO 160, f7.1, 1/400 sec, 226mm

Canon 40D, Sigma 50-500mm lens, ISO 160, f 8, 1/500 sec, 500mm

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Little Egret

Towards the end of our  visit to Arne last week we were in the hide looking out towards Poole Harbour, the pools in front of the hide were dried up and other than a few black headed gulls and a distant group of Sika deer there was very little about. I remarked that we had often had a Little Egret before in front of this hide.

We then made our way to Shipstal Point opposite Brownsea Island and as we stepped onto the shore line a Little Egret was busy feeding on small fish from the pools at the waters edge.

In fact it was so engrossed that it did not mind a couple of photographers (including me) and I was able to get some confiding shots. The light was gorgeous and bright and made for a good session. I took about 70 shots in 10 or 15 minutes and I am quite pleased with the results. I have photographed these birds a good few times now but I like these best. many shots had fish in the Egrets bill so the pickings seemed very good, only small fry mind, I would need a plateful!

On the water was a small group of Red Breasted Mergansers, top birds, I only managed a record shot of these.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Not one, two _ _ _ but six!

Over the Dorset Radipole RSPB reserve we were watching, counting five Buzzards overhead. I love the pewing sound they make, we stood counting. Now I have seen three, maybe four aloft at one time but five and then there was six!

Great sight, I managed a number of shots and this seems the best.

Canon 40D with Sigma 50-500mm lens. f6.3, ISO 250, 1/800th sec, 500mm focal length.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Sika Deer

I got this shot yesterday of a Sika Deer where they are easy to see and relatively comfortable with humans even if always keeping a watchful eye. I was pleased with this shot as
I thibk the lighting on the deer and nearby tree compliment one another, and the shot gives a good impression of the setting.

This stag Sika was in a small group, with a couple of youngsters.

Canon 40D, sSgma 50-500mm lens, f6.3, ISO 200, 1/500th second at 500mm focal lens.