Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Clunton Coppice - Wood Warbler

Wood Warblers have to be right up there (usually in the canopy!) as one of my favourite mid spring birds and there is no shortage of them in their traditional haunts this year - it was time to try and get a picture or two? Record shots have normally been the norm and it seemed this tradition would be carrying on?

By watching  individual bird movements, you can learn and start to predict the next one - they are creatures of habit and have favourite perches! I had one particular image in mind.....

These were better but having connected, the next thing was to try and avoid the white sky background....

And then hope for some full on portrait shots?

Close ups even?

One fleeting but very flattering rear view!

And then I had just one aim... One I've had for a long time - a decent shot of Wood Warbler giving it all in song. The image I had in mind!

Except I wanted in closer, without twiggy clutter!

Nearly there?

Yes, this was nearly the image I had in mind!

I think I'm satisfied for once - until next year anyway!

Monday, 28 April 2014

Darnford Brook - Pied Flycatchers

A bird race is normally pure birding and photography is not normally the norm but at least it gets you out - looking for a future opportunity! So, two days later.... I was walking the Darnford Brook - much later in the day and maybe that was why the Pied Flycatchers weren't quite so showy? They were still pretty obliging subjects!

Here's a female first.  They prefer to perch amongst cluttered branches!

Just occasionally against a clean background?

Show us your rear.....

Similar composition issues with a male!

And a leafy background works but was not the norm sadly.

The male's rear view.

And a selection of straightforward poses.....

This was a 'natural' studio in places with mossy branches aplenty. These are NOT props :-)  With less cropping, here's a photograph rather than an image!

versus the standard web cropped view?

There was a male Redstart which sadly eluded us on Saturday. Only ONE five second chance today though.....

This is the perfect time of year for the photography of woodland birds with minimal leaf cover. Wood Warblers will be next - hopefully??

Sunday, 27 April 2014

The Mere - Ring-necked Duck!!

The light was getting worse late afternoon and it was becoming more showery! Any thoughts I had on leaving Coed-y-Dinas however were accelerated with news of a drake Ring-necked Duck on the Mere at Ellesmere! (Thanks Reevesy!)  Ellesmere is not that far from Welshpool either!

I arrived at about 7.00 and the Ring-neck was in the far corner with a group of tufties, tickable but very distant! There was only one thing for it..... yomp yomp!

It was well worth it.......

Holding a range of 100m or so, occasionally a bit nearer but in decent record shot range!

Standing out from the crowd!!

But never far way from the group.....

A nice comparison shot?

Then singled out for a very short while!

One smart duck!! Initially found at Wood Lane, the ducks are moving around and it may turn up in the morning at either Whitemere, The Mere or Wood Lane?

Llyn Coed-y-Dinas - Black Terns

A rather ironic morning which saw me take Gemma over to Welshpool to get her lift back to Swansea. I called in at nearby Llyn Coed-y-Dinas sensing Terns were in the air today? Got talking to Mark Wilson and ended up figuring Venus Pool might be a better option....

Guess what, I was sat zzzzzzzing at VP when I got a text from Mark - 'two Black Terns at lcyd'. What an eerie coincidence and why hadn't I stayed??  I took the gamble they would linger and fired off! The gamble paid off, they were still there on arrival :-)

Only problem was, they were generally quite distant - the sort of distance where autofocus is a waste of time - so thanks to good old manual focus, a wing and a prayer, here's the record shot results!

In aviation terms - definitely a 'near miss' but I guess they know what the're doing!

Whether it's mid air or off the water, a bad day to be a fly!

Various backgrounds in use - either the trees....

Or the island.....

A bit of both!

Banking shots.....

The elusive upperwing angle......

Once in a while, they landed on the island for a rest - giving my aching arms one as well!

Many thanks Mark for the heads up!! Oh - there were three Arctic Terns present too!