Thursday, 10 January 2019

Venus Pool - Bewick's early departure

An early pre-dawn start at VP paid dividends today with the Bewick's Swan clearly visible before the light got going. Eventually, with the ISO cranked up to 2000, photography was possible, against a backdrop of 75 Mute Swans. The rest of the 100+ gathering were on the fishing pool.

Here's a couple Bewick's / Mute close encounters...






Eventually paddling closer!




Then heading back to the open water near the middle island...


 It was now 8.30 and a few calls announced imminent departure (nothing else went)!





Soon reaching take off speed...





Mind your head!




Up, Up and away to the swan field over at Coundlane...

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Holt - Smew in flight!

Having got more than enough Smew on the water images, wing flaps and fish, it was do or die for flight? I cranked the ISO up to 1600 and waited, hoping, just hoping...

Soooooo pleased to get the upper wings shots I was longing for as one of the Smew took off and shot past me...






Right in front of me at this point!






I don't need to go back to Holt now? :-) Another memorable moment and I must try and get out more in 2019? Have a Happy Christmas everybody!!!

Holt - Smew take 2

What a difference a bit of sunshine makes!! Arriving mid-morning with Dave Chapman once more, the two Smew were still on the fishing pool, south of the road to the church and with a few fishermen (including one with a tannoy system?) restricting their range. Nevertheless, this meant they were a bit closer than yesterday and for once, I couldn't grumble about the light! From 100's of images (far too many), here's a sampler...








Homing in on individuals...




Drifting ever closer!






Time for a quick wash!




And wing flap...


Then concentrating on cleaning up on the small Perch population!






Both days gave two or three opportunities for flight shots as they relocated around the pool. Flying incredibly fast and with trees always getting in the way -  I failed miserably on the Friday but made up for it today (coming next)...

Friday, 21 December 2018

Holt - Smew take 1

Been pretty busy of late and birding has taken a back seat but tempted by the two male Smew down near Holt (Worcs) I teamed up with Dave Chapman for a twitch down there. They were obvious on arrival, before we got out of the car and with patience they were soon in the decent record shot zone. Not close enough sadly and the light was diabolical!


Singling them out...




Just about the only excitement was a wing clap or two!




And a Perch or two down the hatch...


Not the most comfortable lunch, but swallowed head first those spines flatten down nicely, not that this next pic confirms that?


One of my motto's is 'always go back'. Cheers Dave for driving, some blue sky for Saturday and another go...

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Chelmarsh reservoir - Great Northern Diver

A second visit to the reservoir late morning was a little more productive on the image front... The Great Northern Diver was roaming the whole reservoir but eventually I caught up with it fishing within 100m - a whole lot better then 400m away!!

In fact on a couple of occasions, it came much closer than that!



Not a lot of variety other than a turn of the head!




And clearly heading in the right direction!




It's a juvenile with characteristic fringes to the feathers giving the scaly appearance...



Having spent two three hour sessions over the past 24 hours, nice to get some sort of reward despite the gloom and rain!

Friday, 9 November 2018

Meols - Pied Wheatear

With a talk booked for Friday evening in Burton (Wirral) just 20 mins away from Meols,  I didn't dash over for the showy Pied Wheatear when news first came out! It was risky chancing it staying four days but my luck was in and stay it did! The only problem was the poor light and forecast of rain! Here's a few pics from my two hours there during the afternoon...

I was right about the light! The rain wasn't prolonged...


Yay, I was content to get some decent images as it worked its way along the sea wall, every now and then launching off to catch small insects!






Sometimes, landing ridiculously close!


Maybe he was trying to flush the small group of photographers gathered?


Another view via mobile phone! You can just about see a boat in the background?


Which came in handy to inject a hint of colour into a pretty monochrome day!




It had one spell on the promenade...




Rooting about in the dead vegetation...




And as the wind was strengthening, almost getting blown off the wall!






That will all do very nicely despite the lack of some blue sky! It was virtually five years to the day after seeing my first Pied Wheatear and here's a link to the Collingham Pits female on the 10th November 2013.

This day seems to produce rare Wheatears! Here's a Desert Wheatear at Gorleston-on-Sea on 10th November 2014!