Monday 29 July 2013

Venus Pool - more Little Egets

With at least three Little Egrets putting in an appearance at VP right now (mostly early morning and evening) it was too much to resist, even thought been there done that.....

They might be Egrets but this shot taken early morning shows one definitely being 'goosed'!

And how about one of those feather ruffles!

In flight they are almost angel like....

Maybe more so on landing!

Never close today but managed one distant 'fish toss'.

VP - Skimmers

I've imposed a ban on insect photography this year (for the sake of my back) and with only one or two relapses to date, another one was looming today.

Quite safe? These were taken by poking the 500mm lens out from the Memorial Hide.....

Where a pair of Black-tailed Skimmers were locked in the wheel of love :-)

Enjoying every moment until a Common-blue Damselfly decided to join in!!

Oh dear, male on male action here.....

You can certainly see the look of surprise on the Skimmers face!!

I couldn't resist this Green-veined White either!

Despite a late start, butterflies are appearing thick and fast but I wont be labouring the point - unless we get a Clouded Yellow??!!

Sunday 28 July 2013

Rudyard res - Caspian Storm!!

I've got two mottos. 'Never birding without my camera' and 'Always go back'!!

Yet another 'arrival' shot :-) Yes, it was 10.30 am and I was back, problem was, within minutes - the Tern had flown off - back to Cheshire!!

I decided not to give chase and I opted for sitting it out for a while - confident it would return??

And it did! So a new 'out and back' flight shots followed.....

I also wanted to get some closer 'fishing' shots, so opted for leaving the mud viewing area and drove down the lake opposite to where it normally dived?

Problem was, with dark skies approaching and the odd rumble of thunder - was this the end of photography for the day? I grabbed my brolly and continued waiting by the waterside.

With big spots falling and lightning now visible, erm was this wise? I could see the gallery suddenly looking left and realised the Tern was on it's way and with an almighty clap of thunder - so was the storm :-(

The brolly was magic, I wasn't actually getting too wet and my left hand concentrated on keeping the rain off the camera equipment while my right hand panned - finger poised over the shutter......

It was actually fishing in this!!

In torrential conditions, I'd worked out that a pale background was next to useless but with trees in the background, the raindrops were clearly visible......

The bird was quite easy to keep in focus because the distracting background was now a blur in the haze so from loads of images, these are my favourite.....

Eventually with lighting too close for comfort, I had to seek the safety of the car - and I did get wet then!!  The rain eventually stopped and I had to leave..... But not before a couple more 'normal' shots:-)

What a bird, what an experience! And the kit stayed dry :-)

We humans view Thunderstorms as potentially lethal, thoroughly irritating weather phenomena. We stop what we are doing, switch computers off maybe run and hide! In the tern's world, life goes on - storms are just another obstacle in the quest for fish....

Saturday 27 July 2013

Venus Pool - Little Egret fishing

A busy day but called in at VP during the evening. It was dull and drizzle but with one of the Little Egrets fishing near the north hide, I got preoccupied with trying to get a fish toss shot?

Landing nearby......

Catching sticklebacks aplenty!

A bit of vedge with this one!

Ready for take off.....

Down the hatch!

It's back for the Caspian Tern tomorrow!

Friday 26 July 2013

Rudyard Res - Caspian Tern!!

It didn't look good, got the news about 3pm and realised the bird had been there for at least four hours. A Caspian Tern - they are normally off (and I know that to my cost from past experience) after a few minutes!! Nevertheless, I dashed to the car from a dreary Venus Pool - twitch was on..........

With Stoke snarled up in the usual Friday mayhem, I watched the eta time drift later and later but I was there by 4.30 and (first big mistake) legged it from the 'parking area'.

Never mind that I could have driven to the viewing spot - the Tern was still there!!! I think everyone took this shot on arrival!!


A wingflap to break the monotony!

Even an attempt to cough a pellet - so that's where all the shells came from :-)

Then off in search of fish......

The hunt/hover.......

Sometimes you lose :-(

But sometimes you win!

That huge bill comes in handy for fish of this size!

Now that's quite a mouthful!

Crop already bulging....

The first few flyback shots were into the light and lacking somewhat......

So with evening moving on after 7pm I relocated to the opposite back - what a difference!!

A final couple of flight shots against the fading blue sky!

What a fantastic 3 1/2 hours and the Caspian Tern bogey well and truly buried! Busy day on Saturday in prospect but I hope to retern on Sunday!