Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Redstart Result
It seems like it has been a very long time in the planning, in fact probably around the backend of 2006 when I start to think about how to get some redstart shots in the late spring. The long wait ended yesterday after putting in a bit of prepartory work and some time spent observing. I intend to spend some more time photographing these beautiful birds over the next couple of weeks.

The male is a really tricky exposure with his brilliant white cap and black head.

The female less colourful but I unfortunately have not managed to capture her red tail in this session.

My favourite shot of the session was of the male on a branch covered in lichen that is so typical of anicent oak wood land they prefer.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Waiting for Redstart
I have started my plan to get some redstart shots, a first for me, and came very close to getting some on Friday. I am confident I will achieve this goal at some point next week. While waiting for the redstart to put in an appearance I spent some time taking some shots of other birds that were close to the hide.
Mistle Thrush
Carrion Crow
Coal tit bring mouthfuls of grubs back to the nest

and a Great tit

Friday, May 25, 2007

Meet the Sparrows
The first batch of this years young have descended into the garden from the nest in the roof. They were still been fed by the female so thought I would take a few shots.

Forming an orderly queue to be fed.She's a busy bird, keeping all those hungry mouths and fluttering wings satisified.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Woodland Migrants
Took a trip out to some woods in North Wales, trying to find the three migrants that frequent mature decidous woodland in this area during the summer Firstly I will admit I failed to find any Redstart, a bird which remains elusive but a situtation I am currently working on a plan to resolve. However, I was more successful with the other two species. Firstly the Wood warbler, a bird of amazing song but normally difficult to phtoograph as it tends to stay high in the canopy. Fortunately I found one low down which allowed for some photography.

and in full song....
The other species I was after was the Pied flycatcher with the males being more cooperative than the females. I found a nesting site and sat quietly nearby opposite a branch that the male was using frequently during his approach.

My only shot of the female, this one was ringed and obviously part of a local study on the species.

The male is a tricky bird for photograph exposure especially in the dappled and often limited light of the woodland.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Whitethroat and Wheatear
I went back out for a short session after work this week to try and get some more whitethroat photographs. Conditions were not ideal with the light being a bit limited and vegetation swaying in the strong breezes. I concentrated on the bird I had taken shots of previously, as he had a well defined territory and some regular singing perches to make the task easier.
The strong winds this week did have some benefit though as it seemed to bring a large but late influx of Northern Wheatear, two of which I managed to locate early yesterday morning perched in some Japanese Knotweed.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Out the back door

As the weather has not been good this week, as well as being very busy, my opportunities to get out have been a bit bit sparse this week. However, the back garden is staying busy with plenty of birds coming in including the first broods of this year's young. For some birds I can just shoot from the back door off the kitchen

Young blackbird
A new House sparrow from the nest in the roof to the growing flock.The goldfinches are also increasing in numbers.

The extra birds arriving means that there is not enough room on the feeder which increases the chances of me getting some shooting opportunities.
Another recent arrival this week, that have been absent for a while, is the collared dove. There are a lot of colourful shrubs growing well in the garden at the moment, with all the rain, which is providing some unusual coloured backgrounds.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tricky subjects

I stopped off for an hour on the way home from work and managed to get two diffcult birds photographed. The first is Linnet which seem to be a very difficult bird to approach and often gone even when you are still 50 metres away.
Another difficult bird is the Whitethroat which tend to keep well hidden and offering on momentarily glimpases in the claer to get a shot. Certainly keep my reactions well tuned.

Male in full song

Monday, May 14, 2007

Odd moments

I grabbed some occasional moments over the weekend at local sites to try and get some photographs. This was mainly due to the weather that was none too great with a lot of heavy rain. still there was the occasional brighter moment and fortunately I was around with the camera when they occured.

Northern Wheatear
Meadow Pipit
Female PheasantA greenfinch in full song in one of the brief sunny moments.
and bedraggled after one of the heavy downpours..
I really want to do some photographs of reed warblers last weekend but its just been too windy through the reedbeds, for a bird that is difficult to get a clear shot of when its calm. So while the Sedge Warblers keeping advertising themselves I spent an hour or so on Sunday afternoon getting a few more for the library....

Friday, May 11, 2007

More from the Back Garden

As the weather has not been very good here this week, I have spent most of my spare time after work taking some more shots of birds in the back garden. Here is a collection of some of the residents.

Male house sparrow, a very underrated bird.

The male blackbird which is a good test for getting photograph exposure right.
and one of the four birds currently visiting checking out the new bird bath

and one of the blue tit pair nesting nearby that definately likes the new bathing facilities.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Back Garden birds
Given that the weather has been so dry, I decided to set up a small bathing pool at the weekend for the birds in my small back garden. It is already proving a hit with the local residence. So went out this morning and decided to take a few test shots to see if any small changes were needed to the set up. Here are a few of the resulting shots.

The male blackbird that is nesting in the neighbours garden
Dunnockand taking a dip

The sparrows that are nesting in my roof also seem to like it.

The feral pigeons are also find it to there liking. It will be interesting to see what birds use it over the summer months. I will keep you updated.


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