Sunday, February 22, 2009

Late Winter Thrushes

My photography opportunities have been very restricted over the last few weeks for two main reasons. Firstly the moments of good light have been few and far between as a grey gloom has descended over my local area. However, more importantly I have spent a good proportion of the time in intensive care at the side of my partner Dawn who suffered major complications after surgery. I am happy to say she came back home on Friday, but has a slow recovery ahead. Many thanks to all the people for their support through a stressful time.

I went out for a morning session on 7th February, between hospital visits, to both 'celebrate' my birthday and also take advantage of a rare opportunity for some good light. I decided to go and target some thrush species, particularly fieldfare and redwing, as they will be leaving soon and will not be around until next winter. As I have recently been taking many fieldfare photographs with the birds hopping around of grass looking for worms, I made a conscious effort to try and get the birds in some different settings. Only the first two photos of fieldfare were taken on the day, but I thought I would add the other two from a previous visit as it will be many months before I will make another post of this species
At this particular site the redwing are a much more difficult bird to approach but as usual a bit of perseverance and patience pays off. Having got some photographs of the winter migrant thrushes I turned my attention to the residents. A mistle thrush was guarding a bush with its berries and chasing away other birds from its 'larder'. On look out from its bushDropping to the ground to mop up the berries of the birds it had chased off.
Before returning to guard duty The opportunity arose also to photograph song thrush, it was turning in to a good morning with all the main UK thrush species (I am thinking of those with spotted breast feathers) being photographed.

This is not a typical composition, but I liked the shadow, and so placed the bird to the right of the frame. Listening for wormsOne bird appeared from below a bush with a snail. I have always photograph a song thrush in typical snail smashing behaviour.
It dropped the snail and then picked it back up. The bird then hopped over to the only shadow nearby that was cast by a thin post, aligned itself to the shadow and pointing away from me, and then smashed the snail and devoured the contents. I think I might have to wait a while to get the snail smashing photos, but I am sure one day it will happen.


Quantum Tiger said...

Great shots and great light. Worth waiting for I'd say! Hope your partner's convalesence is swift and trouble-free

The Early Birder said...

Belated Happy Birthday Rich & thanks for sharing images of the Thrush family, particularly their feeding poses. This year the no's of Fieldfare & Redwing @ RHS Wisley have been lower than previous years. Cheers Frank

T and S said...

Stunning series of images. I like the 2nd one most because of the awesome bokeh you managed to get in that...Thomas

Rich Steel said...

Thanks for the replies and good wishes.

Frank I know Wisley RHS very well as my old folks live just down the road in Woking. I often pay the gardens a visit when I go down to see them. In fact some of the plants I am looking at out of the window now came from the shop there.



Azahari Reyes @ Jason a.k.a horukuru said...

Hohohoh excellent captured !

Steve B said...

This is a interesting post, especially for those of us that do not have these two thrushes. Thanks for putting in the work.


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