Saturday, April 18, 2009

Getting to Grips with 'Groppers'

The spring migrants are starting to arrive, and this morning I went out at first light with one target bird in mind, the grasshopper warbler or 'Gropper'. They really are wonderful little birds to photograph. They are fairly easy locate from their characteristic churring grasshopper call, although those people in their later years sometimes appear to have difficulty in hearing its high frequency.

I located a bird calling in a bramble patch before the sun had risen far.
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It did not take long for the dawn sun to light up the bramble patch with a soft golden glow. The warbler was soon on the highest stem....
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and very quickly burst into song.
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The only real views you can get of these birds are when they come up from deep within the vegetation to 'reel'. The song can be quite prolonged and the whole bird tremors as it radiates it song.
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14 comments:

Brian said...

Some really lovely shots, Detail and light - never seen better. Congratulations.

Liam said...

Great images Richard, really shows the bird off!

The Early Birder said...

Fantastic pics of a bird I've heard more often than seen. Thank you Rich, now I know what it really looks like in the flesh.

Rambling Rob said...

Exquisite.

lee harrison said...

Absolutely amazing pic rich. some of my favourite yet, I've still get to see one of these little beauties yet, so I'm hoping to soon.

massive fan of you'r work, I'd luv some tips.

thanks always Lee Harrison
leeharrison2@msn.com

Ginnymo said...

Amazing photographs and what a beautiful bird. I will have to find it's song on the web to hear what it sounds like.

keyswildlife said...

A brilliant set of photographs. You MUST be pleased with them... hell, I know I would be. I've never seen a gropper but we do get them in Dorset, one was even heard on Brownsea Island last year. I may go on a gropper hunt myself once I'm back from holiday. Jane

Matt Latham said...

Stunning work Richard!!

Little Brown Job said...

Stunning images Rich, I've heard these many a time but rarely get to see them.

RĂºben Neves said...

What a light... Fabulous group of images! Perfect sharp and timming! Congratulations

T and S said...

Every one of these shots is stunning Rich. This should have taken some patience to get a warbler in so many different poses. Class as always...Thomas

Henry said...

Rich you make these birds look like the superstars that they are. The clarity is super.

*I Donated To Cornell Ornithology!*
http://www.opticsplanet.net/cornell-lab-of-ornithology.html

Madison said...

You can really see detail, in these pictures.

Rich Steel said...

Thanks for your kind words. People often say to me about groppers that it is bird that they have heard but not seen. I must be covered in 'eau de gropper' or something as I have always seem to easily find them and when I get close they often pop up into the open from the vegetation where they lurk. Not that I am complaining, and long may it continue, as they are great little birds.

Cheers

Rich

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