Before heading off to the Arctic at the beginning of June, I decided on the weekend before that I needed to try and squeeze in one last session with the pair of Common Redstarts I had been photographing. Timing is critical for these summer woodland visitors as the window of opportunity for photography tends to be a narrow one. I figured the young would have fledged during the week before my trip and that it was likely to all be over by the time I returned with the birds melting away with their young in to the local woodland. Therefore this session was going to be my last opportunity for this year. Fortunately the weather was kind and both birds were very busy feeding their rapidly growing brood. Before getting started on the Redstarts I had an unexpected bonus when a Chiffchaff landed right in front of me.
From then on though, it was Redstarts all the way in what proved to be a productive session. I would not like to say how many Redstart pictures that I have in my library but I could never tire of photographing these wonderful birds. What the female may lack in colour, in comparison with the male, she certainly makes up for in character with her inquisitive ways.
Perched on some hawthorne which seems a favoured place to find insects.
A splash of colour from those constantly twitching tail feathers.
An investiagtive look at the new object (which of course would be me!) in their world.
Conditions were quite tricky for photography, as although the light was generally good, the rapidly moving clouds overhead in the moderate breeze kept me constantly busy adjusting the exposure to the ever changing light conditions. The black and brilliant white cap of the male’s head providing the usual exposure challenges.
So I left the birds reluctantly around lunchtime and wished them and the brood well on their long and difficult journey back to Africa. Farewell my 'friends' and good luck with your passage.
Hopefully some will return again next year to the same place to give such pleasure once again.
I realise there has been a lot of Blog posts on birds recently so my next two will be dedicated to some mammals.