Sunday, June 12, 2011

Balearic Spring Day 6 - From Dawn to Dusk

Over the evening routine of sorting through the days images with a couple of beers and a salad, the plan for the next day's photography was usually hatched. We decided it was time to have a day of relaxation and rest the aching feet and undertake a dawn to dusk session at S'Albufera. Up to this point we had not visited the marsh in the morning so were keen to see what it offered for the camera in the early light.

The day dawned once more with cloudless crystal skies and with a stillness through a complete absence of wind. At breakfast the Zitting Cisticola as usual was circling the field adjacent to the villa in roller coaster song flight and the Stone Curlew had returned to its daytime resting position in the field beyond. After the short drive out to the S'Albufera, we were once more taking the long walk in to the marsh to the aural accompaniment of canary yellow Serin and rust brown Cetti's Warbler singing from the bordering bushes.

The quietness of the early morning had encouraged the Snipe to emerge from the reed fringe to feed in open water.

The birds were busy using their long bill to probe the lake sediments for insects.

There was a new member of the avian cast in front of the hide that morning in the shape of a single Greenshank.

The still water allowed for some wonderful reflections.

The omnipresent Black-Winged Stilt were going about the usual early morning duties that included making a good deal of noise.

Running around.

Taking flight with their long trailing legs...

and showing each other 'affection' after mating.

I decided to leave the hide and take a wander. First stop was an attempt to try and photograph a Cetti's Warbler along an overgrown path. These are a very frustrating bird to try and capture with the camera as they flit around in dense undergrowth. The bird has a habit of bursting in to a loud warble right next to you and then immediately moving on. So often you attention is drawn by the call only to see the bird flying away through the bushes.

I eventually managed to get a couple of photographs but a further attempt would be needed before the end of the week.

The other species I went to photograph on my travels arund the reserve was the Red Crested Pochard as I had noticed a couple of birds in the vicinity the bridge that crossed the main channel when I arrived.



Returning back to the hide, a Great White Egret had arrived much to the upset of a pair of Common Terns that took a particular dislike to this large bird.



Up until this point I had tended to ignore the Little Egrets that were frequently in front of the hide, as this is a species I have taken a good deal of time photographing in the UK. However, when one ruffled up its full breeding plumage it was difficult not to take photos.

A good number of photographs were taken through the course of the day at this very productive site and obvious a blog post only allows me to show a small sample at time. I will therefore move forward in time to the end of the day when I spent the last 2 hours of light photogaphing some Kentish Plover.
A female bird first, followed by the slightly more colourful bird. They are great little characters these birds as they hesitently dart around the shallow water and lagoon margins. A wonderful way to end a day spent at this special place.


5 comments:

texwisgirl said...

incredibly gorgeous photos. that running stilt is amazing! and the reflections are glorious. thank you.

Robin said...

Richard, exceptional shots! You had a great day! I enjoy you blog very much.
Cheers

Ars Natura said...

You're leaving the best photos to the end ...

Very good these photographs.

Matt Latham said...

Superb set as always Rich. My favourites have to be the Black winged stilts 'together' and the Greenshank images.
Cheers
Matt

Rich Steel said...

Thanks for the comments. A day in Mallorca can generate a large number of photos!

Cheers

Rich

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