Saturday, 26 January 2013

A Break in the Clouds

Despite the cold and overcast weather of late, the birding has been good with many species forced out into the open in search of food. Photo opportunities under the grey skies have been limited, but they still exist. The following two shots are hand held at 1/60sec using a 700mm lens combination. It works to a certain extent although the Wood Lark is still showing some head movement.

Unfortunately this technique will not work with the likes of Goldcrest, Firecrest or any other of the highly mobile small birds which is a pity as they have been much more visible during the cold spell.

Mistle Thrush on Goring Green

Wood Lark on Goring Green

Today the sun came out and we rushed off to capture all the pictures we had missed over the past couple of weeks. Except it didn't happen. With the sunshine and warmer weather the birds had reverted to more normal behaviour and were less easy to find and to approach.

Our first stop of the day was to photograph Goldcrests and Firecrests at Swanbourne Lake Arundel. These had been foraging on the ground within six foot of us on previous days but today they were back in the treetops. An hour and a half of observing them left me with about thirty blurred pictures. You could see that both birds were present but they were not even worth keeping as record shots.

Our next targets were at various locations around Hayling Island. We had great hopes of relocating a Short-eared Owl that we had seen perched the day before and of finding Divers in the harbour. I came away without a single picture and despite the sunshine the day was starting to look a little dull.

A quick review of our plans and we decided to head off to the Long Pool at Pagham Harbour to have another look at the Bearded Tits. It is a real challenge to photograph them.The reeds are forever moving even in a gentle breeze and the birds rarely appear in the open. However, there is always the chance of an exceptional picture and that makes the challenge interesting. Sadly though, good shots but nothing outstanding today.

Such a soft and gentle looking female

And a real bruiser of a partner.

Blue colouration more evident in this light

Ring visible but not readable
There are probably five birds present and at least two of these are ringed. The objective now must be to get a close up of the rings and find out where they came from.

1 comment:

  1. Great shots - as always - really like the Mistle Thrush