I was down at Widewater Lagoon this morning to see the Little Stint. It's a bird for which I have never really managed to get a decent picture and this looked like an ideal opportunity. It was easy enough to find but not so easy to photograph. It is only about the size of a House Sparrow so from the footpath on the bank you only get a distant shot even with the big lens.
You get the chance to do a digital enlargement on the computer but there is only so far that you can push it without losing the quality. The shot above, for example, starts to lose detail and sharpness and could not really be enlarged much further than shown below.
One or two of the shots came out OK but at this distance you never really get the quality you want.
How do you go about getting a better shot. Well you could try getting closer. The shot below must have been taken from the bank later on in the morning and has been circulating on Twitter.
|Image taken from Twitter|
The photographers will have taken really good quality close up pictures but they will have to balance this against the flack that they will get from the rest of the birding community for getting too close.
Are they doing anything wrong? Well if it was breeding season yes, but this time of year they are not really causing the bird a problem. If it was concerned or stressed it would fly away. The real problem is that you do not know how the bird will react and there is no way of knowing if it will just take off and disappear into the distance. Then all the other birders that would like to see it miss out on the chance.
So is it acceptable and would I do it? Well probably yes if I found the bird out in the wilds and there was no one else about. In Widewater, no I don't think so. This is a LNR designated to protect rare plant and marine life as well as birds. The place has enough problems with vandals and rogue dog walkers and if bird watchers are seen wading out into the water how can you expect better behaviour from others. Its also a site that is easily accessible to a lot of people. The risk of scaring the bird away and disappointing others is just too great.