On Thursday evening there were some superb pictures of a summer plumage Black-throated Diver posted on the web. They were taken at Farmoor Reservoir near Oxford. Now I may not be into "twitching" or keen on travelling long distances for a bird, but I will travel for a good picture and these were too good to ignore. So Friday morning, I was in the car early and off to Oxford full of anticipation for the show stopping shots I was about to get.
Great plan but the execution was not quite as good. Nobody had told the bird to co-operate. Just before I arrived it had been feeding at the edge of the reservoir but it had been flushed by one of the anglers boats and when I arrived it was sitting out in the middle of the water and there it stayed.
I walked around the reservoir a couple of times. Somehow they always looks closer to the far bank but they never are once you walk round there. It was probably going to come in closer to the bank to feed at some stage but I had to get away about three o'clock to get home for an evening commitment.
This was my best shot. Its a big reservoir and with a 500mm lens, 1.4 extender and 1.6 multiplier in the camera this was the best I could get.
|Distant Black-throated diver in the centre|
You can blow it up in Photoshop but it's never going to give you a good picture and cannot compare with those taken the day before when the people had it ten to twenty feet from the camera. It just gives me an idea of what I missed.
|Heavy crop of the shot above.|
Still it was not a wasted trip. As well as the Diver, I saw my first Yellow Wagtails of the year, although I did not stop to photograph them as I was so keen to get to the Diver.
|Dunlin and Sanderling|
|Summer plumage Dunlin|
|Summer plumage Sanderling|
I went back to look for the Yellow Wagtails but they were gone. The best I could manage was a Pied.
It was a long drive home with the thoughts of the missed opportunity but at least I came away with a couple of year ticks.