Sunday, 27 April 2014

Marsh Harrier

I set out yesterday with the intention of photographing water voles, and unfortunately they did not really play ball and I only had a very brief view of one as he swam across a channel between reed beds.
It is fair to say that I didn't really go at the best time so I shouldn't be too surprised at the result.
I did however get a very fine compensation in the form of this magnificent marsh harrier.
Initially it dropped on to a bank about 70m away but then flew much closer and landed about 30m away.
The autofocus was struggling a little with the varied background but it came around 3 times at varying distances so in the end I was more than happy with the afternoon's work.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Springtime in Lincolnshire

I set of this morning with some doubts about how the weather would fare, it was cloudy then very foggy on the way, but as I arrived at my destination in deepest Lincolnshire the sun began to poke its head from behind the clouds.
For the first couple of hours it was a bit of a struggle to see my intended quarry, however there was adequate compensation from the supporting cast of whitethroats, garden warblers and blackcaps.
Eventually there was a particularly confiding pair singing and nest building in a quite open area and it was here that I got my best photos.
I stayed for the best part of the day and the nightingales kept on singing and showing fairly well.
There was also a few orange tips and brimstones around plus a rather confiding bank vole feasting on rose bush shoots.
Also good company (nice to meet you Paul) made for a most pleasant day in a fantastic reserve packed full of wildlife with the nightingales being the undoubted stars of the show.

Nightingale in song

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Northern Wheatear

I had a trip to Spurn yesterday in the hope of some Spring migrants.I started at The Warren in the hope of a redstart that had been seen earlier, however it had been trapped and ringed so I thought this would certainly send it into cover and even if it did come out it would now be bearing a rather unsightly piece of ironmongery.
So I headed to Sammy's Point, first pass of the paddocks didn't yield much neither did the bushes at the south end but a single whitethroat was the first of the year.
On the way back I did see a very brief black redstart, couple of wheatears and a yellow wagtail.
I headed back to the Crown Car Park as rain broke out and there was quite a few common migrants in the bushes the best being a pair of blackcaps.
After the shower I went back to Sammy's and here the black redstart re-appeared and showed quite well albeit distantly, the wheatears however posed beautifully, they are a certainty at Spurn at this time of year and are just passing through-the males are always more immaculate in Spring than in Autumn.
The sun was diffused by low cloud and actually helped-these shots being taken around mid-day.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Bempton Gannets

I had a drive up to Bempton the other morning with the hope of a few shots of gannets and the other seabirds in early morning light, the forecast was for light northerly winds.
Upon arriving, it was cloudy, drizzling and a biting northerly gale! Undeterred, I put an extra couple of layers on and marched off.
Looking out to see, it was obvious that the sun was going to break out at some point and with the wind as it was the gannets were literally flying within feet of the cliff edge, ably supported by fulmars and the odd guillimot hanging in the wind.
What happened for the next hour was amazing, the sun whilst not fully out was obscured by cloud creating a dramatic orange effect and when the gannets flew in the right path it made for a rather pleasing background.
I called in at Flamborough on the way back for another go at the Tawny pipit but it hadn't been seen that morning.
By now the light had gone but I did see quite a few more fulmar, razorbills and 2 puffins.
Not a bad morning really....