Sunday, 6 April 2008

A good day for bird photography

This morning I woke to find that it had snowed through the night and most of the grass was still white. It was still cold and I wondered if it would be worth going out in the cold. After a while this starling flew over and sat atop a lamp post outside my window and chirpped away as if to say something., maybe it was telling me to get out. After much hesitation I finally stepped out and I must say it paid off.
I headed out towards a small path, tucked in between a housing colony and a college. I`ve been here many times and I`ve always been rewarded with finches, tits, robins, sparrows and dunnocks, occasionally there are chaffinches and siskins and I`ve also briefly seen a few birds which I`ve been unable to identify.
My decision not to use the 3x lens paid dividends as I think most of these shots would have been ruined with it.
My first snap was of this magpie . Magpies normally fly away at the sight of me, but this fellow seemed content sitting on the branch while I setup my camera and clicked away.Perhaps it was the cold that was making him so inactive.
I moved on from there and shortly ahead, a gold finch flew into view and started tweeting away. I've tried much to get a good shot of these birds before and the results were not too impressive....but here was one begging me to take a shot of her! I clicked away and got what I needed. I even managed to catch this shot of it taking off..almost turning upside down in the process!

Along the path, I came across a pair of mallards, I`ve seen this pair in the same place earlier too, I think its a resident pair. The male took to the water on my approach, but the female seemed content to pose for me. I tired digiscoping it, but all I got was some very blurred shots.



After the ducks my attention was directed towards a group of tits - a great tit, and pairs of long tailed tits and blue tits, all of which was a little too far away to be in good photographic range of the camera, making me wish I had a good teleconverter.

All throughout my shoots, I`ve been persistantly annoyed by robins. They often distract my attention when I`m shooting other birds, but when I turn to snap a pic of them, they fly away or stay hidden among branches. I was experiencing yet another "robin moment" when this fellow jumped out and sat on the bush nearest to me- it was now or never, and I had time for one composed shot before he flew away. I got my shot!

While tracking the robin, another bird decided to confuse me by playing hide and seek with the robin and me - a dunnock! Is this how dunnocks repay me for the feeder in my garden? Anyway I got the better of him and got this good shot .

I knew I`d got some good shots and with the snow beginning to fall lightly,and my hands freezing away, I decided it was time to turn back. On my way back, I once again came across the same magpie in the same branch and I couldnt resist clicking away again. This time he flew off leaving me with this shot.
I must say, its been a really good day for bird photography.

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