Sunday, 20 April 2008

Risking life and limb for bird photography!

Today was a horrible day with the rain pouring down all throughout. However, having not had my usual share of bird photography or cycling for a while now, I decided I wasnt going to let the rain play spoilsport. So off I set out in the rain to explore unknown territories.

One path led to another and I ended up pushing my bike along a muddy footpath leading to god knew where. However, the place seemed to be filled with birds and it wasnt long before two great tits appeared and presented a photo opportunity.

They seemed content to let me approach and went about doing their "stuff".
With the rain pelting down, I didnt hang around and had to move on. I caught a glimpse of a great spotted woodpecker, but it flew away even before I had a chance to grab my camera.

The footpath suddenly started into a steep descent bringing me close to a cliff. I was begining to descend the path when, out fluttered a Jay and sat on a perfect location on a tree branch. Had I pulled it off, it would have made a lovely snap, but of course the settings on my camera were all wrong and I ended up with a horribly overexposed pic before the Jay took off.

I was in no mood to let it go though, so I abandoned my cycle and followed it periliously close to the cliff face, only for it to fly away and sit further away.

Everytime I framed it, it would fly away to another location just around the corner. Finally, it sat on a tree just out of sight and wouldnt budge. I decided that I`d have to venture to the tip of a narrow ledge of rock outcrop if I were to go home with a anything at all.

Thus risking life and limb, I balanced on the wet rocks with a less than grippy shoes to snap the bird. I did finally get him, but unfortunately, there was a twig in the way. He was off before I could take any sillier! risks!

Cropping the shot though, brings it out in its glory . I love the way the rain drops show up on the twigs and the rain in the background.
I guess that makes it worth the risk.
I continued exploring and finally hit a deadend. The footpath continued, but my cycle wouldnt fit through. On my right though, was a steep drop and I could see what seemed to be a cycle path far below.
..thus once again trusting in my nimble foot I decided to half walk, half slide down the slope, with my cycle tagging along protestingly! I was half way down when I suddenly saw a great spotted woodpecker again! This time it wasnt flying away!
Thus I balanced my cycle on the skiddy slope and set off to get a decent picture of Mr woody wood pecker!
Unfortunately the limitations of my camera wouldnt allow for more than these shots. I finally made it down the slope and spent another couple of hours exploring the area but I saw no better photo opportunity than a couple of magpies.
I returned home drenched, cold and hungry, but I guess that Jay shot more than makes up for it.

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