Thursday, 2 August 2012

Kingfishers, Dartfords and Turnstones

Well it looks as if over the summer holidays I am going to be unable to keep this blog updated for every trip out with the camera, (there's just too many!) so once again this is going to be an update containing my ventures over the past week or so. I took another visit to Dinton Pastures and although I didn't see the Mink again, it appears it has caused yet more devastation at the Tern colonies and has wiped out birds on another raft - hopefully over the winter this mink will be trapped as it has been responsible for the destruction of many nests this year. Luckily, some Terns had obviously escaped the raids as there was a juvenile Tern in front of the hide and was being fed by the adult in mid air, allowing for some nice action shots, although, unfortunately I had to shoot against the light!
It was then (finally!!) my birthday for which I received a Sony A77. There is still a lot to learn about the camera but I am loving the 24mp sensor and 12fps, both of which are extremely useful for bird photography. To learn more about this amazing camera I spent an afternoon photographing Kingfishers, the results of which can be found on my 500px account: The week also held my first ever trip to Chobham Common which is possibly one of the best examples of heathland I have seen. Although my searches for Snakes were fruitless, a Male Sand Lizard bolted across the path in front of me and I was privileged enough to spend around an hour in the company of a pair of Dartford Warblers which are truly magical birds! The wind really didn't help and they were spending the majority of the time very low in the extremely dense heather but on one occasion the male Dartford Warbler distantly sat at the top of the heather. This is where the A77 really comes into its own and the photograph below is a 100% crop on the original. Other species seen include my first Parasitoid Wasps and on of my favourite butterflies, the Grayling.
And finally, my trip to one of my favourite nature reserves, Titchfield Haven. Being located along the coast, there are always masses of wading birds at Titchfield, and it continues to amaze just how few birders and photographers visit the place. For photography it is fantastic with birds often being located very close to one of the 7 hides. Perhaps some of my best views of birds were obtained on the seashore by the visitor centre, where around 80 Turnstones, the majority still in full summer plumage were feeding. They are remarkably tame birds though extremely difficult to focus as they are just never still! This is where once again the A77 is extremely useful as it has Object Tracking. I also saw a Rock Pipit, my first for a VERY long time and it is a species I have never seen reported at Titchfield. On the reserve itself we saw Green Sandpipers, Common Sandpipers, Black Tailed Godwits, Little Egrets but I managed to get my best ever shots of Reed Warblers, which I spent a lot of time photographing.
Many Thanks, as always, for reading and I hope you like the pics as much as I have enjoyed taking them! I'm off to Norfolk for a few days next week where I am hoping for Bearded Tits and Spoonbills so be sure to check back soon! After Norfolk I will be putting a lot of time into a local Kingfisher project which I have been working on the past few weeks.

1 comment:

  1. Really nice photo of the tern Alex,I like a lot :)