Sunday, 24 May 2020

A Joker in the Pack.

Recently, I was lucky enough to get a few record shots of a Male Red-footed Falcon seen from the Grove to Wickhambreaux road as it hawked for insects in the company of approximately 20 Hobbies above the apple orchards near to the fishing lakes along the southern perimeter of the Stodmarsh/Grove Ferry reserve. Not the best images of a Red-footed Falcon but something to record the occasion.

I have been somewhat more successful with a pair of Barn Owls local to me and by choosing a hidden vantage point; I have been able to get a few images as they hunt to feed hungry Owlets back at their nest site. It's a waiting game with a lot of patience required but on a few occasions, the waiting has paid off.

Early morning visits were difficult with the camera but an iso setting of 2500 and a bit of editing in Photoshop has enabled me to record a few half decent record shots of the Owls returning to feed their young with freshly caught Mice and Voles.

A pleasure to observe.

Friday, 1 May 2020

Local Cuckoo's

A small plus from the lock down has been finding a few things close to home and I was a little surprised as to how many Cuckoo's can be seen and heard locally, having seen or heard them almost every day. On one occasion, I saw three birds and then joined by a fourth, completely oblivious to me hiding in the hedgerow as they chased each other around for several minutes.

Several Foxes are also being seen, hard to capture on camera as they are very wary and as soon as they see me they are off, needless to say always away from me but great to see, wild in the countryside. I am glad they banned Fox hunting or a countryside Fox would be a thing of the past.

Finding newly arrived migrants is always the daily challenge and a Lesser Whitethroat gave me just a few seconds out in the open to grab a few images, the view being a lot better than the images gained under a dreary grey sky with the first drops of an impending rain shower starting to fall.

I am seeing a lot of the common birds that would be expected from the habitat I am walking through with several Long-tailed Tits pairing up and busy with nest construction. I was able to grab a few images of one feeding in a Blackberry bush.

A Barn Owl was seen hunting but only within range for a few seconds allowing me an image to record the occasion. One for the future I think.

But the stars of the show during the past week on my morning walks have been the Cuckoo's, photographed under grey skies and light drizzle,

But mostly under blue skies with the sun shining bright.

You've got to love a Cuckoo. 

Stay Safe.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Two songster's do battle.

Two new first's for the year, a Garden Warbler that for me was beaten into second place in a sing off with a Nightingale, both new arrivals and noisily alerting me to their presence in the same clump of bushes. Eventually the Garden Warbler came to the top of the bush before flying off.

The Nightingale remained as they always do, (for me anyway) hidden in the foliage but eventually popping out into the open for a few seconds, giving me a chance to fire of a quick burst with the camera. It took two visits to get these images, very hard work, but its not as if I do not have the time at the moment.

A fascinating couple of visits watching these two songsters going about their business. A Chiffchaff was the only other bird to trouble the camera during my early morning walks.

The common Nightingale in song, one of the joys of spring. (Excuse the video, it's the first video I have uploaded to blogger and it's all a bit strange at the moment).

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Wildlife life photography under lockdown restrictions.

Wildlife photography has been very slow of late, obviously. With the country trying to get to grips with the current situation and lock down restrictions curtailing any social movement, I have managed a few opportunist shots using basic camera equipment which has accompanied me along with binoculars and water bottle (keeping the weight down to the bare minimum) on my morning exercise walks. Walking along a public footpath skirting cereal crop fields which also incorporates set aside ground, several Yellowhammers were seen perched in the hedgerow, the bright yellow giving their presence away in the early spring sunshine.

Its strange how we have had to endure wind and rain for what seems like forever, certainly since last October but as soon as the spring sunshine arrives, we are all locked in.

A few migrants have been seen or heard on my walks, Chiffchaff's seem to be singing from every wooded area I pass, Whitethroat's have arrived as have Blackcap's but for me, no Nightingale's or Cuckoo's as of yet. I have passed several old Nightingale hot spots of years gone by but not a note, hopefully if they are coming, they will arrive in the next week or two.

A Chiffchaff posed nicely for me, perched high in a flowering Hawthorn bush

And another individual, one of many seen or heard, posing in another stretch of hedgerow along my chosen walk

I caught a Common Whitethroat exploring a felled log pile in A small wooded area on the edge of my village that had the decency to pose for the camera before belting out a song.

Another hedgerow species I managed to catch on camera was this obliging Long-tailed Tit.

Today, (14th) I saw my first Swallows of the year, four passing over head but I am still awaiting the House Martins that arrive on our housing estate each year. All common fare with the camera but they mean a lot more when living under today's lock down conditions. All the best to any readers of this blog. 

Stay safe.