Wednesday, 1 May 2013

One Reason To Photograph Birds

30.4.2013
One of the pleasures of bird photography is that even when there’s little in the way of rarities around one can still have a brilliant day with the more common species (though you can have rubbish ones as well!).
My day started at Grove/Stodmarsh in the hope of seeing a nightingale or grasshopper warbler. As it was I saw neither and only heard a lone nightingale.
However photographically I got off to a reasonable start with distant shots of a turtle dove in the paddocks.
Turtle Dove

I found nothing to point the camera at along the river but near the Feast hide 2 greylags flew past and landed close by:

Greylag Goose

Up by Harrison’s I found a wood sandpiper:
Wood Sandpiper - honest

and back along Harrison’s drove a sedge warblers was singing deep in a bush and allowed a close approach.
Sedge Warbler

Along the river bank a chiff posed:
Chiffchaff
The rest of the circuit was uneventful both for sightings and photographs.
It still wasn’t midday so I headed for Reculver to try my luck with the sand martins. As normal I completely failed with my attempts at flight shots but the birds were collecting dried grass for their nests from the edge of the concrete path so I sat down and waited in hope. The martins never came close enough for a gallery shot (people stopping to chat didn’t help - why do they do that?) but it was a behaviour I hadn’t seen before – from the martins that is not the walkers.
Sand martins disputing a blade of grass 

After that I made my way home via Sandwich. First stop was the Elms where I immediately found a crest (calling) but while waiting for it to emerge a common whitethroat popped out of the bush 6 or 7 yards away and hopped around in front of me for several minutes.
Common Whitethroat

By the time the whitethroat flew off the crest had disappeared unseen so I cut my losses and went to Restharrow scrape.
For several days people had been reporting yellow wagtails coming in front of the hide but as I arrived I was told they hadn’t been there in the previous hour.
Anyway I went in and through the glass shutters I could see one by the waters edge. I quietly opened the window (it didn’t fly) and fired off a host of shots.
Yellow wagtail
The bird finally walked/hopped out of range then flew across to the island and I expected that to be the last of it but 10-15 minutes later it was back to repeat the exercise.
So there you have it – not a great days birding but it was a great day with the camera.
More pictures of the chiff, whitethroat and yellow wag are on my Flickr site.

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