Thursday, 2 May 2013

25th April - 1st May 2013, Fine weather and birds arrive by the day!

The distinctive song of a willow warbler is often accompanied by an indistinct view of said bird, I have captured them successfully in the past and certainly hope to do better than this shot which could be almost anything!

I was out on a short midweek wander at my barn owl site, as the sun began to set some wonderful colours were produced in the sky..

As useful photographic light disappeared the owls did appear, ah well perhaps another time!

Saturday saw me in Wharfedale quite early, I was eager to take a look at the dippers and see how the nests I know of from previous years were progressing.

The first bird I had the chance to photograph was another species though, a lovely pied wagtail..

The primroses in the area are doing well...

Pretty soon I got my first look at the birds I had come to see, a dipper in traditional pose..

Their habitat co-incides with a lovely bird which has just returned from migration, common sandpiper.

More dipper sightings, all the same bird as I struggled to find activity near the nest sites.

There was plenty of avian activity up in the treetops and out of practical reach for my camera, still concentrating on the river in those circumstances I found another sandpiper..

I don't know the name of these fungi, burnt toast would be appropriate:-))

Many walk here, it is enjoyable in most weathers, but merely staying on the made path shows little imagination. This little contributory stream is a splendid diversion and has led to some spectacular sightings in the past, today I had to content myself with the peace, quiet and lovely view.

Resuming my trek on the main path I was now not far from the car, ducklings appeared with a proud mum:-)

The last worthwhile sighting of the day was a dunnock doing it's usual ground feeding by a shelter..

There was no walk on Sunday as we had lots of family commitments.
On a sunny Monday, I returned to Wharfedale with high hopes, the sun was out and it was a warm day, perfect for some static bird watching.
I always take what I would call a test shot just to make sure I have the settings somewhere near right, I rarely keep that shot but on this occasion the goosander looks too good to discard!

This was taken across the full width of the river.

Nearer to me an oystercatcher posed nicely on one leg!

Many migrant birds are returning now, the fine and warmer weather seems to attract them, I can't think why!

Pied flycatchers are stunning little birds, tough to get near to but occasionally they do stay still in the trees. I wasn't really close to this male, nevertheless I am pleased with the shot:-)

I was sat quietly deep in the woods, scanning all around through the binocs, sometimes you can look too far away...a lovely thrush walked almost across my boots!

A female pheasant passed by...

I don't mind feeders shots of birds which are otherwise nearly impossible to photograph, with study of habitat and a little patience the nuthatch can be found and photographed away from artificial feed.
This one was sizing up something down below it...

And so to the riverbank and some hilarity, I settled in on a bank where just opposite is normally a good dipper nest site. A dipper sped by, then another, then another, it appeared an interloper was being chased away and the scene was repeated several times.

I practice complete non-disturbance near any nest site, being content to sit and watch the behaviour patterns and keep an eye out for any places where the birds may rest.

I took another detour into the trees and had sightings of blackcap and redstart, each a stunning bird and each eluded the lens!

One little beauty I did manage to capture was a treecreeper as it scuttled around a tree trunk.

There may well have been some bits of food on the end of this wall as I took a break, various birds visited....I didn't need to photograph these but.....

Female chaffinch...

Male chaffinch...


Time to move on and into the trees again, on a previous visit I had seen a small bird darting through the trees with nest material, it appeared to be ground nesting. Working on the assumption that it was a warbler, which it appeared to be, that limited it to one of two possibilities. With helpful input from friends and some research I was confident I could identify it if I got a half decent sighting. Working myself into a comfortable but concealed position well away from the potential nest I sat and waited, and waited and waited, several half views resulted before I got a definitive one, a wood warbler and now I tried to get a photograph. With several layers of foliage between me and its flightpath it would not be easy and this was the best I managed...

Tuesday evening I had a short walk on the moor near home...

A reed bunting...

Not great light up here, a neglected plantation yielded a roe deer stag..

A meadow pipit appeared on a nearby wall...

There were prospects of a decent sunset....

I made my way back to a farm where my car was parked, just in time..

Wednesday saw another fine night, a kestrel hunted in the evening sunshine...

How beautiful the weather has been, and how it has been appreciated too. Some new species seen, some photographed too, and some great adventures and learning experiences with some old favourites.

I have something rather special on the cards this coming Saturday....................................

No comments:

Post a Comment