Tuesday, February 06, 2007

If at first you don't succeed .....

This weekend saw quite limited opportunities for birdwatching, but I was determined to take the time I did have to try and get some snaps of the blackcaps. I've more or less given up on the females (2 now), because they are living in a spot where I won't get close enough without a hide. However the male is living in the euphorbia just outside a window. He's just as shy as the females, but I found that I could open the window and position my tripod and camera so that with a cable release and the benefit of the camera's LCD screen I could keep out of view. Even so, his natural tenedency to hide away continued to make things difficult - he hasn't chosen the most attractive spot, with various bits of string and cable in view.

Did you spot the robin?

He still goes to the bird table now and again, but that's also too hard to get near, and the one shot that did look okay (at 400 pixels not A4 size!!) was a result of lucky lighting and some quite heavy 'photoshopping'.

Other birds were less shy:



Robin (bit sad looking isn't it!)

Eventually some better views came along, even though the background isn't the prettiest.

You can see it here with one of the raisins that all the blackcaps seem to love. It's amazing to think that these are visitors from central Europe who have learnt in recent years that going west and finding a garden is an ideal way to get through the winter.

Feeling a little better about the blackcaps I thought I would try again to watch the short eared owl across the bridge at Aust, 'severnside'. The website (see links) had shown it was a regular visitor again recently so a snatched hour before dusk seemed a reasonable bet. Sure enough there were a string of cars and lenses (apparently 60 people earlier in the day!) and an SEO sitting proud, even if not right nearby.

I watched it for a good 45 minutes, intermittently flying, regularly diving earthwards, before it eventually flew off into the sunset.

[Okay - a bit of poetic licence - the bird flew east, the sun, as always, went west, but it was an excuse to link together the last 2 photos!]

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