Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A Grand Day Out

By and large I do my photography alone. Not just Billy-no-mates. My worst nightmare is when I'm sitting in a nice quiet hide and then the door opens and a group pours in. Not objecting to groups - they have just as much right to be there as me. I just don't enjoy that crowded feeling. However sometimes it's good to be in a group - the right setting, the right people, etc. Last Saturday was just such a day. A glorious sunny day in Glamorganshire with Chris Grady, Brian Davis and Mike Smith. Bit of a laugh, but by the same token some good birding and snaps. In fact all in all I think this is perhaps the most-liked set of shots I've posted from a single day, with at least 5 birds posing nicely. OK I'm not going to be entering them in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest, but better than usual for me. I didn't really get the fieldfare, but hey ... one day. Brian Davis got a better shot - check his blog on the links to the right.

Do check the pictures on my web albums - they do show better. Click HERE and then on the 'Latest' album.

Bearded tit at Cosmeston Lakes. God I love that little bird. For some reason I didn't like my middle range shots, but the close ups were better, especially the head shots. They are mostly full frame - it really was that close. [Lesson 1 - always try and get a couple of shots showing the wider environs] I swithered about including the last shot - the head was in bright light, the body wasn't, so it has been messed with a bit, and is more interesting than good. The one thing that did strike me is what little wings they have. They really do seem disproportionately small.
Also showing well a female reed bunting, with the male not quite so well. Shame about the leaf over the tail of the female. I did try to lower the camera to shoot under it, but made such a pigs ear of adjusting the tripod on the slippy, frosty boardwalk that the bugger flew off. Red faced apologies to mates. (Disadvantage of being in a group!)
Then along to Sully in search of Gavin and Stacey ......... sorry, more waxwings. Well, who can resist them? And how often have you seen them eating apples? Waxwings that is.
Blackcap appeared first ..............
then the slightly agoraphobic fieldfare.
Then the 2 waxwings, tucking into the fruit with gusto (note the apple chunks on the beaks), and sharing the usual trait of being fairly indifferent to the bloke with camera standing near them. The head shots are slight crops to cut out the twigs, but not too tight as the preserved detail hopefully shows. The light was quite harsh at first, but warmed as the sun lowered. The background was a bit tricky in some shots, and I can't believe I missed that big yellow stripe running smack down the middle of the frame of one of the feeding shots. As you might point out that's the problem - I didn't miss it! What was I saying about this set of snaps? Nah, I still like most of them. And I'll include this one because I like the shape of the bird. [Lesson 2 look properly at the picture - and then push Chris out of the way so you can get the right line!]
The owners of the house invited us onto their drive for better views, and then made us a cup of tea complete with Christmas cake and biscuits. Faith in human nature restored by one grand day out.

1 comment:

Roger B. said...

Fabulous picture - especially the bearded tits.