Thursday, January 29, 2009

Slimbridge II - The Wild Bunch

On Sunday I decided to return to Slimbridge by myself, for a bit more serious snapping. There was a 'guided' walk to see the snow bunting on the foreshore. I'm afraid one look at the numbers put me off, even though the views were reported later as excellent. I just don't enjoy those big groups.
At first the light was pretty dire, and the only duck in range were pochard. Exposing for the birds led to shots of them floating ethereally on an near-invisible surface, revealed only by reflections and a hint of ripple. I thought I might get a shot of a shoveller at last, but the light and movement meant this was sadly the best effort.
In the two shots before this it had been snowploughing the water, could have been good shots, but even I have standards below which I won't post!
The wigeon were in better light, grazing away like the little whistling duck-sheep they are...
the canada geese, ....
redshank, .....
and shellduck joined in the fun on the saturated pasture.
Probably the best views though were of the curlew; fluffed up after a squabble
tug-of-war with a worm
synchronised standing
pointing at the sky (I don't think I've ever seen a bird's wings so straight and so vertical - just a shame the head isn't sharp)
and lastly showing just how hard it is to keep clean and tidy with a bill that's down to your waist.
Better quality shots in the 'latest' album HERE

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