Tuesday, April 14, 2009

In Search of a Corn Blob

Ever since I 'found' Marshfield last year I've been hankering to try and get a better shot of a corn bunting (corn blob is the Yorkshire name). You just don't see them most places these days, but the website revealed they were being consistently seen. They're not really exciting to look at - the name bunting originally described a plump or thickset person, which is apt - and colour-wise they are streaky brown. But I wanted to snap one, so back it was to the high ground.
On Saturday I saw a few, but realised the problems that the light was going to pose. All the perches I found where I felt I could wait in sufficiently close ambush were on the south side of the accessible land, and the fact that we did have some sun meant the lighting was all wrong. I did manage a rather distant shot, and took great pleasure in seeing my first wheatear and swallow of the year, but photo-wise it was basically yellowhammer and a rather tame chaffinch.
I stuck a branch in the end of a hedge where I'd seen one showing a couple of times - the books say they like to sing from elevated perches - and resolved to come back for a couple of hours the next day.
I arrived in fog. The buntings were there, the light wasn't ...
and when I first got out the car one was on the branch. Success. Not!
Despite a long wait I couldn't get it to use the branch again. Maybe I was too obvious, but later in the day the same bird happily sang from a few feet over my head. It sat on the hedge near the branch, but never went back up. A goldfinch in cliched teasel pose felt scant reward.
Eventually I got a few shots (from the portable hide I have made by Honda) and the light although quite harsh and awkwardly directed turned out to be better than I feared when I got the shots on the PC.
I know I can get better, and now think I know (probably) the two potentially best places to try. But that's for another day.

As always better quality shots in the 'latest pictures' album HERE.


Midmarsh John said...

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your day out Brian. I have only seen a Yellowhammer once and Goldfinches are just starting to visit my back garden bird bistro so it was great to see lovely photos of other birds in their natural settings. John

Brian J Davis said...

Brian when are we going to see what you got in USA?

Brian said...

John - thanks

Brian - Hi mate - they're coming - I took so many it's been a nightmare editing them!