Tuesday, June 05, 2012


In recent years I have found that if you want to get decent pic's you really need to know the location and/or the targets.  Not new, it's what all the books say, but it is generally true.  This means you have to put some time in.  So far this spring my projects haven't quite met expectations, perhaps reflecting the weather as well as the undoubted impact on free time of having a dog join the 'family'.  Fair share of walking and all that.
I wanted some decent wheatear snaps, especially a nice male.   A couple of weeks ago there seemed plenty around and a dog walk on the Saturday morning (forecast to be cloudy, but actually sunny) saw a couple of nice males at my local spot.  Back the next morning (forecast to be sunny, but actually cloudy) saw no males, and when the female did pop up nearby as planned the dull weather rendered the snap a disappointment.  A slightly brighter, softer looking snap later was scant reward in the greyness.

As previously noted the foxes are around, but not yet showing in the light.  Like last year I probably need a couple of youngsters to find the peanuts.  You never know though, and as the adults are around I will have the odd evening down there.

The other project, again hampered by work, free time and the weather was to get a decent shot of the local whitethroats.  I knew the spot, as they frequent it each year.  Trouble is the high hedges are now growing quite fast and the lovely isolated perches I see in other's snaps just don't exist.  The sheer number of possible perches means they don't really have favourite spots.  So I hatched a cunning plan.  I recently found a nice branch, almost walking stick shaped, with a 'handle' that looked a bit like a dragon's head (OK eye of faith!).  Fastened to a fence post I positioned it just above the twig line, perfectly positioned where I could park in the only space on the narrow lane, and catch the morning sun.  Frustratingly the only chances I was getting were in the evening, but nowhere to put the car, or any other sort of hide, that would work with the light.  So here are a couple of hedge-bound snaps, complete with twiggy intrusions. 

There was one bird that sometimes used the branch, but only fleetingly.  I persevered and finally on perhaps the fifth visit, got the snap I had envisioned, although not quite as full frame as I hoped, as the car just had to be that bit further back for the bird to settle.  Still the picture looks fine on the screen.

I may have missed all the spring migrants in the Forest - just possibly a chance of a redstart next weekend if the weather holds...... 

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