Thursday, March 19, 2015

Canadian bycatch

What is your view of introduced species?  I could live without pheasants (and the adders would thank us), but  love to see little owls.  If there were ring-necked parakeets locally I'd go and have a look.  Canada geese? In truth I probably see them as more of a nuisance species, and I've never headed out to snap them.
However my new project for this year is planned around an old estate lake and it is not short of CG's at present.  The access is limited but the accessible part of the lake is ideal for morning work, although to date the weather has largely messed up my plans.  I did get one morning a while ago when the weather and a free morning coincided, and I do think the site holds promise.
I'll hold back on posting my main targets as I think (hope) I will be able to build a better collection of shots (that pre-visualisation again) to post at a later date, but looking back at the snaps from that first session I really quite like the goose shots (although it's amazing/frustrating how the far shoreline is just at head height)

...... and one of a tufted duck.
From the calls I could hear in the background I also found a spot that might prove productive - know what it is?

Hopefully the main project will work out.  Here's one snap to start.

And the nest?  Long-tailed tit.  One for a remotely operated camera I think, but will need to make sure not to draw undue attention to it as I gather they are frequently predated.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Black and white on recycling

The fields up the road had some manure put in them - presumably to be spread around soon.  Always worth keeping an eye on. In the last few days I've noticed a few pipits - presumably meadow, and there was a buzzard once, but to start with it was all about the wagtails.
Although I never had imagined setting up camo gear next to a pile of poo I did spend a few hours over a couple of days.  I was bit surprised that the birds seemed quite wary, and I couldn't get very near them - the fact that there were several long heaps didn't help.  Frustratingly too they seemed to prefer the more rotted stuff - I could see they were finding lots of grubs, but it wasn't really photogenic! 

I think part of the problem was that the fresher manure was still quite active - on a cold morning the steam streamed up from it so presumably not so good for the foodstuff.  In the second field there was some straw laden manure that had been out a bit longer and on a frosty morning I finally got a few pics something like I had envisaged.  No close-ups, but I think they still work - and maybe better - the straw is quite big and might look a bit unbalanced in close up.
 That last shot is my favourite even though the bird is small in the frame, and that after a bit of cropping.  The dusting of frost adds something too.