Sunday, 12 June 2011

Bright sunlight awoke me this morning, as it streamed through the bedroom window at 4:35am, I didn't get up for another hour, but was out on my patch for 6:00am.

I was out for a little over 4 hours, the sunshine ever decreasing until finally around 10:00am patchy rain fell, and set in for the day, I should have got up earlier!!

Of the 46 species seen, none were new to the month or year, but I did add one more species to the years breeding list, COAL TIT, a family of which were seen in the College Grounds, in the very same tree, I watched the pair of SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS chasing around in.

Two GREY HERONS flew over Migrant Alley, as did 4 single LESSER BLACK BACKED GULLS and a group of 4 HERRING GULLS. At least 6 SWIFTS were feeding high up, and a new SWALLOW family were flitting over the pastures, sometimes alighting on the fence rails. The only HOUSE MARTINS seen were two that fed over a rape crop at the north end of Ashes Lane, where also a SPARROWHAWK was circling, the KESTREL was hunting some 300 meters to the south over the Greenhouse Complex, where I heard a LESSER WHITETHROAT singing strongly as I passed at the end of my walk.

Of the other summer birds, only one WHITETHROAT was heard, the one in the Tree Nursery, while CUCKOO, CHIFFCHAFF, CUCKOO and TURTLE DOVE were all heard at the Scrubby Woods, a Turtle Dove was also seen on one of the bench seats in the College Grounds, the first ive seen here, but it may have just come from the nearby wooded headland at Migrant Alley.

On the lakes today, one COOT, three MOORHEN, and 4 MALLARD were seen, along with 9 CANADA GEESE escorting 8 young ones, 6 were sporting thier chinstrap markings, whilst the other two were still all grey.

Some notable absences today included, Bullfinch, and Green Woodpecker, while Nuthatch, Treecreeper, and Mistle Thrush haven't been seen much of late, so it wasn't such a surprise not to find them today.

To end todays post can I just say thanks to all the people who leave comments on my posts, I read every one of them and enjoy doing so, it makes the blog worth doing knowing it gives someone else pleasure in reading it. Some of the comments have referred to my photo's, and enquire about photo tips. Well I put it down to good light, good luck, persistance and patience :-)

Get as near as possible to the subject, ( without upsetting it!) with the light coming from behind you. Settings for the camera are a personal thing, I like to use the camera on AV, selecting the biggest aperture ( small F number.) for most of the images. I also use the Auto Exposure Bracketing function ( see your instructions) it easy to implement and takes a set of three photo's each time you press the shutter, one over exposed one under exposed and one at normal exposure, the amount of under of over exposure is set by you.

Most of all it's trial and error, if you get a good shot, analize the settings to find out why it was good, and learn from that. Also take lots of photo's of your subject - one will turn out as you like it!!

I took 15 photo's of this WREN below, and selected just this one.

I took 24 photo's of this BLACKBIRD and was only happy with these two

The Turtle Dove Dove below was sat on a bench, and I wasn't able to sneak up on it, so I could only get distant shots, but I was happy with this one, even though it was a bit over exposed

This CHAFFINCH was one od 18 photo's I took of it, and I kept one that was under exposed by 1 third on the Auto Exposure Bracketing set up

Lastly this linnet was just too far away and in poor light, there's not a lot you can do in those cases, but I kept it because of the striking red markings that can be seen :-)


ShySongbird said...

We've had rain all day long! I would put a downcast face but we did desperately need it so I'll put a smiley one :)

Lovely photos again!! I need to go back to the manual re bracketing, not sure it will make any more sense than much of the rest of it though ;)

You should see how many photos go in my recycle bin!

I feel I could just reach into the screen and lift that Wren out!!

Warren Baker said...

We need the rain Songbird you're right, so i'll live with it for a while :-)

Good luck with the instruction manual, do some experimenting :-)

Bob Bushell said...

I think that two of them remain the Turtle Dove and the Wren who does not believe in keeping the grubs for him/her self. They are fantastic pictures.

Derek Faulkner said...

The first two hours this morning were super, weather-wise - the early bird Warren!, no good being awake and not getting up.
Rain has only started in ernest here in the last hour, just spits and spots since 11.00.
That's the reddest Linnet I've seen outside of an aviary.

Warren Baker said...

That Linnet was a stunner! Would of been nice to get a better photo.

Derek Faulkner said...

Well I'd of been well proud of that one but then I'm well behind your league, I can't understand the manuals let alone write them up like you today.
The rain has stopped again now so its not looking anything worthwhile.

Rob said...

Crackin' wren Warren!
The Linnet looks like it's been playing with mum's lipstick.

Alan Pavey said...

Those photos are all really good quality Warren, impressive stuff :-)

Anonymous said...

I agree, great shots again, Warren.

Tim James said...

The Wren shot is nothing short of stunning. Beautiful light, flawless composition and all perfectly captured. Fantastic work.