Friday, 21 February 2014

It was still and cloudless as I set off for a full patch walk this morning, staying that way up until around 11:00hrs, when the cloud started to build and a few light showers were had.

For such a bright day, numbers of birds were low, but species wise there was plenty to see, however, the 45 species seen provided nothing new for the year or month list  :-(  The highlights of the 4 hour walk mainly occurred at the lakes, where 2 male and 2 female GOOSANDER were present, along with the feral BARNACLE GOOSE, 12 CANADA GEESE, a CORMORANT, a KINGFISHER, plus the COOT and MUTE SWAN pair and the usual sprinkling of MALLARD and MOORHEN.
Barnacle Goose with its Canada Goose partner
Canada Goose
At last a decent Goosander image
There was enough light for once, and one of the males came within 25 meters  :-)
I particularly like the reflection of the bird on the water
GOLDRESTS, COAL TITS, TREECREEPERS, DUNNOCKS, WRENS, ROBINS, SONGTHRUSH, MISTLETHRUSH, BLACKBIRD, and CHAFFINCH, were all heard singing in the Scrubby Woods and Wet Woods, all mingled in with the sound of drumming GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS and the calls of GREEN WOODPECKERS, BULLFINCH, NUTHATCH, LONG TAILED TIT, GREAT TIT, BLUE TIT, and JAY, making for a very springlike affair  :-)

There were fewer birds around the fields and Greenhouse Grounds, but it was good to hear SKYLARKS singing over the Ashes Lane Field, and the LITTLE OWL gave views at its usual perch in the Greenhouse Copse. At least 6 MEADOW PIPITS were feeding in the grassy areas in the Greenhouse Grounds, where a few GOLDFINCH were seen in the Alder trees, with just one SISKIN. Only one PIED WAGTAIL was seen on the Greenhouse rooves, and the male KESTREL was hunting around the place. The only flyovers noted today were two BLACK HEADED GULLS and 4 HERRING GULLS, not a single Redwing or Fieldfare was seen all morning though.

All the photo's today were taken with a 100-400 'L' series cannon lens, which I have borrowed from a mate, I may purchase one if I feel it would enhance my photo's, i'll need some more practice with it to get a good comparison against my 150 - 500mm sigma lens, here's some more images I took this morning, I tried to get some extreme backgrounds to see how it handled the light, which it did well, although the images are not the best, that was down to my poor focusing, and lack of co-operation from the subjects!
Dunnock. It's perch looks most in focus, my fault!
Wren. I got 4 images before it flew off, but I missed the 'catch light' in its eye.
Great Tit.The 100-400 lens did ok here, a bright white background complicated things

12 comments:

Glenn Welch said...

Great Goosander Pictures - well done :)

Warren Baker said...

Thanks Glenn. I've waited all winter for the right set of circumstances to come together :-)

Phil said...

Great Goosander shots Warren.
I nearly bought a 100-400 but opted for the 70-300 L series, mainly to cut down on weight but I also couldn't get on with the push pull focus. Nice lens though.

Marc Heath said...

Very nice Warren, mission accomplished. A nice reward for your persistence.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
Like the male Goosander , well done that he didn't see you when that close .
Everything comes ......

Warren Baker said...

Phil,
It took me 10 mins to find how to release the zoom on the lens!!
:-)

Warren Baker said...

Marc,
The Goosander have been very regular here this year, so it was only a matter of time before one swam within camera range, with some light on it! :-)

Warren Baker said...

Greenie, he may not have seen me, but he heard the camera shutter, then off he went to the other side of the lake!

Pete Woodruff said...

Repeating what everyone else has said about the drake Goosander shots Warren....Excellent and well worth the wait with just reward.

Mike H said...

Super Gooseander pics Warren. I use a 100-400mm and have had no complaints at all. A little heavy and the push pull focus takes a bit of getting used to. A lot of very good second hand models on the market now too!

Mike H said...

Super Gooseander pics Warren. I use a 100-400mm and have had no complaints at all. A little heavy and the push pull focus takes a bit of getting used to. A lot of very good second hand models on the market now too!

Warren Baker said...

Mike,
I may well invest in one of those lens'