Zenfolio | Chris Downes' Focus on Birds | 22nd May 2018 ff

22nd May 2018 ff

May 25, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

A day in the Life [of a persistent birder!]

Left home about 6am and was on site at Whisby Nature Park before 8am. Immediately heard a nightingale near the footbridge over the railway line.

Next hour was spent trying to locate the bird. A bird suddenly appeared on a branch deep in the thicket. Shoot first ask questions later!

Dunnock! Oh well! Keep looking and listening.

In the past I've made sound recordings of birds with my iphone but couldn't upload the recordings to my website. The website didn't seem to recognise the file type. So, I thought, I'll just film the undergrowth when the bird is singing. It sort of worked.

Turn your computer's sound up really high, press play on the button below, then scroll down to see the actual bird that you can hear perched up high in the bush. I know it's technically flawed! [A video would be the answer I can hear you say!] but I think it's cool! A singing photograph!

When I did eventually spot the bird I shuffled about trying to navigate a route through the twigs and foliage to get a focus lock on my 500mm lens. Here are the results. I was even able to keep track as it moved through the bush. Final shot somehow typifies all that's wonderful about Springtime, I think.

This nightingale was the 330th species of British bird that I have photographed in the last 9 years.

You don't have to pay to park at Whisby until 10am. Downside of that is that everybody, and I mean everybody, walks their dog before 10am. Upside was that I was ready to set off on my travels on the stroke of 10 o'clock. 

Next stop Little Scrubbs Meadow at Chambers Farm Wood. I wanted to revisit the wonderful marsh fritillaries. I was not disappointed - there were hundreds flying, mating, fighting... I spent a wonderful hour with them.

100mm macro lens for this section. Green-veined white and four-spotted chaser on the walk to the meadow. Dingy skipper in the meadow.

Marsh fritillaries. The plan was to go to Covenham Reservoir as I headed back north but there were no reports of black tern/white-winged black tern so whatever was there the previous evening had moved on. I decided to go to Frampton Marsh.... Rumours of a ruff lek... Someone posted on twitter you could save yourself the cost of a flight to the far north by going to Frampton Marsh. So I did.

Lots of heat haze but I think you get an impression of the total chaos of three strutting, fighting, chasing males. Females present. Black-tailed godwits and gulls unperturbed but dodging out of the way when things got manic!

Good game: see if you can spot any female ruffs [reeves].

205 UK 2018



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