Saturday, 7 March 2009

Getting it right.

Or not as is often the case. Unlike my last post where I said that sometimes I don't like to go too far for my pics on this occasion I went miles.

Two targets were in mind. 1. Munt jac deer, and 2. Brown Hare.

Where? Glos/Oxford border and further into Oxford.

I saw dawn come over the hill, not very often that I'm up early enough to say that. I drove to the Glos border to find Hare that I know are there. I drove up and down a stretch of countryside that in the past has been very productive. I saw only one hare, and couldn't photo it because it was on alongside a dangerous stretch of the road. I drove further into Oxford to another productive spot for Muntjac. I saw three, this was the best photo I could get.

Not what you'd call a "money shot" I gave up after a short while and drove back nearer to Glos.

I was driving around lanes near Burford and saw a small herd of Fallow deer. It looked to be a lone buck and about 10 hinds.

Too far away. This is quite a heavy crop, what you can see though is that there appears to be only one hind with what you might call normal colouring the rest are dark in colour, I think these must be escapee's from a deer farm only a matter of a mile or so away. But they were certainly not fenced in here and were ready to run off if I got too close.

So back even further into Gloucestershire and again I was hoping for something out of the ordinary, Barn Owl. Unfortunately the one spot I know of produced nothing. I widened my search circle and found a Red legged Partridge in the gateway to a field. It didn't run off when I stopped my car quite close to it but unfortunately for me the only views I had of it were through the metal bars of the field gate.

Again, not the "money shot" I was after, I was distraught and truly believed that my day could get no worse.

A little patience though and my luck changed. The little fella moved away from the gate sufficiently enough for me to get a clear shot of it between the bars.

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Now, the highlight of the day for me was spotting a Bittern. Not a bird one see's every day. I won't tell you where I was but suffice to say that during the day I was driving around and I saw a Kestrel sitting in a bush on the edge of a lake. I stopped to view it and a movement to the left caught my eye. I could not believe what I saw, there in clear daylight was a Bittern. I went back to my car to set up the camera kit but by the time I got back to where I'd been all I could see was the Bittern settling into a small clump of grass and reed. I only managed this shot.

I know what you're thinking, no Bittern there Brian. There is, I've enlarged the middle bit of the image and hopefully you will be able to see the Beak and a small bit of the head sticking out at an angle from right to left in the middle of the pic. Again, no money shot but I was amazed to see it and I have secured permission from the land owner to visit again with my hide to sit and hopefully see it again.

So for all the failings of the day, it was still special and yet again made me glad to be alive. Isn't nature brilliant?

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