Friday, 24 April 2009

Make hay whilst the sun shines.

What a lovely day. A day full to the brim of birds, some new birds for the year and a bag full of others.

Never went more than 10 miles from home and yet today I saw. Nightingale (first ever), Redstart, Pied flycatcher, Willow warbler, Yellowhammer, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Jay, Robin, Buzzard, Kestrel, Blackbird, Song thrush, Heron, GS Woodpecker, Wood pigeon, Blue Tit, Great tit, Treecreeper, Magpie, Dunnock, Wren, Collared dove, House Sparrow, and Starling. I think I've got them all.

Blackcap (male)

Willow Warbler.


These were just a few of the shots I got. It was a beautiful day, I'm very tired now though and ready for bed.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Back to Elan Valley

Another beautiful day yesterday(mon 20th) I had decided sunday night that I was going to be there as early as I could but when I went to bed at 10.00pm I didn't envisage being there in a few hours time.

Not being able to sleep I decided to drive to the valley during the very early hours. It was nice being able to drive the whole distance and other than through the middle of Hereford see no traffic.

I arrived at the Valley at about 2.30am, found a suitable place to park, dropped my seat back and slept till 5.00am.

It wasn't quite good enough for photgraphy at that hour so I sat and watched the light increase whilst eating my brekkie of a banana and pear.

I then set about trying to photograph the elusive Wheatears. They are extremely frustrating. Approaching on foot is a no no, they wont have it. The best option I had was to drive as close as I dared, stick my lens on a bean bag on my car window and see what I could produce.

There were lots of them around, But getting close enough to them and having them remain in place until you're ready was proving mighty difficult.

These were the best I got in the first few hours.

Fortunately there were other things around to see, Buzzards flying way up in the sky, Skylarks ditto, Grey wagtails were seen as were Stonechats. This was a female.

There were Meadow Pipits in abundance, They are slightly more obliging and seem a little less scared of the car.

I watched a pair of Curlew from quite close, they were obviously a mating pair and were calling away madly. I didn't photograph them as I was just too busy watching them. I saw the Red Kite, I saw Ravens, I saw great and Blue tits, Chaffinch, Reed bunting, and Mallard ducks. I saw Blackbirds, Thrushes, Crows and Rooks and all in the most glorious of settings. It truly was a very uplifting day.

Finally when I was on my last spin through the top road I got what was probably the best shot of the wheatear for the day.

A beautiful bird and the end to a perfect day.