Monday, 7 May 2012

A Gap in the rain.

A two day gap in the rain saw me out and about with the camera for most of the daylight hours. Day one was macro day. I really enjoy macro stuff and am continually trying to improve my ability and showcase even more stuff.

I went out armed with my 1D and 100mm lens to the wood where I walk Roxy. Have you ever seen those horrible looking black flies that seem to swarm and fly with their legs hanging down? They are called Saint Marks Fly. I wanted to get some shots of them. I think I acheived what I set out to do.

What I did notice though was that some of them had something strange happening on their backs, I dont know what this is but I am currently trying to research it. It looks like some kind of growth.

Quite a few of them were displaying the "growth". and on one or two it seems to be appearing from under the black dome rather than growing on it.

There were one or two other subjects that I got, the first is a common House Fly.

I'm quite pleased with this.
Next I got one of the critters that make my skin crawl when I see them, The Earwig.

I have no idea what this one is called, looks a bit like a soldier beetle but is a different colour.

I did a few Bluebell shots too, I'm not sure about them though. What do you think?

The macro stuff is lovely, I think I prefer it to bird photography, although birding will always be my first love. I really enjoy birding and the following day reminded me why.

With the weather holding out on day two I decided to swap to bird stuff. I went to a site just outside of Hereford, the one where I got the LRP shots. I was gutted to see that the rain had meant that the level of water on the main lake was such that a number of nests must have been destroyed. I know that at least two Canada Goose nests had been flooded, I can only hope that the eggs had hatched, but there was no sign of any young chicks.

The Rabbit population were out in force but I was upset to see that a number had the dreaded Myxi that I hate.

I couldn't get the right side of him so he's backlit. Its such a horrible disease.

There were a good number of Whitethroats at the site, I managed to get this common variety.

I also spent 45 minutes waiting for a Sedge Warbler to come into view. I could hear him chattering in amongst the undergrowth, but he just would not come up. I got the shot of the Whitethroat and the Rabbit whilst waiting for it to show.

I know its not brilliant but I am glad I saw him, along with the Whitethroat he is another addition to my yearly list.

Home for lunch and then off to another spot to do some macro, my birding having been fulfilled for the day. Imagine my surprise when I pulled up to park at the location and about 200 yards to my front I could see what I initially believed was a Barn Owl sitting on a hedge with its back to me. I quickly realised that it wasn't a Barnie at all but a Short Eared Owl. I have never set my kit up so quickly. Unfortunately after a very brief sortie around public land it flew over some private land and landed in a tree. Fortunately for me the landowner had seen me with my kit and after a brief chat I was invited to enter the private land and position myself where I might be able to get a shot or two.

The light was really difficult, alternating between sunshine and heavy cloud, I tried my best and I am more than happy with the results.

Not brilliant but possibly the best shortie shot I have is the last is this series, the first was literally the first shot.

They are all cropped shots as I'm sure you guessed. The first shot was taken using my 600mm lens with a 2x converter on. The flight shots are all just with the 600, my 1.4 conv is knackered and only useful for stationary shots. I am really pleased with the Last shotIt was taken with the 1.4 on the 600mm.

One other shot I got just before I left was this one with the Owl flying overhead with a catch in its claws, it looks like a Vole, possibly a Short Tailed. Again its not brilliant but I like it.

Again its a crop.

I also got a shot of a Starling which I quite like as it shows a lot of the colours.

All in all two very nice days of photography. Three birds added to my yearly list, which is now at the 100 mark. and the Shortie is the first I've ever seen in Herefordshire to boot. Click on the images for a larger version.