Sunday, 5 April 2015

Birds not to overlook - plus an Easter Bunny!

Being both a bird watcher and a photographer can be difficult. I have a strong tendency to want to photograph only the rarer and more dramatic birds. In the process it is easy for me to overlook the beauty of the more common species. I have to keep reminding myself of their potential and, when I do, I am almost always pleasantly surprised by the images that result. Take Little Egrets for example.

It was not that long ago that they were never seen at all in the UK. Now they are to be found on wetlands, coasts and river estuaries in many parts of the country. They are so common that I can sometimes not be bothered to lift the camera as one flies by - big mistake. For all their new-found "ordinariness" they are still one of the more dramatic photographic subjects. I would put them in the same category as the Mute Swan - easily overlooked but deserving of much more attention by bird photographers.

The Little Egret below was recently ringed by the Axe Estuary Ringing Group based at Seaton. Photography has long been a tool of science and in this shot, and others taken at the same time, you can easily read the letters on the rings - Yellow AA and Green HH. 

Here are a few more in-flight shots of the same bird.

If you would like to visit the bird ringing website and find the blog for 21 March 2015 you will see this same bird cradled in the arms of one of the ringers.

It always amazes me how calm birds seem to be when handled by expert ringers. They seem to settle down quite readily. The photographs above also prove that it does them no harm. This Little Egret was just getting on with the important things in life as if nothing had happened. Here is another common bird:

This Blackbird was particularly unconcerned as I walk slowly up to it on a woodland path. Perhaps it now wishes it had washed its face for the portrait!

Finally, because it is Easter Sunday today, here is an Easter Bunny. I could not find any babies, so this rather cute looking adult will have to do. Happy Easter!

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