Thursday, 14 May 2015

Recent round-up

The Axe Estuary reserve at Seaton, Devon, often delivers just that bit more than you think it is going to. #axeestuaryreserve  I have gathered plenty of Rabbit photos over the years, but this is my first with one in mid-air!

 Here is another Rabbit on the move.

The Seaton reserve always seems quiet when I arrive. To be honest, if often stays that way and I go home without anything. On many occasions however, if I stay long enough, something pops up.

To many of you a House Sparrow will be nothing special, but I only see them quite rarely in Somerset and then only in small numbers. So I was quite pleased when this male posed for me in decent light. Likewise, this obliging Canada Goose was a welcome portrait subject when it posed in front of the hide window.

Shelduck can always be counted on for a fly-by at Seaton. I can never resist them.

My relationship with common birds is an odd one. Because I see them so frequently I usually ignore them - they just do not seem interesting enough to photograph. But, of course, that is just my perspective on it. If there are parts of the world, or even the UK, where Shelduck are not often seen, people there would wonder why I am tempted to ignore such glorious birds! Just like I marvel at photos of American Bald Eagles, although I understand that there are locations where you can't move for them. Perhaps the locals there do not take pictures of them.

One of my most unsatisfactory relationships with birds is with the Red Kite. This photograph was taken some years ago when I drove especially from Somerset to Oxfordshire where they are common; we only get the odd few passing through here. Even though it was nice to see what for me was an unusual bird, I have never warmed to them as a photographic subject. If I lived in their area and had them pestering my bird table every day, I would certainly not bother to photograph them! Don't know why, they have never done anything specifically to upset me.

Coming back to the Axe Estuary reserve though, Little Egrets are often obliging there and make a fine picture, especially if they come close enough that you can pick out the details of their plumage.

Before Little Egrets became common in the UK, I would have travelled quite a long way just to see and photograph one. Now, I have to remind myself that they are really quite beautiful. Mute Swans are also two-a-penny, but that does not detract from their grace and beauty. Photography is all about keeping your eyes open, and that means your mental eyes too - your willingness to see everything as fresh.

Just to finish with Seaton for the time being, here is a shot of a passing Oystercatcher.

Moving from Devon to Somerset now, I recently visited #RSPB Ham Wall. The Great Egrets are putting on quite a display at the moment and, before even these magnificent birds come to be regarded as too common to bother with, I am keen to photograph them. Here is a small selection of shots; notice the glistening water drop just fallen from the feet of the first bird below.

Sadly, these photos are not at their best when viewed at the small size necessary for this blog. Please visit my website where photos are just that bit bigger.

Hobbies abound at Ham Wall at the moment, they are very difficult to photograph satisfactorily against the sky even if they do condescend to come a bit closer. This is probably the best Hobby shot of the day for me.

Great Crested Grebes are normally seen like this.

Only occasionally do we see them in flight, like this. Weird!

Finally, just a shot of a Ham Wall Coot enjoying itself.

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It is all very exciting! My next blog will be a technical article on using the Canon 7D MkII to photograph birds in flight.

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