Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Bad blogger..........

I know, i know, its been a while! The truth is, i have had very little worth putting on this blog for a couple of months. Its not that i haven't been out, because i have. More very little in the form of subject matter (also if the truth be known, a lack of enthusiasm).
Now the sun has returned (sometimes), i feel a renewed vigour for the natural world.
Migrants have already started pouring to our shores. Wheatear, Ring ouzel, Sand martin to name but a few, have been seen in the area for at least a couple of weeks.
This morning, to my delight, i spotted a very contrasty looking small bird in the back garden. Grabbing my bins from the spare room, I confirmed my suspicions & nailed the male Pied flycatcher, flitting from branches after its insect prey.
 Panic then set in as i raced back to the spare room to grab the camera, already fitted with the 600mm lens. A couple of bankers were taken quickly through the glass. I then inched open the window & managed to grab about 20 shots before it moved to another tree & was lost from sight.
Whilst driving across Tealham moor, on the look out for the reported Yellow wagtail (not seen), I flushed a Wheatear from the roadside verge. This is my first this year & i normally see quite a few over the spring & autumn period. It posed quite nicely on a roadside gate post, allowing a slow approach & a handheld shoot through the open passenger window.

A little earlier this year, also on Tealham, was this Short-eared owl. Up to 3 birds were using the same area & were seen most days during the late afternoon. This particular afternoon, it only approached as close as 100m. This shot has had a lot of post processing & is a fairly large crop of the original. Necessary to get a usable image. The watery winter sunshine & the backlit subject add something to an otherwise standard record shot. It goes to show how an uninspiring image can become something better with a little thought & a bit of computer work.
I recently visited a private nature reserve on Cary moor. The reason for visiting this delightful reserve was to try & photograph the Tree sparrows that have regularly been coming to seed, put down by Bruce Taylor.
Around 6 were present on my visit, but far greater numbers have been seen over the winter. Birders in the county will appreciate that Tree sparrows are scarce in Somerset. A site on the Mendips being the previous best place to see them. Now at Cary moor, you have the luxury of a carpeted hide only meters from the feeding birds. Also present were numerous Reed buntings, Chaffinches & a single Yellowhammer. A shallow pond lies on the opposite side of the hide & attracts waterfowl.
Anyone wishing to visit, should first get in contact with Bruce by email on to get directions, parking instructions & the code to the lock on the hide.

Please remember that this is a private reserve & we can visit due to the kindness of the landowners. Providing we all conduct ourselves in a proper manner & follow Bruces instructions, we will be able to see Tree sparrows for years to come.
More later..........I promise!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent Rob! You were lucky to get the wheatear and wagtail posing so nicely for you.

    I can second the recommendation for the Cary Marsh reserve, a real gem.