Sunday 30 May 2021

Droitwich - 21 May

Nature Photography hides, based near Droitwich, is now under new, improved management and has been renamed as Brine Pit Wildlife Photography. New hides have been constructed on the sites of the old ones.

The day I visited for the Little Owl the weather was truly atrocious. Probably the worst I have ever had in a hide, with strong winds and rain, often heavy basically all day!

These conditions reduced the females activities but she still needed to feed the young in the nest, so made a reasonable number of visits. Unfortunately, the bird was also very bedraggled, especially the front view.

Still there were several visits to the perches and I managed to get a couple of "action" photos.

For a gallery of all my shots from this session click here

Once again click of any of the captions for larger images. 

Take off!

In flight
At the nest hole

Just before departing to the nest

A less bedraggled angle

A look in keeping with the conditions!

A windswept view in the rain!

The bedraggled front view in the rain

Monday 24 May 2021

Oxon - various 18 & 23 May

23 May: A spur of the moment decision to head up to Farmoor in an attempt to photo Swifts in flight. Arriving late morning, I was just in time to get some shots before the weather improved and the birds vanished!

As usual, click on any of the captions to enlarge

Swift against the sky
18 May: A trip in search of Hobby and anything else!

Thursday 20 May 2021

Otterbourne, Winchester - 15 April

Another successful visit to this hide near Winchester run by Pete Whieldon for Kestrel and supporting cast. Only the male was showing today, but it did come in frequently, especially in the morning. The female was away on the nest, incubating. At least 10 visits, I counted in total. 

One of the great things about Pete's setup is the wide variety of perches available and I was able to get the Kestrel to do a good tour of most of them during his 10+ visits! The "action" shots are something I thought I would try using the R5's animal eye detection auto focus in attempts to keep on the bird as it moved from perch to another.

To go to a gallery with all my Kestrel photos click here

As usual, click on any of the captions to enlarge.

Just after take off

About to depart this perch

Caught in level flight between perches

Diving down to another perch

See below for a few of the somewhat easier to take perched shots:

There was some sun early on, but it didn't last!

Looking at the camera

A somewhat different perch!

Unlike my previous visits here, the supporting cast also performed very well, keeping me busy between Kestrel visits. This splendid male Bullfinch was probably my top priority but getting nice shots of Wren and Grey Wagtail is always difficult.



Grey Wagtail



Friday 14 May 2021

Gigrin Farm, nr Rhayader, mid Wales - 2 & 4 May 2021

We spent a few nights near Rhayader in mid-Wales and pre-booked a couple of sessions in the photographic hides at the famous Gigrin Farm feeding centre for Red Kites.

Huge numbers of birds come into to be fed but getting good photos isn't easy!

For the first session, we chose the Gateway Hide which has a good overall view of the feeding area, with a wide open front. We were favoured by a light westerly wind so that the birds tended to be flying towards us, and hence getting reasonably close at times.

For this second session we were in the Low Level Hide where the birds can be (fleetingly) very close, but viewing is very restricted. The only practical way I found to get photos was to pre-focus on some of the food on the ground and then blast away when any birds showed interest. Extraordinarily few of these shots were worth processing! 

Here is a selection of the photos taken. As usual, click on any caption to enlarge. To see a gallery of all the shots, go to here

Zeroing in on a convenient grab sized portion of food

Just after grabbing some food

In flight

Another shot