Saturday, 18 April 2009

Evening birding

Lately I've been getting out a lot in the evenings rather than during the day. Partly this is practical - if I go for a walk after work than by the time I'm home, changed and tea'd up it's likely that the sun will be setting by the time I get back. Partly it's because the park will still be there at half six whereas shops and similar will be closed, so the things that close take priority. And partly, it's because the birdsong is always at its best and loudest in the mornings and evenings, and I've always made a better night owl than I have early riser.

So I went out for a bit of a dusk walk, and I took the camera along hoping to snap some interesting things before the light disappeared. First thing I heard is what I'm almost certain was a Greenfinch in the car park, but I'll never know for certain. In true bird fashion it flew off just as I'd got the camera out and switched it on, and was too high for a positive ID. Plenty of singing from the local Thrushes, though again no sighting as they'd buried themselves deep in the local trees. I did catch a fleeting glimpse of a Wren darting between trees - you could hear them alright - and there were a few Robins showing well although again, hiding behind too many branches for my poor autofocus.

The lake was its usual dross filled but easily photographed self.

Mute swans being interesting, if strange, and eating the overhanging Willow tree with every sign of enjoyment

Yes that's its leg. I thought it was horribly injured until I noticed others doing it. Never seen that before.

For once the bird strikes the pose while I actually have the camera pointed at it


Canada and Greylag

Coming out the far end of the park onto Upper Rainham Road I once again heard the Chiffchaff, but once again no sighting. This would probably be the downside of evening birding, but it's good for me as a birder. My current plan for self-improvement is to learn some birdsong, an extremely useful tool in any birders arsenal and one that, having just started birdwatching, I'm quite behind on.

Flypast Heron was a bit of fun. Big slow wingbeats and steady speed = the opportunity to take flypast photos that look a bit less like a smear on the lens, and a bit more like a bird. Can't do anything about the colour in low light though.

Tempted to claim this as a Purple Heron. Think real birders might kill me.

The highlight of this evening though was the opportunity to take some sky shots at sunset. These skies are a photographers dream - very little work is required to get them looking good - in fact I'd go as far as to say it's harder to screw them up than to take a good photo.

My new Wallpaper

Let's end the post with something a bit different. Yes, it's COMPETITION TIME! The game today is NAME THAT SILHOUETTE.

Not particularly hard, not particularly exciting, but it keeps the comments coming in.

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