Archive for March, 2012

A Grebe eating a rather large fish…

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Here is another from my recent session with Great Crested Grebes.

How this slender and rather beautiful bird is able to convert itself into a large fish consuming machine is quite a mystery to me. Having caught the fish it struggled to swallow it whole for some time. During the process the Grebe paused with the poor fish stuck half way in its throat. The Grebe took a drink, presumably to aid digestion, before continuing to swallow.

Following this ordeal the Grebe went for a well earned rest to digest its catch.


A morning with Great Crested Grebes…

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

This morning I had a very pleasant session in the company of Great Crested Grebes.

The fine spell of weather combined with little or no wind set up a very still and peaceful lake. The only disturbance to the waters surface was caused by the wildlife itself. Arriving at the lake before dawn also ensured that the only sounds I heard were those that mother nature had intended. The lake was surprisingly busy with various species of birds interacting but it was the Grebes that were my main target.

It wasn’t long before the sun had burnt away the early mist and the true colours of the Grebe could be photographed.


A strange encounter with a grumpy Short Eared Owl…

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Last weekend I had a very strange and unexpected encounter with a Short Eared Owl.

I decided to head out at dawn to see if any of the spring migrating birds had made it to this part of the country. It is still very early in the year for the migrants but I was curious to go exploring. To be honest there was very little around although I did see two Northern Wheatear through my binoculars.

As I turned my car around about to head home I noticed a Short Eared Owl just sitting in the open. I quickly took some pictures and then started to manouvre in order to improve my composition. To my surprise the Owl didn’t move. I got closer and closer until I could fill the frame. Eventually the Owl did move by walking. It didn’t fly off, so I decided to leave it alone. This picture was taken at around 09:30 in the morning and one theory is that the Owl was simply sleeping, having been hunting all night. My first thoughts were that it was injured despite looking healthy and a little bit grumpy.


A Short Eared Owl in golden light.

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Here is another close encounter with a Short Eared Owl.

Sadly the Short Eared Owl “season” is virtually over at this particular site. The owls choose to spend winter in this area but with the mild conditions it looks like most, if not all, of the Owls have now moved on. Looking on the bright side however, spring is arriving so there is plenty of activity to look forward to and the number of daylight hours is increasing day by day.

I will miss these relatively large owls but it triggers the opportunity to start the search for Little Owls again…


A Robin in flight – Conducting the air traffic…

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

Here is another moment of a Robins flight behaviour, frozen in time.

I am still modifying my techniques and methods to record small birds in flight. I have certainly made progress but now I am wanting to refine the technique to improve even further. Most of my images so far have been taken at 200mm focal length with a single camera and lens combination. I am now considering using two cameras with differing focal lengths, fired simultaneously. This should increase the chances of recording the action, give different perspectives and as there will almost certainly be a delay between the two cameras firing, two subtly different images. Well that is the theory anyway.

I thought this Robin looked like the conductor of an Orchestra.