For one or two reasons (one of which is small, cries a lot and is growing fast), I’ve done less birding than usual – but I’ve still managed a few bird photos. Sometimes this has been via a visit to a reserve;at other times we’re going for a walk and then – “hang on Jen, hold the baby, there’s a dipper / kestrel / wagtail over there”.
In August the three of us went to Watersmeet, just over the border into north Devon near Lynmouth. While we walked along the riverbank path, I caught sight of a very obliging dipper – which was very much a ‘hold the baby’ moment!
It soon flew off to a more distant boulder.
In the middle of September, Jen and I went for a walk through the Westhay reserve towards Mudgley one evening. On the way we had a lovely view of a roe deer in the evening Sun.
Last month I went to Ham Wall on a day organised by Carl Bovis, an outstanding wildlife photographer who (amongst other things) runs the Somerset Nature Photography group on Facebook. He was also one of the exhibitors at the Eyes on Wildlife weekend!
During the day I finally managed to get a good photo of a cormorant: they’re not exactly pretty birds and generally just look black, and they tend to take a lesser priority than other birds (such as grebes), but this time the lighting was just right to make it look interesting.
I spent much of the morning hanging out with Chris Hooper and Les Moxon – they’re far better photographers than I am! – but it was enjoyable spending time with them and learning from them. We spent a while at the Tor View hide where a Little Grebe provided much entertainment with its continual activity.
About three weeks later I went down to Ham Wall for an afternoon trip, and although the weather was good it was less productive photographically… except for some Iberian Water Frogs. As their name implies, they’re an introduced species but they have a certain froggy charm to them – and provide a tasty morsel for the local bitterns and egrets…
While we were in Cornwall, on our trip to the Lizard Peninsula last week, we came across a very obliging kestrel perched on top of a pole (and it was Jen who spotted it before I did!). I was photographing it for about five minutes before it flew off to a nearby fence-post. Although this new perch provided a view of more of the bird, the lighting wasn’t nearly as good as before – as a comparison of the two photos will show.