Garth Peacock
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Two Norfolk Reserves

Saturday 9th October 2021

Two weeks of - well - not very much

Thursday 23rd September 2021

September to date.

Friday 10th September 2021

A brief conversation about photography

Friday 20th August 2021

Back again

Wednesday 18th August 2021

Not everything goes to plan

Tuesday 13th July 2021

East Yorkshire Day 4

Sunday 11th July 2021

East Yorkshire Day 3

Saturday 10th July 2021

East Yorkshire Day 2

Friday 9th July 2021

East Yorkshire Day 1

Thursday 8th July 2021

A different experience

Monday 7th June 2021

Interesting times

Tuesday 25th May 2021

The last 10 days or so

Monday 10th May 2021

Something different at last

Friday 30th April 2021

March/April update

Tuesday 6th April 2021

Remembering the highlights

Monday 22nd March 2021

Three weeks of not very much!!!

Saturday 6th March 2021

Minor successes despite Covid

Tuesday 16th February 2021

Desperation strikes

Monday 8th February 2021

View Blog Archive >>
Saturday 9th October 2021

Two Norfolk Reserves

22nd September 2021 - North Norfolk

A wasted morning around the normal harbours, not even too many people (or dogs). No wildlife to see at all. So, after lunch in the car park at RSPB Titchwell, it was off to see if this reserve could do any better.

Nothing momentous, as charactarised by these two photos - resting Ruff and Teal.

So down to the beach where a distant Bar-tailed Godwit was really the only bird of interest.

A few Knot in winter plumage were lazily feeding on the mussel beds.

And then back to the reserve where bathing Shovelers were the only items of interest.

Not a very successful day, but that is the current situation.

4th October 2021 - Welney WWT

A morning spell in the observatory hide produced nothing of interest except for a long chat with a fellow photogrpaher who was testing the new Canon mirrorless R6 camera with the 100-500 RF lens. I was impressed, even with a 2x converter so I resolved to order one.

A small flock of Black-tailed Godwits was on the scrape. Now I have well over 100 photos of this species so I should pass them over but they always seem to do something interesting that is worth another photo.

The main reason for the visit was that there was a large party of Common Cranes on the Ouse Washes. A small group flew over the observatory with a juvenile getting close enough for a flight shot.

I found the main flock further down the reserve. Not as close as I would have liked (nothing rarely is) but I Iike this group photo.

Yesterday, there were reports of a flock of 57 so this was just a part.

Surprisingly, a pair popped up out of the grass much close to the hide.

Now that was better then I expected as, after all, I have not been that lucky with photographic subjects recently.

Back to the observatory hide. A pure white Greylag Goose with the normal flock was of interest. I think this is a Leucistic bird rather than an escaped farmyard bird so worth a shot.

and also a rather strange Canada Goose with a white head.

So, with nothing else to tempt me, it was time to head home to continue to research the new Canon R5 before I spend some cash.

Thursday 23rd September 2021

Two weeks of - well - not very much

8th September - North Norfolk

The recurring problem with the Covid crisi is that people that would normally holiday abroad go to places like Norfolk instead. Should have realised it would be busy but I didn't expect just how busy my favourite harbours would be - more dogs that birds - on fact no birds at all.

So it was ending up at RSPB Titchwell for the afternoon as the morning produced nothing. In fact Titchwell was unremarkable too. Considerable work has been done to remodel the freshmarsh - yet to make up my mind on that as any birds of interest were on the far side and certainly too distant for photography.

One lone Black-tailed Godwit produced one of my favourite types of shot - small subject in a plain background.

A  Greenshank was feeding in the brackish marsh - just a little too far away for eye-catching shots but needs must!!!

and a Curlew came close at low tide on the mussel beds.

As I said, an unremarkable trip.

17th September - back to Frampton Marsh RSPB

No real rarity this time. Most of the morning spent in East hide - it was another case of trying to make the best of not much. Subjects on white backgrounds are called High Key photos. The white sky reflection in the water provided the opportunity to try it out on this Shelduck by overexposing the whites. Some like it, some do not - a Marmite taste - but just an attempt to try something different.

Moving on to the next hide, the same opportunity came when some of the large flock of Greylag Geese took off.

There were 29 or so Spoonbills on the North scrape, too distant for anything meaningful until they were put up by a raptor and settled just a little closer.

The best photo of the day - still too distant.

And then two started bill waving.

Finally, a Spotted Redshank showed on the closest island - still too distant.

So another day with nothing eye-catching. That's wildlife photography.

 

Friday 10th September 2021

September to date.

Days out with the camera have been rather sparse so far this month.

On 1st, I spent the day at Bourne, Lincolnshire, in Tom Robinson's pond hide. A few weeks ago, I has a 24 hour session but no Kingfishers turned up. This was to try to rectify that omission. The weather was dull and uninspiring but one has to make the best of it with relatively high ISO's to compensate.

The range of species is small and common - a family of Moorhens.

The obligatory Grey Heron that was fishing there for most of the day.

and a Little Egret that was fishing on-and-off, when the Heron would allow it.

But Kingfishers were the main target, even though I have loads of photos of the species. The usual one with a catch

and one of several successful attempts to get one rising from the water.

Just a snapshot of the selection of the photos taken.

On Friday 3rd, I saw reports of a juvenile Black Tern at Dernford Reservoir, just south of Cambridge. I was not able to get there until early afternoon - high cloud so not ideal for the expected flight shots. I did not even take my tripod, assuming that only flight shots would be possible - a mistake.

As I got to the reservoir, the Tern was flying around but landed on a small patch of reeds just out from where I was standing. I needed the 2x converter for the distance but - no tripod so hand held - far from ideal.

Anyway, it was soon seen off by a Coot so flight shots became the order of the day.

More photos from both days in the Recent Additions page.

 

 

Friday 20th August 2021

A brief conversation about photography

Last Monday, 16th August I went to the RSPB  reserve at Frampton Marsh. A bird had been there that was totally new to me, a Pacific Golden Plover,  a variant from America of the European Golden Plover.

When I arrived back home, the conversation with my wife went something like this.

'Had a good day?'

'Not bad but really only one bird to photograph but that was the one we went for.'

'Many photos?'

' Just shy of 700'.

'What of one bird?'

'Yup'.

The look my wife gave me was a conversation all on its own.

Well, there was another species worth the odd photo, a Yellow Wagtail.

But down to the main reason for the visit. When you see a species for the first time, and distant too, a few record shots are required in case it flies off never to be seen again. Then, after a time, the bird gets used to you so you can move in closer - many more photos required. And so it goes on over a three hour period until you get the best photos you can in the circumstances - 693 in my case. A simple explanation for photographers but to my wife, it cut no ice what-so-ever. Another nail in the coffin of increasing insanity!!!

So some of my better photos.

and finally one at the end of the session when it was seen off by a Lapwing.

That brings my tally to 369 British and European species. Another 31 and I will have reached the target that I set myself many years ago.

Wednesday 18th August 2021

Back again

Of course, I fully expect that no-one has missed me as it is over a month since my last comminucation. Simple fact is that I have been unable to get out due to family illness but I did manage to squeeze a few hours at the Wildlife and Wetlands reserve at Welney on 11th August - my first attempt at photography for over a month.

Didn't expect much so I was not disappointed. A  Great White Egret was feeding outside Lyle hide

and managed a fly-by.

On the same scrape there was also an adult Spoonbill that stayed in the reeds on the bank

and managed a yawn

before being spooked by a Grey Heron to land in the middle of the scrape to do what Spoonbills do best - head under wing and sleep. And so it stayed for the two hours over lunch until I gave up and went home.

As I said, I did not expect much so wasn't disappointed. At least I managed to get out.

The next day, a friend and I had booked another afternoon session at Horn Mill to see if we could get better images of fishing Ospreys.

A couple of Grey Herons, probably adult and juvenile soon arrived with the adult settling in a tree.

As soon as the juvenile strated to fish, it flew down to see it off.

Later, one caught a fish

but then was surprised by a Buzzard that saw it off and took the catch.

The Grey Herons proved to be a nuisance. One Osprey landed on the usual perch to view the pond, only to be seen off by the Heron and did not return.

A Kingfisher turned up, perched but did not fish.

And then when it was getting dark, another Osprey turned up, landed on the same perch as the previous one.

Not long after, a rapid dive, caught a fish and flew off with it.

The only problem was that it was dark. This photo was taken at ISO16000!!! Really glad that I had the Canon1DX MK2 that was able to track it in the dark and provide a half-reasonable photo.

Not what I really went for but better that nothing.