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Monday, 14 March 2011

The things you see... and that 'Wizard'

The first surprise was a male Reed Bunting in the garden (photographed through double glazing). I live in typical suburbia with a pocket handkerchief of a garden and was pleasantly surprised by this visitor, why he choose to visit is unknown (apart from a free meal of course.. I don't have a reedbed, hmmmnnn actually I suppose I do but surely not big enough for this chappie... garden pond and wildlife garden, yellow Iris bed etc). Any comments on ID appreciated (young male going into breeding plummage?)

I spend so much time down at Newton Marsh, I rarely bother posting about the site nowadays unless there is something unusual to say, complacency has overcome me. The Wigeon are always great to see but the busier vehicular traffic is keeping them (and everything else) further afield. The water appears to be too deep for the waders.

Evening visits are difficult because of the low sun shining straight at you, so photography is 'awkward' to say the least. Anyway I attach a series of record images taken recently of a Buzzard accompanied by a Hare for the simple reason to dismiss the concept of Buzzards being ruthless killers of anything that moves. The Hare clocked the buzzard, who must have been worm seeking and came over and joined the buzzard, who appeared a little perplexed by this approach, but clearly comfortable in each other's company... and I thought you might like to see this encounter. The size comparison is also interesting. Poor images in very low light at distance.

And finally, after two years or more, my first reasonable image of a Merlin. (double clicking images = enlargement)

Male Reed Bunting visits the homestead
Wigeon splashdown at sunset
Evening sun catches the Wigeon's wings
Good 'ere innit?
Think you're big enough?
Merlin – a photo, three years in the making! 


Brian Rafferty said...

Geoff. congratulations on the magic merlin. A superb shot indeed and very well deserved. I understand you have some new camera equipment and you are putting it to very good use

Geoff Gradwell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Geoff Gradwell said...

Hi Brian
Thank you for the kind words. I am still at the 'testing stage' so didn't want to say too much too soon, the new camera has clearly helped as I was pushing this Merlin shot bit at ISO 1600. Several out of focus images, thankfully two in focus! Still a lot to learn. I have been after this Merlin for a long time... at all hours from sunrise to sunset, so I am glad I hadn't imagined it or confused it with a Kestrel!

Pete Woodruff said...

Well worth the wait Geoff....an excellent image of the female/juvenile Merlin.

Geoff Gradwell said...

Thanks Pete... we try! Interesting though as I have seen one for each of the last three years, obvioulsy not the same one... but never manged to get so close. Third time lucky this year. Maybe I'll make it back 'up north' one day soon and we'll catch up. Best W.