11.05.08 | Hazy, hot morning at Belvide

Another cracking day again - the weather very sunny and hot - a bit too hot for me. Anthony and I set of at 8.00am down to Belvide Reservoir, about a half hour journey. The weather was very hot and conditions best described as hazy. Belvide was so still - like a mill pond. Both of us were using our DSLR set-up today - Anthony Canon EOS 30D and Sigma 50-500, myself - Canon EOS 400D and Canon 100-400 IS USM. We had some success from the hides and walking along the shore, lots of Sedge Warbler about, plus other sightings included Reed Warbler and Garden Warbler . My favourite shot of the day was a Blue tit who was drying off after a bath in a nearby Hawthorn bush (see below).

A selection of shots from Belvide

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Sedge Warbler

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Blue Tit


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Reed Warbler


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Mistle Thrush

Later, Michaela and I decided to take an early evening stroll through a local wood at Hanchurch, and I got a shot of a Mistle Thrush who had just been bathing in a deep puddle drying off in the tree above. Hope this great weather continues.



10.05.08 | More glorious weather

It's looking like another great weekend again, yet more sun. Michaela and I decided to take a trip across to Park Hall again today, I wanted to capture some images of the nesting Kestrel in Play Canyon, so I opted for the digiscoping set-up - Olivon T90ED and Ricoh GX100 because I wanted the extra reach. Typically, we had a no show on the Kestrel front, but we were treated to some other lovely sightings amongst the abundance of Gorse including a beautiful Yellowhammer (pictured below) lots of Willow Warbler, Whitethroat and Linnet - Park Hall is turning out to be a cracking venue for digiscoping.

A selection of shots from Park Hall

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Yellowhammer

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Willow Warbler


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Linnet


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Whitebell

I struggled a bit today with the digiscoping, having not taken out the gear for a few weeks now, I think like anything else - you need to keep practising to keep your skills. The main issue today was the bright sun on the LCD screen, making it hard to know if the shot was in focus, with approx 90% of my images blurred.

Planning a trip down to Belvide with my DSLR setup Sunday morning, so hope the weather continues to be good.



03.05.08 | Sunny Saturday

Despite what the forecast said, the weather here on Saturday was fantastic - very warm and bright, it felt like a summers day. Michaela and I had planned a walk around Park Hall and Parrots Drumble this weekend, and as the weather was so good we did both on Saturday - glad we did, it hasn't stopped raining today (Sun). First was Parkhall. Now I've got my 100-400mm Canon lens to add to my digiscoping gear - I've got the best of both worlds, long range photography with the digiscoping set-up and a great lens for medium to short range subjects, the problem is to take both setups out together, I would need a wheel barrow to carry everything! The hardest part is knowing what gear I am more likely going to want to use at each location. Today I think I got it wrong, I opted for the SLR and lens set up, although I got a few shots of Chaffinch and Bluebells (see below) the main stars of the show today were a Kestrel and Little Owl over on the far wall of Play Canyon at Park Hall, I definitely needed the scope for these two birds, they were a long way off. The Kestrel is nesting on one of the ledges so next time I'll take the Olivon scope and get some closer shots. Sightings included Willow Warbler, Kestrel, Little Owl, Linnet (lots), Blackcap and Bullfinch.

A selection of shots from Park Hall and Parrots Drumble

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Kestrel at nest site

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Can you spot the Little Owl


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Chaffinch


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Collared Dove


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Parrots Drumble


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Parrots Drumble

Later we strolled through the ancient wood at Parrots Drumble, mainly to have a look at the carpet of Bluebells on the woodland floor, I took a few shots with the 100-400 lens, not normally I subject matter for me, but I was really pleased with the effect that the lens produced.

At home we've got two young Collared Dove sitting in our tree, so I had a quick practice with the new lens, the adults regularly visit and feed them, so I'm hoping to capture that moment as soon as the rain stops and the sun comes out.



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