I have to admit that I feel a lot lighter when I go out with my camera, the cool air on my face is very refreshing. This was another trip, on Boxing Day, just down to the river at Denso Marston Nature Reserve. The wind was cold so I was pleased that I could use my camera with my gloves on.
Walking down the path towards the river I could hear Blackbirds, Robins, Wrens and Magpies. One of the first birds I spotted was a Cormorant flying along the river. Soon after that I spotted a Little Grebe on the river but it soon disappeared and I didn’t spot it again. A Grey Heron was in the field across the other side of the river, up near the canal, probably looking for worms and frogs.
As usual you can click on an image to see it in more details within its gallery. I have put all images in the same gallery this time.
The two feeding areas were quite busy and I spent some time near the one at the ponds watching the Alders. I was hoping to see Siskin. A loud noise from the factory disturbed half a dozen small birds from one of the trees, they could have been Siskin. Or Goldfinch, or Blue Tit or…?
I took a few photos of the birds at the up-river feeding station – Coal Tit, Male & Female Chaffinch, (see header image for the male) Male and female Bullfinch, Great Tit, Robin, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush and of course Brown Rat. I also spotted a male Bullfinch with both legs showing lesions. It didn’t seem troubled by them but this is one of the reasons why feeding areas and nearby perching areas should be kept clean. It can help stop the spread of these diseases. Several Dunnock were also feeding on the ground.
From the path, up-river, between the ponds and the river path I was fortunate to spot a Treecreeper. I know they are there but they are not easy to spot. And then at the far side of the pond a Kingfisher was pointed out to me.
I then walked down to the Buck Lane footbridge and from there watched a Common Dipper flying up river, diving and then flying to the river bank. I don’t know how it decided on where to dive. I assume the submerged rocks were causing the surface of the water to ripple in a way that suggested Caddisfly Larvae could tucked in the rocks.
During this walk I had decided to try the silent shooting of my new camera. It is silent! When looking through the viewfinder the only indication is a white frame around the image that flashes. Using a long lens it can be difficult to get the subject in the viewfinder, I then have to try and compose the image, focus the lens using the back button on the camera and when all that is nicely setup take a photo. That’s the idea anyway. What happened was that several times while I was trying to compose and focus I also noticed the white frame around the image indicating that I was taking photos. It could have been because I was wearing gloves but on the way home I was thinking that I might have more images than usual. For a quick walk along the river I could expect 200-300 so with a few more I might have 350-400. I was therefore a little surprised when I got home to find that I had 1350. These have now been trimmed down to 13, a less than 1% keep rate. In one respect that is no big deal but the time taken to go through and delete 1337 can’t be claimed back. When you have 15 near identical images all taken within 1 second of a bird you can’t afford the time to look closely at everyone and compare them.