Saturday, September 13, 2008

New Camera :)

Unbelievable - a weekend without rain forecast - what to do - so many choices? We settled on starting with a trip to Rutland Water and an early start to beat the rush. The numbers of migrant waders has reduced over the last couple of weeks.

At the reserve office they weren't ready for visitors but we have a permit so went ahead and walked on to the reserve. In the first hide, called 'Redshank' we saw a Dunlin and this Greenshank, I like the way it's craning its neck:

I decided that whilst sat in the hide I should get my new camera (Canon EOS 1) ready and attach it to the lens. Whilst I was doing so, two Kingfishers flew past the hide close-by, with one settling on a log just outside the hide, for about thirty seconds, just after it flew off I was ready! Oh well. We headed on, stopping briefly outside the hide to photograph this dragonfly, taking a breather after what looked like quite a fight with another dragonfly:

No idea what species it is.

Our next stop was the Shoveller hide at the far end of the reserve (there used to be a hide further on but there's a huge amount of work going on at the reserve, creating new wetland habitat). From this hide we had excellent views of a Water Rail in the reeds but with the low light and it's relative obscurity I didn't manage a decent picture. We were fortunate however that there was a pair of Green Sandpipers in view, here's one:

These picture were taken at between 5 and 10 metres distance. I'm delighted how well they have come out, it really does confirm that a decent camera can make a big difference to distant subjects (click on the image to see more detail especially the plumage):

I like this shot as I whilst I was focusing on the wading bird the other Green Sandpiper buzzed it:

you can see he wasn't impressed:

The final shot is against a more colourful background, though more distant, the light was just improving so the plumage shows best in this picture.

From Rutland we tried both Summer Leys and Hollowell in Northants but they were both remarkably quiet. Oh well. Great to get out and about so fingers crossed for a great weekend next weekend.

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