Wednesday, 4 March 2015

March-ing into Spring

Another bright day and another opportunity to test out the new x-s1, as usual Far Pasture was the venue.
But before that I managed to snap our local red kite, WT6, as he called from the conifers over the road.

Caught in mid-call

The light was excellent but needs to be a lot closer, though I
wouldn't even have attempted a photo with the Panasonic at that range. 

These were taken through double glazing at a fair distance, but he perches up there regularly so I'm just waiting for him to perch down at our end to see what sort of shot I can get.

Not much happening on the pond at Far Pasture, the water level is still rather high, but is also very clear so I was disappointed not to see any amphibians in the shallows. Plenty of action nearby though. A small band of redpoll was nice to see along the access road, a year first (if I were keeping a list), and Goldcrests and colourful Bullfinches fed in the bushes, but all this was before I even got my camera out, and also noticeable were the mass swarms of midges, a definite sign that we're not far off spring, as the first of the insect-eating migrants will no doubt fill their boots when they arrive here shortly.

Along the gated path the oak tree was again alive with wagtails as even more midges swarmed about. I counted at least 20 pied wags in the tree and more still on the pans, where a couple of pairs of grey wags fed also.

Pied Wagtail with a snapped neck

Inspecting the Menu

Back in the car park the small birds were feeding well too, and Roly's pie crust proved popular with the blackbirds.

Who ate all the Pies?

Shot of the Day - Nuthatch

You looking at me ya great tit ?

Song Thrush feeding in the shadows

Further along the road I attempted to snap a Goldcrest, the nightmare bird for previous attempts :

At least you can tell what it is ?
And a pair of Willow Tits posed nicely above my head, but not the greatest of angles :

Tit Willow
So another pleasant session watching the usual crowd and I enjoyed the challenge of getting some photos, though not many keepers from the 40 or so snaps I took. Must say though the more I explore the new x-s1 the more I like it. A bloke with the same camera gave me a few tips on settings last week, and today someone had a Canon SX50 (my original choice), but struggled to get photos of the nuthatch in particular because of the slow focussing, whereas the xs-1 was quick and smooth.
But the real test will come when I get the chance to try out the super-macro, shouldn't be long now.

Footnote:  Having heard about the apparent Barrow's Goldeneye at Far Pasture a few weeks back I'd been mighty pissed off at missing out (being my local patch an' all), but noted in the log it was marked as ' 2 Barrow's Goldeneye? ', the 2 and the ? arousing suspicion.
And now I've seen a photograph of one of the alleged birds, though admittedly it isn't the best and I've never seen a Barrow's Goldeneye meself, but I think if I'd seen this female bird I doubt I would have given it a second look (meaning I reckon it's just a common) . . . . mind I've been wrong before ;-)

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