Monday, 13 April 2015

Day of the Jackdaw, and a Harrier surprise

I'm a big fan of the Jackdaw, whether it be noisy flocks in the winter, or the striking head plumage and eye of the individual. Today I had opportunity to photograph a few of the locals as I sat out back this morning (while the sun shone)

Striking a pose

We have lift-off

"Keep your head down and I'll see if the coast is clear"

Coning down for apples, what a handsome chap 

Raptors were putting on a show too, a max of five buzzards, half a dozen red kites, a sparrowhawk and a very high-flying harrier of sorts which due to the bright reflective white rump area in the brilliant sunshine and pretty plain markings (what I could see), I've no problem with calling it as a ring-tail Hen Harrier, a garden first, but unfortunately passed over due west before I had my camera out ready (bugger).

Got a bit more definition in my photos when the subject was low enough thanks to Ron's tip on stepping up the exposure, seems to work well, cheers.

Favourite shot of the day of a red kite eyeing me up

Same individual making a second pass

Five buzzards, distant

one buzzard, closer

sparrowhawk, high

When the skies dulled over I looked out into the garden through the kitchen window while eating my lunchtime sarnie, and a male blackcap popped out right in front of me in the bare cherry tree, giving cracking views. I went for the camera but too late, it flew off before I could reel off even one snap, and I didn't even get a look at it through my bins.(bugger II).

A handsome male chaffinch arrived just after, and still holding the camera I got a few snaps of him as I haven't really photographed one yet.


Male chaffinch in roughly the same place as the blackcap would have been

Another bird I've hardly had the chance to photograph is a house sparrow, so when this feller poped up on the rooftop with a gob full of nesting material I couldn't resist.


And finally back to yesterday, and a few photos of the willow warblers which flitted about a neighbours tree yesterday afternoon. Not ideal conditions for photos then but recognisable from two gardens away.





Migrants coming in thick and fast now, try to get out again in the next day or so after more southerly winds.

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