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Sunday, 17 July 2011

Trip to Butterfly Farm

As things are a little quiet with the birds, Ken suggested we visited the butterfly farm at Stratford upon Avon.  This meant a sleep in which I really needed so all was good.

Woke up to rain but this didn't matter for a change as we would be inside.  First impressions upon arrival was wow how many butterfly's, I went to take the first pic but everything was still fogged up :(  

After about 15 mins the camera warmed up and I was able to take some pics.  The light was really bad and even at shooting at ISO 1600 (which is not good for a 30D) and wide open I still only had shutter speed of around 1/60.

As the morning went one the sun came out and the light was better which helped.  There are butterfly's everywhere but trying to get one on a nice perch is still not easy. 

A few shots from the day.

At time they were even landing on ourselves and equipment.  I willn't post the shot of one on Ken's head :)

A little bonus at the end of the day before leaving.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Something a little different & the return of the buzzards

As the bird front seems to have gone quiet my friend Ken invested in some tubes so we thought we would give them a try out.  Last weekend whilst I was out looking for kingfishers on the river bank I noticed a lot of dragonfly's so we decided to head back to the river. 
This was the first time I had tried to photograph dragonfly's so it was nice to have a new challenge.  Trying to do macro with a 400mm was not easy but with two tubes stacked things got easier, the light was also good which also worked in my favor.

We had been on the river bank for about 30 mins when Ken shouted "Kingfisher", I also heard the call of a kingfisher and started to scan up the river for a sighting.  Another 10 mins had paced and no sign, next time perhaps. 
It was not long after I heard the buzzards calling again just like the week before, within a few min one of the adults was flying above us calling out.  A quick scan around and I spotted a young sitting in the tree's not to far from us.  The cows which were a pain earlier whilst trying to photograph dragonfly's now came in handy as they aloud me to get closer to the buzzard without it spotting me.

I spent the next 45 mins watching the two adults and the single young flying around over our heads and flitting between trees nearby.  The sky was now cloudy so not ideal for taking in flight pics of.  Hopefully they next in the same area again next week where I hope to get some better shots. 

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Mixed bag of Buzzards, Jays, Red Squirrels and Little grebe

Saturday morning I found myself walking up and down a local river looking for signs of a kingfisher.  Although I was scanning the area I knew I would prob hear them first but the call I next heard was not a kingfisher.  I heard a loud screeching noise which straight away I knew was a buzzard.  I couldn't see the buzzard but I knew he was close, as I approached the tree line he flew straight over me and started to circle.  The sky was a nice clear blue for a change so I took the opportunity to get a few pics.  At times he was so close they were full frame shots with a 400mm. 
Not long after Ken rang to say he was at Cromford with the little grebes so I walked back to the car and headed towards Derby.  40 mins later I was sitting in the sun on the canal side watching the little grebes and there young.  We were prob 1 week to late to see the young on the parents backs but it was a nice day for getting a few pics.

Sunday morning was a very early start as we had decided it was time to visit the red squirrels again.  4.15 am wake up call and soon after Ken arrived we were heading north up the M6.
The sun was out and clear sky's but the camouflage of the trees made it very dark so we tried to choose a few positions where the sun was just breaking through.  It wasn't long before the first squirrel showed and then quickly followed by others.  Although the light was against us it did make it very challenging.

 As things went a little quiet we noticed a Jay was hanging around.  A few nuts scattered around and it didn't take long for him to come down to them.  I moved positions closer to the stream by side some rocks hoping to get a little cover and closer to him.  Again he came down and this time he was too close for me at times. 
Anyway it was worth the pain of getting bitten by all the midges.