Recently, after having such a beautiful dawn chorus experience, I wrote a piece (for next years journal) about always noticing birds but never being able to capture them in a photograph. I realised it was something that I would like to learn one day. Then I though to myself ONE DAY? Why not start now? I was about go to Wales to look out onto a marsh full of wading birds so it seemed like a good practice opportunity. I already had a telephoto lens but being someone who likes to travel light I didn't have a tripod. So I bought one and took it on it's first outing.
Last time we visited Pobty Cottage the marsh was alive with curlews and egrets but they must have been busy doing other things because this time it was so quiet! So the lovely blackbird who kept hopping about in the daisies became my subject. I set the tripod up and waited. There was a lot of waiting...and more waiting, but you know, it was a lovely place to wait. When he finally arrived it was a whole flurry of pressing the wrong buttons and clumsily trying to move the whole tripod to follow it's movement and then he'd be gone again. Steep learning curve.
On the Sunday it rained and it rained and the wind blew hard so we decided to stay home. I set the tripod up in the porch this time, ready and waiting.
The blackbird did visit but all I have to show for it is this accidental wet nettle!
About teatime, the rain cleared up and we went for a lovely walk up the lane.
Wales does good hedgerows and we enjoyed looking in their tangled walls of plants and spotting things.
We just spotted this overgrown gate and fought our way through the ferns and brambles
and found ourselves in a beautiful meadow.
I don't think many people use this path
A startled pheasant flew right over my head. He certainly wasn't expecting visitors!
On the way back down the lane with soaking wet feet and trousers a blackbird started to sing a mighty 'after the rain' song above our heads. I still had my big lens on my camera and the bird was kind to me, staying in the same place while I adjusted my settings and got still. I love that you can see the earth on his beak.
These little sparrows were having a whale of a time, fluffing up and wallowing in the dust
legs in the air and everything!
They all seemed as happy in the surprise sunshine as we were.
This picture is SO close to being perfect. Those cow parsleys were furiously blowing about in the wind and the birds were so busy. It was so hard to get anything in focus.
Got this little fellah though.
I know they are not all crisply in focus and the birds are not exactly rare or elusive but I get such an excited feeling in my belly when I look at these pictures. I'm happy watching ANY birds hopping around and doing their thing and I'm grateful to these little darlings for letting me in on their songs and their dust baths!