Thursday, June 24, 2010

Short Arms, Long Lens

Will sent me a picture of a Little Owl he ringed last night, one of two in the entrance of a nest hole he found while watching the adults come back with a mouse. He couldn’t get the second youngster because it scurried to the back of the tree out of reach of an outstretched arm. It’s getting to be a habit for both of us, but Will assures me he’s not a Yorkshireman by birth, and I just paid out for a new PC. Thanks Will.

Little Owl

Meanwhile today I took a walk over Pilling way towards Pilling Water where I didn’t expect to see a lot so took my camera along in the hope of getting a few pictures.

Both the Redshanks and the Lapwings had young close by, and called to them incessantly to hide and crouch from the intruder. An Oystercatcher on a post also watched me, calling to the young I knew not where. Sod’s Law came into effect when a small unringed Lapwing chick appeared about 30 yards away on open ground, but I had no rings with me other than “B” size for Skylark. Unless Redshank chicks are initially visible I find that just searching for them willy-nilly hardly ever works, particularly on the marsh at Pilling where they disappear into the muddy ditches long before I arrive, then hide away as all the while the adults call them down. So I didn’t look for the chicks, but watched and listened to the adults complaining at me while trying to follow their erratic flight with my camera.

Redshank

Redshank

Redshank

Lapwing

Oystercatcher

Signs of Autumn out on the marsh were 170 Curlews and 125 Shelduck, whilst a single Common Sandpiper flew low along the ditch, then closer by a family party of 5 Meadow Pipits and two juvenile Pied Wagtails stuck to the high tide line mark. As I walked slowly along the sea wall I had my highest count of Swift this year when more than twenty took advantage of the insects thrown up from the grass to surround me, skimming close overhead. I couldn’t find any Skylarks feeding young but there were at least 3 singing, for perhaps their second broods or another attempt following the ploughing in of first nests.

Swift

Pied Wagtail

Skylark


7 comments:

Tabib said...

Beautiful Redshank and Lapwing inflight shots.
The lighting must be very good for such a fast shutter speed at ISO 160.

Gallicissa said...

That little owl is lovely.
I am impressed with you BIFs too.

Unravel said...

Wow Nice shots of the Redshank in flight!
I've never managed to get good shots of waders in flight before.

Stu said...

Wow some great BIF shots there Phil.

What camera/lens are you using?

Mary Howell Cromer said...

All are marvelous, but all know that Little Owl is absolutely such a darling creature, love it~

madibirder said...

Hi Phil,
Lovely owl. Great inflight shots

Phil said...

Thanks everyone. Stu, just my usual Canon 500D + Canon 400mm F5.6 but it was a nice sunny few moments when the Redshanks came along.

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