Bountiful berries

  • December 20, 2014 4:43 pm

This year the local hedgerows are laden with berries, and we’ve had a sudden influx of Redwing. These pretty little birds, slightly smaller than a Song Thrush, with a handsome russet red flash under their wings migrate in from Scandinavia and Russia to spend the winter here. Last weekend they were busy feeding in the hedges along with the local Blackbirds.

Redwing, Turdus iliacus, perched in hawthorn hedge, berries, Norfolk, Winter

Blackbird, Turdus merula, male, on hawthorn berries, hedgerow, Norfolk, Winter

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A few birds

  • February 22, 2014 10:41 pm

A quick round up of this weeks photography, I’ve been trying out a new lens combination and I’m thoroughly impressed. What do you think?

Blackbird, Turdus merula, male perched on garden fence, Norfolk, UK

Black headed gull, Chroicocephalus ridibundus, close up, coast, Norfolk, UK

Jackdaw, Corvus monedula, perched on wooden fence, coast, Norfolk, UK

Starling, Sturnus vulgaris, perched on wire fence, Norfolk, Winter plumage, UK

All of these were taken using Nikon’s 300mm f/2.8 G IF-ED VR and TC-17E II Teleconverter. It’s an extremely well balanced set up, much more manageable than my current Sigma 500mm f4.5 lens which I find rather ‘top heavy’. The sharpness and quality are excellent and it focuses quickly and quietly. The other benefit of course, of using arguably Nikon’s sharpest ever lens with a converter is that the minimum focussing distance is maintained, meaning it effectively becomes a 500mm lens that focuses down to just 2.3 meters, compared with the 4 meters of the Sigma 500mm, great for little birds, and great for getting creative.

I’m really pleased with the results from this very flexible combination, I just wish I had longer than one week to play with it!

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Pastures new, and old

  • July 17, 2013 11:51 am

Forgive me friends, for my prolonged absence. I have been doing that most stressful of things – moving house. So here I am, all settled in, exploring pastures new. Newly located between numerous nature reserves, there’s plenty to see, but more on that at a later date.

Back to pastures old, and my patch – the Fen. My first visit here for sometime, all looks lush and green, a calm oasis to mend my frazzled soul. At 5am it’s comfortably cool and the birds are taking a little time to sing before flying off to forage for their young.

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Blackbird, Turdus merula, perched in oak tree, summer, Norfolk, July

The path-side plants rise up, taller than me now. The purple-blue flowered vetch scrambles through bramble, hemp agrimony and meadowsweet are bursting into flower. As the landscape opens out, I spot the smallest movement, nearly missed her, a beautiful Roe deer doe in her russet summer coat is watching me. She calmly stares, her elegant head just visible amongst theĀ  grass.

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She turns her attention away from me, and I glance in that direction too. The buck, I suddenly realise, much closer to me. He ignores me and I finally put two and two together. It’s July, the Roe deer rutting season. The buck is far more concerned with what his missus is doing to worry about me, and never even looks my way.

Roe deer, Capreolus capreolus, male, buck, in long grass, summer, Norfolk, July

I leave them to it, hoping to reacquaint myself with the other wildlife too. Another Reed warbler poses for me, and I watch two Little Egrets fly overhead.

Reed warbler, Acrocephalus scirpaceus, perched on reed, summer, Norfolk, July.

On the way back I spot some young rabbits resting in the shade. I hesitate, but how can I resist such soft, cute little creatures. Cue silly commando style crawl over the dry prickly ground.

Rabbit, Oryctolagus cuniculus, young, summer, Norfolk, July

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Down at the bottom of the garden

  • July 1, 2011 6:12 pm

Tried an early start in the garden yesterday, the light was really nice. Also tried out a new hidey hole, the same bush, but the other side. It’s a bit of a tight squeeze, but the birds seem more relaxed!

Here’s a Collared Dove,

This young Blackbird kept me company for a while,

 

Finally the Turtle Dove put in a brief appearance, but seemed rather nervous today.

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