Friday, 27 June 2014


As we are now well into the doldrum months re. birding I went across the border into Worcestershire on Thursday morning to visit the gardens at the Nat. trust property  Hanbury Hall hoping to get some shots of Butterflies,Dragonflies and Bugs.

Got there when it opened at 10.30 AM and armed with some lunch and the SX50 bridge camera I strode off towards the gardens.Just as I approached a pair of stone columns that you walk through to get to the Parterre a bird landed on top of one of the columns.I knew what it was even before I got the bins on it.A Spotted Flycatcher ! !

Ever since I moaned early in June to anyone that would listen that I could not find any of these chaps at the usual spots this year ( 3 churchyards ) I've been lucky enough to see them in several new locations.This week alone I've found them in Warwickshire,Oxfordshire and now Worcestershire and each time I was not looking for them.

A bit worried getting any decent shots as I was carrying the SX50 bridge camera but I need not have worried as it performed very well.Amazing really for a camera costing less than £250.Took a few shots as soon as I went through into the Parterre.

Here are a couple of shots of the Parterre.The second shot shows where they were nesting which was at the top of the vine just below the eaves level.

Whilst the area was not busy they would fly down and perch on top of the numerous cone shaped topiary bushes.These shots were taken from about 25m away whilst sitting on one of the benches. Later 6 volunteers carried out gardening work in the Parterre and even then the birds still perched there.

It was a good job I found the Spotted Flycatchers because during a good walk round all the gardens I could find no Dragonflies by the ponds and the meadows only had a few of the more common Butterflies.Now I have got a camera with a macro facility all bugs have disappeared from the world so no good there either.

After lunch I went back to the Flycatchers and tried out the SX 50's built in digital converters.These shots were taken from about 6m using full optical zoom plus the 1.5 teleconverter.I'm very pleased with the results.I didn't miss the 7D and 400 prime lens my usual birding kit.The last two shots have been cropped more.

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