Saturday, 8 August 2015


Just before 9.00 AM on Thursday I set off to Brandon Marsh which was pretty brave as it was overcast and there was drizzle in the air.My plan was to try and get some flight shots of Kingfishers and of Hobbies.

Went into the Steetly hide and found one birder there and a Kingfisher sitting on the perching pole in front of the hide.Rattled off a few perched shots.

That was easy so how did I do with getting some flight shots ? I couldn't decide between describing my efforts as" appalling"or "dreadful" so I've settled for a photographic term "crap".The KF was far too quick for me and I got loads of blurred blobs.This is the only one I got and the KF is only just in the shot.

The KF disappeared for long periods but all was not lost because we had spotted this Hobby (juvenile ??) about 200m away perched in a tree.

The Hobby flew around a lot but often a long way off and when it did come a bit closer we had trouble getting the camera settings right.Half the view from the hide is dark trees and the other half is bright sky so different settings on the camera are required and you do not have time to switch between the settings.My fellow photographer and myself were soon in swearing mode as we kept missing shots and if anything I was outsweared. This is all I could get. 

As it was getting on for 11.00 AM I headed off to the Ted Dury hide.On route I called in to the Teal pool hide and was able to help a couple of novice birders to ID some waders there.Four Green Sandpipers and a juvenile Ruff .They were impressed.However it wasn't till they'd gone and I checked out my shots on the camera that I saw it was a juvenile Redshank and not a Ruff.Oh Dear ! 

The Ted Dury hide was empty and a quick scan revealed no Hobbies that I could see but there was a young Kestrel nearby that was constantly calling out.

As there was nothing else about I went to the right hand end of the hide and got out lunch.Eating lunch can be a great way to get a bird to show and disrupt your eating.This was the case this time because it took me an hour to eat two sandwiches two biscuits and a flask of coffee.This chap was perched in a tree on the hedge line that runs south along the golf course.

Lunch of course was abandoned as I tried for some shots of one of my favourite birds  a Hobby.Very pleased with these shots as it's a gloomy spot and what light there is is behind the bird.

The following shots are not my greatest Hobby shots but show a sequence of one finding a dragonfly,flying back to a favoured eating perch and then dropping off it's perch to go hawking again.

I lost the Hobby for a while and when I found it again it was along the golf course tree line again a bit closer this time.Despite the bad light I got one of my best ever perched shots 

I didn't do that well with general flight shots and looking in my bag of excuses it's because a hide is not a good place for getting Hobby flight shots as the flap openings restrict you too much.You need to be in the open to have a good chance of a decent flight shot.

     A very enjoyable morning being thoroughly entertained by a couple of Hobbies.Cracking birds.

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