Saturday, 12 March 2011

first migrants/a year of photography

I saw my first real migrants of the year this morning, with a steady stream of Meadow Pipits moving over between 9.00 and 10.00 AM. I counted 10 in that hour, and since I was largely distracted by playing football there were undoubtedly more passing overhead. I also heard one Skylark moving North. Also today there were several Goldcrests singing in Seaford, one of which gave fairly good views in a small Conifer stand near my house, flashing his bright orange crest as he flicked through the twigs searching for a meal. A Carrion Crow building a nest near Newlands was another sign of spring arriving, and on Blatchington Pond both Mallard and Moorhen have been getting territorial. At School, the past few days have been slightly enlivened by the brilliant, scratchy little tune of a Pied Wagtail holding territory on the roof of the English block.

Also today, on the way into Brighton by bus, there were several rafts of Great Crested Grebes offshore between Peacehaven and Brighton Marina, totalling 100 birds or more. Probably another sign of migration, with birds gathering here before moving north.

on a final note, it is just over a year since I acuired the camera, whose awful photos so often litter my blog. I tend to take very poor photos with it, but I thought to mark my Pentax's anniversary I might post some of it's finer achievements in the last twelve months...

taken less than a month after I got my camera, this Jackdaw
on Seaford Head is still a favourite photo for me
There can't be that many people with photographs of a pair
of Nightingale on their breeding site. The male is hard enough
to see, but to be accompanied by a female is astounding luck
at the same location as the Nightingale shot (Abbot's Wood, Hailsham), is
one of only two sussex colonies of the very rare Pearl-bordered Fritilary
avocet and chick, taken at Rye Harbour in June
Rock Pipit carrying food at Splash Point, Seaford in July
Black Bear was one of the many highlights of visiting Canada in August!...
As was photographing a Sora in the hand at
Long Point Bird Observatory!...
and holding this Wilson's Warbler. Volunteering at Long Point,
I got to ring a few american Warblers and Thrushes, and practice
scribing and extracting birds. After this experience I decided I want to
learn how to ring as soon as I can here in the UK
autumn is great for all kinds of Fungi, especially in Abbot's Wood
despite spending a lot of time birding in the autumn, I got very few
good phots of the migrants I saw. But this Wheatear on Firle Beacon
makes up for all the rest of them!
Turnstones in a fairly classic pose at Longniddry, Midlothian in October.
A Benefit of having family in Edinburgh
In the snowfall of early December the garden birds must have been very grateful
for the food put out, they're never usually tame enough to get a photo like this
another garden bird in Snow, but this time in Worcestershire,
where we visited family over Christmas.
and finally, the infamous 'sun sets over an out-of-focus car' shot with
a small saving grace in artistic merit ; ) 
all in all, a pretty good 12 months has been had! These are just a handful of the thousands of photos I have taken in that time, of many bird, plant and animal species. Photography is such a fun pursuit and I'd urge anyone who hasn't already to go out and buy a camera. This pentax x70 only cost £250, and with a bit of patience and practice yields some brilliant results. I'd love to get a DSLR when I can afford one but for now mine is a brilliant camera that I will continue to use, continue to learn about and continue to take many awful and a few good photos with!

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