Wednesday, 17 December 2014

A Walk In The Sunshine

Just lately we haven’t had many sunny days but yesterday, after an early morning frost, the sun rose into a clear blue sky. So I decided that it was an opportunity that was too good to miss and set off for a walk around one of my local nature reserves.

SSNR Sunshine walk 1 view

I spooked a large flock of Yellowhammers that were feeding on the set aside ground by the footpath, fortunately they didn’t go far and settled high in the trees where they appeared like jewels sparkling in the sunshine.

SSNR Sunshine walk 2 Yhammer

A small party of Reed Buntings were making their way along the hedgerow and not giving too many photo opportunities as they kept low down amongst the branches. Eventually curiosity must have gotten the better of this female as she popped up for a quick and nervous look, maybe to see what the strange creature following along behind them was!

SSNR Sunshine walk 3 Rbunting

There were also quite a few Fieldfare and Redwing (and Blackbirds) feeding on the abundant berries along the hedgerow, unfortunately, they are so wary and skittish birds, they always managed to stay safely out of camera range. (After many attempts I’ve still not got any decent images of either Fieldfares or Redwings…one day!!)

Further on around the reserve and I came across a pair of Stonechats using a fence line as a lookout perch to spot and dive down onto any unsuspecting insects. They managed to keep, what they decided was, a safe distance ahead of me by moving along one post at a time. The male did sit still for long enough and allow me to fire off a couple of shots.

SSNR Sunshine walk 4 Schat

As well as the birds mentioned I also saw (unfortunately no decent photographs!) a large flock (50+) of Goldfinch feeding on Teasel heads, a Kestrel perched in a distant tree, an overflying and very vocal Buzzard also numbers of Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow,Blue Tit, Woodpigeon and singles of Wren, Robin and a Great Spotted Woodpecker ‘tapping’ away high up in a dead tree.

And finally… I was treated to a flyby by a fast moving green missile…or maybe it was a Green Woodpecker? I managed to fire off a quick burst of shots and this, massively cropped, is the best one.

SSNR Sunshine walk 5 GWP

If you look closely it appears to have it’s eyes closed…maybe it was scared at the speed it was going or perhaps it was just having a nap with the auto pilot turned on?!!

I was pleased that I made the effort and had a good three hour plus walk in the sunshine (although the breeze was a bit nippy at times) and got to see a good selection of birds. I also didn’t see another human being!!
Oh yeh!…I also saw and photographed quite a few different species of Fungi (wet and dirty knees and elbows time again!) which I’ve yet to properly sort ID’s for…I sometimes wish that I didn’t take so many photographs!


ADRIAN said...

This was well worth the effort. The Stonechat is a gem and the Woodpecker is brilliant.

The Herald said...

Thanks Adrian, it was a good walk...[;o)

douglas mcfarlane said...

I think the Green Woodpecker was winking at you Trevor. I really liked your description of Yellowhammers they really do dazzle in the sun and the Stonechat looks great in the sunlight. I think you and I are having the same luck with our winter thrushes.

Bob Bushell said...

Really beautiful, I love the Yellowhammer and Stonechat, unfortunately, we don't get them very much. Excellent images Trevor.

The Herald said...

Douglas, you could be right..I never for one moment thought that I might be getting winked at...oooo!...I'm blushing at the thought of it!

Yeh, the birds looked stunning in the sunshine...even the distant!...[;o)

The Herald said...

Thanks Bob...[;o)

Roy Norris said...

What a lovely set of images Trevor.
Makes the walk that more enjoyable when you see such species as these and the others that were not so cooperative for the camera.
The scene shot shows what a superb day you had for walking and nice area in which to do it.
Looking forward to the final product from your kneeling efforts.
I thought you days of getting your knees dirty in fields was over.??{:))

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Trevor I am glad you made the effort to get out and about in that lovely sunshine.Love the shots of the Yellowhammer and Stonechat and of course as Douglas says, that Green Woodpecker is winking at you!!! You just had to get down and dirty, now didn't you!!!


I'm glad you get to take so many photos Trevor, they are great. Your right about those Redwing, i too cant get close for a good photo and there have hundreds about over this way.


The Herald said...

Thanks Roy. It's a great place to walk and there's always a good variety of wildlife to keep the shutter finger busy!! And and added bonus is(for me,anyway!)that not many people seem to use it.
I'm still working (not started yet!!) on the fungi images.
Dirty knees?..fields? I don't know what you're getting at?...[;o)

Margaret, thank you. Hmmm, not sure about that Woodpecker?
Yeh, I can't help it...I always enjoyed playing with mud pies when I was a kid!...];o)

Thanks Peter, I should really try and not be so 'trigger happy' and limit the amount of images I take...I sometimes find the later processing and sorting a bit of a bind!!
I'm sure that one day, with a bit of luck, those Thrushes will come into range!...[;o)