Back to Bird Snapping

28th March 2018
A weekend in Suffolk comes around rarely nowadays; This one came together due to the highly unlikely scenario of Accrington Stanley v Yeovil being postponed due to 'international commitments!'

Not one to look a gifthorse in the mouth - it was the opportunity to get my bird snapping mojo back as well as a few Adnams and 'Marlsford's'. All in the environs of Minsmere.....

As usual, the main objective was the low level position for Bittern - and I duly spent nine hours in position, ready and waiting, for a bird that never showed. Heard lots of booming, but no sightings (except for distant flying at both spots). After nine hours I was beginning to refer to them by an alternative name. My theory is that the water level is still too high and all the fish they need is within the reedbed, so they don't have to emerge in the channels. That was also my theory back in January…… it was probably pants then, and still is....



As it was a no-Bittern day, I've added one from my last successful session. Didn't like it to begin with, but its starting to grow on me. Obviously manually focused


All was not lost as a Little Egret decided to lower the Stickleback population in front of me. Normally I find this species quite flighty - but this one spent a while. Probably the most decent shots of this I've done of this species. I remember being very excited by seeing my first one on the River Teign, some 30 years ago - now they are everywhere……











A low perspective makes all the difference. Although getting into Summer plumage - it was the wind that was making appear so bouffant.












After a bun at the Minsmere cafe; time to see if there was still a murmeration. There was, and the warden described it as 'average'. It was good to have a camera which could handle the high iso, remembering to change the WB and having a discernible landmark in the background; in this case Dunwich Heath. Reasonably happy with the results……



How many to show you? I suppose they all look a bit samey'. They look better bigger - I suppose this is the place where I point out that I'm not interested in shots that don't virtually fill the frame, and although everything here is LowRes, all my images are 300ppi & 5000px longest side. Wouldn't they look splendid on your wall - just above the wood burner!!










Not a great one for snapping in hides due to their generally elevated position - see how much better the Egret look from 'low'? But its fun in East Hide and the Avocet sometimes fly across the front - although in the afternoon you're shooting into the sun...


Next day to the new favourite spot for 'Pings' - also know as the Bearded Tit. They were certainly about in numbers, but flitting about low in the reeds and doing their best impression of a scene from "Hunt For Red October"……. Now the thing with Bearded Tit is; some days are Bearded Tit days and some aren't - but you have to be alert whichever. As I've said before - the more I do wildlife, the smaller the beasts get in the frame, and this suits Bearded Tit as they have thoughtfully (albeit frustratingly), decided to live in a place with a nice soft, muted background. I'm sure there will be better days at this spot……Mmmmm



Good manual-focus-exercise. Smart little birds.....










Most unlike me; a twitcher type record shot of the now near-resident Great White Egret. More manual focusing required.....


Onward to a nearby site to check up on Dartford Warbler. We were concerned that the recent seasonally unseasonable snow and freezing temperatures might have taken a toll. As with the Pings, we were glad to see that this didn't appear to be the case - and they were flitting around in the heather, often with their Stonechat sparring partners.











A nice bonus was a couple of singing Woodlark - although they didn't see fit to pose for the snapper.

So, thats it. A good starter for my renewed enthusiasm - but a Bittern would be nice next time…….

By the way, this is a Marlsford.....