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Oxon Bird Pics Autumn 2008

Great Northern Diver, Farmoor Great Northern Diver, Farmoor

15 November 2008

No American Golden Plover at Port Meadow first thing this morning, but this spendid bird was some compensation at nearby Farmoor.

Thanks to Nic Hallam for some help with this pic.

Wigeon, Port Meadow

15 November 2008

During an unsettled spell this morning, when all the duck were wheeling around for some time. Quite an impressive sight.

Grey Phalarope, Farmoor

1 November 2008

The third for Farmoor this autumn - a record. Note this is a much greyer bird than the one in September (shown below) - this one is in full winter plumage.

Unlike the September bird, this bird was much more difficult to photo - it was staying on the water and there was poor light with rough 'surf'. This is a shot at ISO 1600.

Grey Phalarope, Farmoor

1 November 2008

See above

Grey Phalarope, Farmoor

1 November 2008

A view from above - so much easier to get at Farmoor than the ones above, but less appealing in my view.

Click to enlarge Black-tailed Godwit, Port Meadow

31 October 2008

The early morning light was superb today, with the added bonus of some reasonably approachable Godwits - before they were spooked by all the pedestrian traffic around.

Click to enlarge Black-tailed Godwit, Port Meadow

31 October 2008

After most of the Godwits had departed, this lone bird was remarkably tame - by the ditch at the end of the track from Aristotle Lane, before the meadow proper.

Ruff, Port Meadow

11 October 2008

Taken shortly before all the birds were put up - probably by a large kite (the man made & flown variety)!

Wigeon, Port Meadow

11 October 2008

A glorious day, but these birds were just a bit too far away for the very best results. This bird is coming out of eclipse plumage. Should be more photogenic in a few weeks.

Stonechat, Otmoor

3 October 2008

This bird was more obliging than the Whinchat below.

In inland Oxon, Stonechats are winter visitors and Whinchat are passage migrants, so these must have been an early Stonechat and a late Whinchat. I can't ever remember finding both together before in Oxon.

Whinchat, Otmoor

3 October 2008

This bird was difficult to approach closely, but I eventually managed this pic using the x1.4TC with the camera hand-held. Slightly 'soft' despite the IS on the 400mm F4 DO, and a fast shutter time. Maybe a steadier hand is required!

Turnstone, Farmoor Reservoir

20 September 2008

This juvenile was almost as tame as the Grey Phalarope, and approached within inches, given some camouflage (see below).

A warm, sunny and still day - the first for months, at least at the weekend!

Turnstone, Farmoor Reservoir

20 September 2008

As above

Turnstone, Farmoor Reservoir

20 September 2008

This bird came even closer, well within the 3.5m close focus distance of the lens.

Ringed Plover, Farmoor Reservoir

20 September 2008

Taken from the comparitive comfort of the top of the causeway, unlike the Turnstone shots above. This downward view is less to my liking, but is much easier at Farmoor!

Tudted Ducks, Farmoor Reservoir

20 September 2008

A different type of photograph for a change.

Cormorant, Farmoor Reservoir

20 September 2008

Unusually quite close to the causeway.

Click to enlarge Grey Phalarope, Farmoor Reservoir

6 September 2008

Last year, one of these turned up at the end of September. This time the bird was earlier and the weather poorer.

This bird was better coloured that last years, and similarly obliging. At times, it seemed a wide-angle lens would almost have been better than a 400mm!

At this sort of range, getting all the bird in focus at once was almost impossible at the wide aperture needed on a day like this.

No apologies for posting several pics of this gem!

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge As above. Shots of the bird on the water have the advantage of removing the Farmoor concrete from view...

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge A close up using the extension tubes to allow closer focussing.

Click to enlarge

Note the intent concentration, with the bill lined up on the tiny insect bottom right, which is about to be eaten! My next shot showed exactly that.
Catching the insect!
An overall portrait of an almost still bird for once.

All pictures copyright Stephen Burch

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