Stephen Burch's Birding & Dragonfly Website

Home | Trip Reports| Gallery | UK index | Oxon pics | UK pics | Dragonflies | Other Nature | Contact | Links


UK Bird Pics Spring/Summer 2021

  Kingfisher, Otterbourne, Hampshire

10 August 2021

First contact - with the bill just touching the surface!

Probably my most notable shot of this extended session at Pete Whieldon's Kingfisher hide at which a juvenile was showing quite regularly though the day.

Click to enlarge

Click here for a Gallery of all my Kingfisher photos.
Kingfisher, Otterbourne, Hampshire

10 August 2021

On the way back up - having missed the fish.

Click to enlarge

Kingfisher, Otterbourne, Hampshire

10 August 2021

On the way back up - with fish!

Click to enlarge 
Kingfisher, Otterbourne, Hampshire

10 August 2021

A perched shot - always easier than the diving ones!

Click to enlarge 
Kingfisher, Otterbourne, Hampshire

10 August 2021

A bit of a cliche, but worth a shot I thought. For this photo I had to combine several shots to create a panorama given the 500mm lens I was using.

Click to enlarge  
Kingfisher, Otterbourne, Hampshire

10 August 2021

Showing its back.

Click to enlarge   
Kingfisher, Otterbourne, Hampshire

10 August 2021

On the highest point of the perch.

Click to enlarge    
Kingfisher, Otterbourne, Hampshire

10 August 2021

With fish!

Click to enlarge     
  Tawny Owl, Cwmbran, South Wales

9 July 2021

Reports of Tawny Owlet(s) at Ian Howells' hide in South Wales prompted me to book another session there - some two years after my first visit back in the pre-Covid era of 2019.

Ian had changed his setup somewhat to have a perch that would accommodate multiple birds in the flash "zone" at once. However in the event the owlet(s) never showed and even this adult only stayed a second or two on each of its four visits.

Prior to my departure at 00:30, I only managed one burst of shots of the incoming bird, of which I show two of the frames here. Not really what I was hoping for, but that's wildlife for you.

Click to enlarge

Click here for a Gallery of all my Owl photos.
Tawny Owl, Cwmbran, South Wales

9 July 2021

As above, but a couple of frames later.

Click to enlarge
 
  Little Tern, Middleton-on-sea, West Sussex

28 June 2021

On the beach at low tide. Presumably from the colony at nearby Pagham Harbour.
Little Tern, Middleton-on-sea, West Sussex

28 June 2021

On the beach at low tide. Presumably from the colony at nearby Pagham Harbour. 
  Little Owl, Brine Pit Wildlife Photography, Droitwich

15 June 2021

Following my wet and windy visit in May, I returned for another attempt at the next available opportunity - which wasn't until mid June. The weather was the complete opposite this time, with full sun virtually all day.

This posed its own challenges with harsh lighting and backlit images on the provided perches, given the hide faces south or south east. However by setting up some of my own, using a handy pile of cut branches, I was able to get some alternative angles.

This photo was taken with a perch round the back of the hide, shooting through the hide door! Amazingly the bird took to this new location pretty quickly.

Click to enlarge

See here for a gallery of all my Owl photos.
Little Owl, Brine Pit Wildlife Photography, Droitwich

15 June 2021

Flight shots were difficult as always, and this one was the only reasonable one I secured.

Click to enlarge
Little Owl, Brine Pit Wildlife Photography, Droitwich

15 June 2021

On one of the provided perches, towards the end of the day.

Click to enlarge
Little Owl, Brine Pit Wildlife Photography, Droitwich

15 June 2021

Additional perch to the right of the hide in the morning.

Click to enlarge
Little Owl, Brine Pit Wildlife Photography, Droitwich

15 June 2021

Strongly backlit photo from the early morning.

Click to enlarge
Little Owl, Brine Pit Wildlife Photography, Droitwich

15 June 2021

More of a side-lit photo - from the late afternoon.

Click to enlarge
Little Owlet, Brine Pit Wildlife Photography, Droitwich

15 June 2021

There were reported to be up to 4 owlets around, with two having moved away from the nest hole. I never had them on the perches, unlike some including just the day before, but this one, and its sibling, appeared briefly at the entrance.

Click to enlarge
  Redstart, Thursley Common, Surrey

8 June 2021

After Colin's brilliant showing on 26 May, I went back a couple of weeks later hoping for more with better lighting conditions given the forecast for full sun. Unfortunately it was not to be, and there was no sign of the star performer today.

This showy Redstart was however considerable compensation in the superb early evening light.

Click to enlarge
Redstart, Thursley Common, Surrey

8 June 2021

Crop of a similar shot to the above.

Click to enlarge
Redstart, Thursley Common, Surrey

8 June 2021

On a different perch.

Click to enlarge
  Cuckoo, Thursley Common, Surrey

26 May 2021

For this late afternoon/early evening session, I was, for the first time, trying out my Canon R5 for flight shots of Colin as he flew between the perch and the ground.

I was extremely lucky in that he stayed for the better part of two and a half hours, and all the other photographers present were also keen on flight shots and knew what to do.

The light wasn't great most of the time, which required use of very high ISO settings, especially towards the end of the session.

The R5 was amazing in its ability to track, and keep the bird in focus during most of its short flights. This would have been completely impossible with my 7D Mark II! 

Click to enlarge

For a gallery of all the photos from this session, click here.
Cuckoo, Thursley Common, Surrey

26 May 2021

Diving down.

Click to enlarge 
Cuckoo, Thursley Common, Surrey

26 May 2021

One of closest approaches, as he sped past me.

Click to enlarge  
Cuckoo, Thursley Common, Surrey

26 May 2021

Trying for backlit shots towards the end of the session. The light wasn't really strong enough but the effect is there.

Click to enlarge   
Cuckoo, Thursley Common, Surrey

26 May 2021

Incoming with the (weak) light behind. Full sun would have been more dramatic!

Click to enlarge    
Cuckoo, Thursley Common, Surrey

26 May 2021

On the ground.

Click to enlarge     
Cuckoo, Thursley Common, Surrey

26 May 2021

Just briefly the late afternoon sun made an appearance with a resulting dramatic improvement in colour and contrast. All too briefly!

Click to enlarge      
  Little Owl, Brine Pit Wildlife Photography, Droitwich

21 May 2021

Nature Photography hides is now under new, improved management and has been renamed as Brine Pit Wildlife Photography. New hides have been constructed on the sites of the old ones.

The day I visited for the Little Owl the weather was truly atrocious. Probably the worst I have ever had in a hide, with strong winds and rain, often heavy basically all day!

These conditions reduced the females activities but she still needed to feed the young in the nest, so made a reasonable number of visits. Unfortunately, the bird was also very bedraggled, especially the front view.

Getting action shots was of course difficult given the low light levels.

Click to enlarge

For a gallery of all the photos from this session, click here.
Little Owl, Brine Pit Wildlife Photography, Droitwich

21 May 2021

Another attempt at a flight shot.

Click to enlarge    
Little Owl, Brine Pit Wildlife Photography, Droitwich

21 May 2021

The female at the nest hole.

Click to enlarge
Little Owl, Brine Pit Wildlife Photography, Droitwich

21 May 2021

With a juicy offfering for the young back in the nest.

Click to enlarge
Little Owl, Brine Pit Wildlife Photography, Droitwich

21 May 2021

Looks less bedraggled from the side!

Click to enlarge 
Little Owl, Brine Pit Wildlife Photography, Droitwich

21 May 2021

The death stare! I'm not too happy with the conditions!

Click to enlarge  
Little Owl, Brine Pit Wildlife Photography, Droitwich

21 May 2021

During a spell of heavy rain.

Click to enlarge  
Little Owl, Brine Pit Wildlife Photography, Droitwich

21 May 2021

Wet!

Click to enlarge    
  Red Kite, Gigrin Farm, Powys, Wales

4 May 2021

We spent a few nights near Rhayader in mid-Wales and pre-booked a couple of sessions in the photographic hides at the famous Gigrin Farm feeding centre for Red Kites.

Huge numbers of birds come into to be fed at 3pm (BST) or 2pm (GMT) but getting good photos isn't easy!

For this second session we were in the Low Level Hide where the birds can be (fleetingly) very close, but viewing is very restricted.

For a gallery of all the photos from these two sessions, click here.

Click to enlarge
Red Kite, Gigrin Farm, Powys, Wales

4 May 2021

Just before the grab!

Click to enlarge
  Red Kite, Gigrin Farm, Powys, Wales

2 May 2021

For the first session, we chose the Gateway Hide which has much better views than the Low Level Hide and the birds can be photographed more readily. We were favoured by a light westerly wind so that the birds tended to be flying towards us, and hence getting reasonably close at times. 


Click to enlarge
Red Kite, Gigrin Farm, Powys, Wales

2 May 2021

The head-on shot!
 
Click to enlarge
Red Kite, Gigrin Farm, Powys, Wales

2 May 2021

Just in the act of collecting food from the ground. The birds don't stop and just fly through at speed, dipping down to collect.

Click to enlarge
Red Kite, Gigrin Farm, Powys, Wales

2 May 2021

I liked the spread wings and the varied background in this shot.

Click to enlarge
  Kestrel, Otterbourne, Hampshire

15 April 2021

Another great visit to Pete Whieldon's Woodland Hide for the Kestrel and supporting cast.

Only the male was showing today, but it did come in frequently, especially in the morning.

As time wore on, I tried doing some action shots using the R5's animal eye detection AF, as the bird flew between perches. A few worked out OK, but it wasn't easy by any means.

One of the great things about Pete's setup is the wide variety of perches available and I was able to get the Kestrel to do a good tour of most of them during his 10+ visits.

For a gallery showing all the Kestrel photos from this session, go to this page.

Click to enlarge.
  Kestrel, Otterbourne, Hampshire

15 April 2021

Just about to depart.

Click to enlarge.
  Kestrel, Otterbourne, Hampshire

15 April 2021

One in level flight between perches.

Click to enlarge.
  Kestrel, Otterbourne, Hampshire

15 April 2021

Fast descending flight!

Click to enlarge.
  Kestrel, Otterbourne, Hampshire

15 April 2021

An easier perched shot - there are more in the gallery.

Click to enlarge.
  Kestrel, Otterbourne, Hampshire

15 April 2021

Another perched shot - there are more in the gallery.

Click to enlarge.
  Bullfinch, Otterbourne, Hampshire

15 April 2021

Unlike previous visits here, the supporting cast performed very well, keeping me busy between Kestrel visits. This splendid male Bullfinch was probably my top priority.

Click to enlarge.
  Wren, Otterbourne, Hampshire

15 April 2021

Somewhat surprisingly this is my first ever half decent Wren photo!

Click to enlarge.
  Nuthatch, Otterbourne, Hampshire

15 April 2021

Another nice visitor.

Click to enlarge.
  Greenfinch, Otterbourne, Hampshire

15 April 2021

Getting these to pose nicely took some time.

Click to enlarge.
  Grey Wagtail, Otterbourne, Hampshire

15 April 2021

The male Grey Wagtail was looking smart and a somewhat unusual visitor to a Woodland Hide!

Click to enlarge
.

All pictures copyright Stephen Burch

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites