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UK Bird Pics Spring/Summer 2023

  Barn Owl, Market Harborough, Northamptonshire

23 August 2023

My first visit to Des Ong's hide near Market Harborough. This visit was considerably later in the year than I'd hoped for, as I felt I needed to postpone the previous booking in July due to the forecast for heavy rain.

By August, all of the session, which started at 20:30, was in darkness, unlike earlier in the year. Also of course by now all the young had fledged, meaning visits were likely to be less frequent.

Lighting here is provided by continuous LED lamps, not flash, which restricts shutter speeds to a max of 1/100 sec, so no action shots would have been possible, even if they had presented themselves (which they didn't).

On the night, we only had one visit at 21:00 for less than ten minutes, so the remainder of the session (which ended abruptly at 23:00 when the lights went out) was rather tedious.

However, that one visit did provide a reasonable range of shots, as shown here.

Because of the dearth of visits, Des has agreed we can return at a later date for a discounted session. So hopefully next year some day time photos will be possible, if we time it right.

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For a gallery of Owl photos, click here.      
Barn Owl, Market Harborough, Northamptonshire

23 August 2023

Facing the camera.

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For a gallery of Owl photos, click here.       
Barn Owl, Market Harborough, Northamptonshire

23 August 2023

Sideways view.

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For a gallery of Owl photos, click here.   
Barn Owl, Market Harborough, Northamptonshire

23 August 2023

Almost facing the camera.

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For a gallery of Owl photos, click here.    
Barn Owl, Market Harborough, Northamptonshire

23 August 2023

Close up side view

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For a gallery of Owl photos, click here. 
Barn Owl, Market Harborough, Northamptonshire

23 August 2023

With a large mouse!

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For a gallery of Owl photos, click here.  
  Kestrels. Yeovil, Somerset

5 July 2023

My first visit to Peter Spencer's raptor hide near Yeovil.

By this date, all the juveniles in the Kestrel family, which had nested nearby, had emerged and were coming down to the perches.

Hence there could be the amazing sight of up to about 4 of the 5 juveniles and one adult (usually the male) all present at the same time!

The light wasn't good first thing (the hide faces NE and it was sunny), but there were better less sunny conditions later on.

For this shot, these two juveniles were on this post, and briefly were both looking in roughly the same direction towards me.

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For a gallery of photos from this session, and other Kestrel shots, click here.     
Kestrel. Yeovil, Somerset

5 July 2023

I never find flight shots easy with the restricted viewing at most hides and this was no exception, especially when using the rear screen all the time and not the EVF.

However this one worked out although I'm not too sure about the background.

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For a gallery of photos from this session, and other Kestrel shots, click here.      
Kestrel. Yeovil, Somerset

5 July 2023

Descending to a lower perch.

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For a gallery of photos from this session, and other Kestrel shots, click here.       
Kestrel. Yeovil, Somerset

5 July 2023

Incoming! For this shot, I tried the pre-capture facility on the R7 which worked for once! 

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For a gallery of photos from this session, and other Kestrel shots, click here. 
Kestrel. Yeovil, Somerset

5 July 2023

Portrait of the fine male

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For a gallery of photos from this session, and other Kestrel shots, click here.  
Kestrel. Yeovil, Somerset

5 July 2023

I believe this is the female - about to depart.

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For a gallery of photos from this session, and other Kestrel shots, click here. 
Kestrel. Yeovil, Somerset

5 July 2023

One of juveniles calling to be fed, even though they could all do this themselves perfectly well!

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For a gallery of photos from this session, and other Kestrel shots, click here.  
Kestrel. Yeovil, Somerset

5 July 2023

A juvenile on a different perch.

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For a gallery of photos from this session, and other Kestrel shots, click here.   
  Kestrel. Yeovil, Somerset

5 July 2023

A juvenile on the hedge in a bit of sun. In the afternoon, when the sun was behind the hide, it rarely made an appearance!

Click to enlarge.

For a gallery of photos from this session, and other Kestrel shots, click here.    
  Eider. Aros, Isle of Mull, Scotland

19 May 2023

It was great to get back on a proper trip for the first time since 2019. This photo and those below were taken on a 2 week self-catering holiday on North Uist and then Mull.

Taken from the road, using the car as a hide.
 
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For a gallery of photos from this trip, click here.    
  American Wigeon. Loch na Keal, Isle of Mull, Scotland

16 May 2023


News of this American Wigeon came through shortly after we arrived on Mull and so the next day we went to see if it was still around which it was but views were a bit distant.

Returning the next day, I was fortunate to get a good roadside view as it came out of the water and walked towards the car!
 
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For a gallery of photos from this trip, click here.    
  Oystercatcher. Croggan, Isle of Mull, Scotland

16 May 2023

In the late afternoon sun - taken after a largely unsuccessful otter hunt. 


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For a gallery of photos from this trip, click  
  White-tailed Eagle. Loch na Keal, Isle of Mull, Scotland

15 May 2023

Very much the photo highlight of our week on Mull was the Mull Charters' Lady Jayne boat trip for the eagles.

I'd been on this boat before, way back in 2014, but since then it has become much more popular and camera technology has developed hugely. 

We were on a "photo 6" trip which is more expensive but limits the total number of photographers to 6.

This trip was very productive with at least 6 dives although I missed several of them due to a frustrating camera issue.

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For a gallery of photos from this trip, click here.   
  Hen Harrier. North Uist, Scotland

12 May 2023

We saw several male Hen Harriers hunting during our week on North Uist but most were distant. This was quite the opposite and remarkably flew past me coming very close!

Taken from the same spot as the Short-eared Owl shown below.

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For a gallery of photos from this trip, click here.  
  Twite. Loch Euphort, North Uist, Scotland

11 May 2023

At the end of the road along the south side of Loch Euphort, there was a parking area where we stopped for a little while. A hunting male Hen Harrier flew past just as we arrived and a very confiding pair of Twite then appeared by the nearby building in lovely light. 

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For a gallery of photos from this trip, click here.  
  Short-eared Owl. North Uist, Scotland

11 May 2023

A very obliging bird that flew right past me, very close, while hunting!

Taken just up the road from the place we were staying on the west coast!

Click to enlarge
.

For a gallery of photos from this trip, click here. 
   Dunlin. Berneray, North Uist, Scotland

10 May 2023

One of a charming mixed flock of waders feeding on the machair. Other species present included Ringed Plover and Oystercatcher. An Arctic Skua even flew over at one point!

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For a gallery of photos from this trip, click here.
  Oystercatcher. Berneray, North Uist, Scotland

10 May 2023

Also feeding on the machair. !

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For a gallery of photos from this trip, click here.
  Ringed Plover. Berneray, North Uist, Scotland

10 May 2023

Another of a charming mixed flock of waders feeding on the machair. !

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For a gallery of photos from this trip, click here.
  White-tailed Eagle. Off Grimsay, North Uist, Scotland

9 May 2023

The highlight at the end of the Lady Anne boat trip off Grimsay.

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For a gallery of photos from this trip, click here.  

All pictures copyright Stephen Burch

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