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UK Bird Pics Spring/Summer 2021

  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! 

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

26 May 2021

Diving down.

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Cuckoo, Thursley Common, Surrey

26 May 2021

One of closest approaches, as he sped past me.

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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.

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Cuckoo, Thursley Common, Surrey

26 May 2021

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

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Cuckoo, Thursley Common, Surrey

26 May 2021

On the ground.

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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!

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  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.

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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.

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Little Owl, Brine Pit Wildlife Photography, Droitwich

21 May 2021

The female at the nest hole.

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Little Owl, Brine Pit Wildlife Photography, Droitwich

21 May 2021

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

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Little Owl, Brine Pit Wildlife Photography, Droitwich

21 May 2021

Looks less bedraggled from the side!

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Little Owl, Brine Pit Wildlife Photography, Droitwich

21 May 2021

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

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Little Owl, Brine Pit Wildlife Photography, Droitwich

21 May 2021

During a spell of heavy rain.

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Little Owl, Brine Pit Wildlife Photography, Droitwich

21 May 2021

Wet!

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  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.

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Red Kite, Gigrin Farm, Powys, Wales

4 May 2021

Just before the grab!

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  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. 


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Red Kite, Gigrin Farm, Powys, Wales

2 May 2021

The head-on shot!
 
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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.

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Red Kite, Gigrin Farm, Powys, Wales

2 May 2021

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

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  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.

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  Kestrel, Otterbourne, Hampshire

15 April 2021

Just about to depart.

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  Kestrel, Otterbourne, Hampshire

15 April 2021

One in level flight between perches.

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  Kestrel, Otterbourne, Hampshire

15 April 2021

Fast descending flight!

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  Kestrel, Otterbourne, Hampshire

15 April 2021

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

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  Kestrel, Otterbourne, Hampshire

15 April 2021

Another perched shot - there are more in the gallery.

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  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.

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  Wren, Otterbourne, Hampshire

15 April 2021

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

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  Nuthatch, Otterbourne, Hampshire

15 April 2021

Another nice visitor.

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  Greenfinch, Otterbourne, Hampshire

15 April 2021

Getting these to pose nicely took some time.

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  Grey Wagtail, Otterbourne, Hampshire

15 April 2021

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

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All pictures copyright Stephen Burch

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