Friday, April 20, 2012 11:28:18 PM
Two birds today, both taken early this morning. First up is a particularly feisty wren, which boldly sat out in the open singing with all its might.
The second bird, the skylark, embodies the sound of spring and summer with its rapid, trilling song. They spend much of the time hovering high overhead with a song on their beak. When the song runs out, they descend in a spiral as their trilling unwinds. Usually they settle in the thick long grass, but this one came to rest on a 'lofty' perch.
Lunchtime served up a quite unexpected treat. I had literally just walked out of the office when an utterly distinctive sound filled my ears. It was the unmistakeable growl of a Spitfire. It wasn't just passing over either. It was there for a mini display at the local football club in early celebration of St George's Day (which is actually Monday). A brass band was playing the Dambusters theme, and the lone Spitfire climbed, looped, and wing-waggled for about 10 minutes. Yes I got lots of photos. Camera note: all shots taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens.
Sunday, October 16, 2011 10:25:55 PM
This feels like old but familiar and, to an extent, neglected territory. It's a simple post of some birds photographed this morning on the South Downs. No ponds, no ducks, no cormorants, just a selection of local bird life. I'll start, appropriately (as this was quite early) with a pair of skylarks.
There were a few of them in the vicinity, but they were not nearly so prominent or active as the most colourful of our corvids, the jay. A pair, or maybe more than one pair, were criss-crossing the valley laden with acorns. As well as the one carried in the beak, they will have packed a number into their throat pouch for transporting back to a cache that will see them through winter. You can easily see the bulging pouch in these shots.
A local kestrel flew past, but she didn't stop to hover or hunt.
Most of the rest of the time I had was spent watching the goldfinches. Several small flocks were busy feeding on teasel and other seed-bearing plants. I counted 14 in this one shot, but they take some hunting out. They are very flightly, skipping in small groups from one food source to another. And when the light catches them right there are few prettier birds to watch.
This one is a little easier to see.
Once they take to the air, it's easy to see how they came by their name. Camera note: all shots taken with the Canon 7D EF and 400mm f/5.6L USM lens.