Monday, 8 April 2013

Flights of fancy

On Saturday afternoon, Rob and I went to Oare Marshes to give the lenses some much-needed exercise. We didn't have very long there, but it was long enough to enjoy some glorious sunshine (if not temperatures to match) and to take a few bird photos. The flood was pretty quiet but a range of birdlife came and went over the hour or so we were watching.

There were a couple of dozen Avocets about, mostly loafing and roosting, but a few were active around the small central islands, perhaps thinking about nesting.

Duck and drake Gadwall. One of four or five pairs around.

There was a sizeable Starling flock roaming around. This one got itself mixed up in the wrong crowd, teaming up with a double-figure Lapwing flock that went from west to east over the flood.

Not a great raptor day. A Sparrowhawk caught  the attention of local corvids and was chased away, then later this Kestrel paused to hover over the rough fields.

When I wandered down to the shore (to see many Grey Plovers, Dunlins and Curlews far out on the mud) I missed the arrival of a flight of juvenile Mute Swans. On the fields west of the flood were a couple of pairs of adult Mutes, including this bird.

Lots of Mallard activity today, drakes ganging up to chase unescorted ducks to try for last-ditch mating opportunities before all the females are on eggs.

I found two pairs of Pintails, one on the main flood and the other on a smaller pool west of the road. All were too distant for good photos - this flyby was the best opportunity.

A Redshank whirred over in a curiously stalling flight, all the time piping loudly. Territorial behaviour - good to see a proper sign of spring. There were also many Meadow Pipits songflighting up and parachuting down over the meadowland.

We saw almost the full complement of Britain's breeding dabbling ducks today, only Garganey was missing. This Shoveler was flying a circuit over the flood with his mate, who didn't make it into the frame of this photo.

Something flushed this Snipe, which grunted crossly as it flashed away.

I know almost nothing about planes but even I can recognise a Spitfire. Always nice to see one of these iconic old fighters.

To finish, a boring Canada Goose, but one of the better flight shots I've managed of this species.

5 comments:

Early Worm said...

Some nice flight shots here! What lens are you using?

Warren Baker said...

Very good flight shots today Marianne, I know that's your bag :-)

I particularly like the Shoveler :-)

Marianne said...

Thanks folks :) EW, I use the Nikon 300mm f4 prime, with a 1.4x teleconverter (so really it's a 420mm f5.6).

Phil said...

Hi Marianne.
Very impressed with the 'in flight' entertainment:-)

Lorraine said...

Lovely set of flight shots.