Tuesday, 3 April 2018

'Resurrected with a Rail'

It is back again the blog, for the 1 millionth time, well perhaps not that many. But it was a New Year's resolution to resurrect my ramblings which accompany my photography. It's taken till April but let see how long I can keep it going again. A lot happened last year, I had some awesome encounters with our native British wildlife and I had my first wildlife shots printed in the national press which I was quite chuffed about.

So I guess where do I start when resurrecting the blog, well highly fitting I guess that I am writing this on Easter Sunday the beginning of resurrection. I could flashback to 2017 or even 2016 when I last posted, but I'm getting old and my memory isn't what it was so I will try to keep it present and up to date.

It's Early February and a we had a weekend visit to the in-laws in Cheltenham which allowed a sneaky day trip to Slimbridge. I try and get to the WWT spot at least once a winter to tick off some specialities like Bewicks's Swan and some of the other showy species that over winter on the Severn estuary. A couple of years ago I got some pleasing shots of a very showy Water Rail that was feeding beneath the bird feeders in front of the Willow Hide. Having seen a couple oh dozen posted online during the week before our visit I hoped that it would be a species we would encounter.

Luckily two Water Rail showed brilliantly in front of the Willow hide just feet from my lens at times for a good 10 minutes at a time on and off for most of the afternoon. Only disrupted by some pretty ignorant birders having a shouty conversation at each other right outside, arseholes!

I always try to get a low angle where I can, and hide photography doesn't usually allow this. So making use of a small spy hole window about a foot off the floor, I had my 600mm lens poked through it and my body contorted in a pretty awkward position to achieve some of these shots. Kneeling on a stone floor isn't the most comfortable for one's knees especially with 20 people clamouring around you with iPads trying to take photos. The birds were really that close!

A supporting cast of male and female Teal were also nice to focus on when the Water Rails dispersed.
The light was nice however and the low level and the still water proved quite pleasing.

That being said I have concluded that I need a more portable lens combo, the 600mm, although brilliant with its extra reach is just starting to get a bit too cumbersome to lug around on walks. Decisions decisions.

Slimbridge again delivering something good to point the camera at and make the admission fee well worth it.

So what is next? Otter spotting at the local lakes!

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